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Reviewed by JC Minnaar for Readers' Favorite
In Dust on the Altar by Michelle Winkler, Jade Cerridwen is enjoying her life as a Sun City citizen when she receives devastating news – her Aunt Joy has passed away. She must return to her hometown of Sugar Hill to become the next witch High Priestess in order to preserve her coven’s magic. She quickly finds out that there is much more to this event than meets the eye: her aunt was murdered, the elemental keys necessary for the High Priestess ascension ceremony are missing, and she has a maniacal uncle trying to resurrect his daughter. How will Jade save her coven while simultaneously reconnecting with her own magic, making peace with her parents' deaths, and keeping her ordinary human friend, April, safe from the dangers of magic?
Michelle Winkler’s Dust on the Altar is a magical story that kept me enthralled from start to finish. There is never a dull moment with the moment-to-moment events keeping the action fast-paced. I was constantly second-guessing the motives of those around Jade as Michelle Winkler creates an atmosphere of wonder and suspicion wherever Jade goes. The characters are all well written with strong personalities, and with Jade especially serving as a strong reminder to me that even with the fear of losing and failure weighing you down, the most important thing is to keep trying. I especially enjoyed the witchcraft on display; use of the elements, compass directions, spell casting, and rituals. Dust on the Altar is a fantastic tale of witchcraft, adventure, overcoming loss, and Jade finding her place in life.