4 out of 5 stars
I received an ARC of this work.
This one was a lot of fun. Cam is being raised by a witch. She has to find ways of fitting homework into a schedule that includes gathering spell ingredients (how does a modern teen find a steady supply of goat’s blood anyways?) and dragon care. The witch is pushing her to follow in her footsteps, but Cam would much rather just be a regular teenager. She finally manages to find a boy she likes when one of the witch’s spells goes awry and he ends up inhabited by a demon. Now she has to figure out how to get a demon out of a person and stop the rest of the witch’s plan to rule the city by harnessing the power of an exploding phoenix, all without becoming the thing she fears most: just another wicked witch.
The most charming part of this story was the practical look at how hard it would be to practice witch-craft in the modern age. Sure you can get normal produce, but where the hell is high-schooler supposed to get eyes of newt? And it turns out spells are more like complicated logic and math problems, so just figuring out what you need is a chore and a half. I also really liked how fed up Cam gets at the witch’s constant nagging to be more like her. It is such a realistic situation (overly critical and pushy guardian) in such a fantasy setting. The witch’s most evil dream being to control the municipality is also hilarious. Magical powers and all she wants is to be elected to the local council.
This is a much less serious read than Tina Connolly’s other trilogy (which has also been reviewed by me and is fabulous) but is really light-hearted. A great summer read for those who love witches and humour!