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Reviewed by Liz Konkel for Readers' Favorite
Enchanted Bonds is a prequel novella in the High Council Witch Chronicles by Julie Catherine. Ferris is nervous and excited to take her first step in joining the High Council Witches coven but nowhere in her plans did she see being kidnapped by a witch looking to shove her High Council authority in Ferris' face, stripping her of her clothes and her dignity. The next two weeks will be the biggest and most challenging of her life that will determine her entire future. Plus it's time for the full moon which means a chance to find her parabond and if she doesn't, then she'll have to wait another year to try. But worse, if she loses something and no one returns it, then she faces expulsion from the program. She doesn't know who her potential parabond could be. There's always the boy next door. Ethan Grady has been Ferris's neighbor since they were children and she's always been drawn to him but he's still a mystery. When the two are thrown together under surprising circumstances, quality time with him could heat up their connection. The only way she's going to make it is if she figures out who she can trust.
The story begins in a lighthearted tone that perfectly captures Ferris' headspace and sets an idealistic and optimistic outlook on her future. The way Julie Catherine creates this magical world is enchanting with a twist on the idea of soulmates against the backdrop of a secret witch society. The story puts a unique spin on witches with original magical categories such as dreamcasts, chemists, empaths, and lie-guards (who have prophetic dreams), elixirs, elements of nature, and creating grand illusions. The mother-daughter and sister dynamics shine in a way that creates magic in how Catherine perfectly captures their dialogue, bond, and secret-keeping. The story is clever, funny, and addictive, perfectly setting up the High Council Witch Chronicles with this prequel. While Ferris undergoes witchy hazing, Catherine weaves in elements of romantic comedy, drama, and destiny. Enchanted Bonds is a romance that casts a spell with magic, fate, and self-discovery.