The Blue Witch

The Witches of Orkney, Book One

Children - Adventure
216 Pages
Reviewed on 06/07/2019
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Kristen Van Kampen (Teen Reviewer) for Readers' Favorite

The Blue Witch (Witches of Orkney, Book One) by Alane Adams is a stunning fantasy story about a young witch named Abigail. Her first year at Tarkana Witch Academy is not going her way. A girl named Endera and her friends have been making Abigail’s life miserable, and she still hasn't gotten her powers, making her wonder if she's a glitch-witch. However, when a dangerous encounter with a sneevil forces her to use magic to save herself, she realizes that her witchfire is blue, not green as everyone else's is. Together with her friends, she tries to figure out why, but when she accidentally sends three fellow students to the Netherworld, she has to save them, or she will be kicked out of the coven.

I really, really enjoyed reading The Blue Witch (Witches of Orkney, Book One) by Alane Adams. The story is very gripping and draws readers in with its entertaining plot, loveable characters, and intriguing setting. The story is very exciting, filled with action and suspense. The book is entirely entertaining and is sure to make the reader want to keep reading. Abigail is a great protagonist and is someone readers will root for. The characters are all well written and complex, with hidden motives that are revealed as the story progresses. The setting is magical (literally and metaphorically), and is very well described. I was hooked by the first page and didn't want to put the book down until I reached the end. The occasional pictures are well drawn and are a nice touch. I would most definitely recommend this book.

Lit Amri

Abigail is a witchling struggling to get by at the Tarkana Witch Academy as she's constantly bullied by Endera-a fellow witchling and the daughter of a High Witch-as well as her two cronies, Nelly and Glorian. However, Abigail finds a true friend in Hugo Suppermill, a Balfin boy who helped her when she was confronted by the trio in the swamp. From that day on, Abigail and Hugo find out more about her unusual blue witchfire, her parents, and the reason that someone in the academy is hell-bent on getting rid of her. Battling the tusky sneevils, creepy rathos, giant ravenous spiders, befriending the mighty Omera, and much more, The Blue Witch (The Witches of Orkney, Volume One) by Alane Adams is an exciting magical adventure of a young girl who's part of an old prophecy.

Intriguing and engaging from the start, Alane Adams's story ensures that her readers are treated with masterful and fun storytelling. The well-paced, streamlined plot and witty dialogue are complemented by Jonathan Stroh's monochrome illustrations that visualize the macabre but whimsical and enchanting world of the witches. It's nice to see the portrayals of the characters, the scenes, and the creatures - particularly the Omera. The Blue Witch explores the themes of bullying, persistence, courage, believing in oneself, and friendship. Even though it caters to middle graders, both young and adult readers will definitely enjoy this wonderful tale. I'm new to the world of Orkney, but I'm delighted to have discovered this series and have the privilege to read the standalone prequel. I look forward to reading more about Abigail and Hugo's adventure in The Rubicus Prophecy.

Kris Moger

What does a person do when their whole future depends on the ability to perform magic and all they can manage is a few sparks? In The Blue Witch, by Alane Adams, Abigail is a young girl living at a witch’s school. Since The Creche is built on the idea that witches have cold hearts, the teachers are strict and the other students are mean. With no friends, faulty magical skills, and mysterious parents, Abigail’s whole world seems uncertain. At least, that is until she meets a strange boy with a curiosity about magic and a glitch witch who seems to be hiding something. Then, things really fall apart.

The Blue Witch: The Witches of Orkney, Book One by Alane Adams is a fantasy novel built in the tradition of many books based around a school of magic. This book delivers an enjoyable story in a genre I find plenty of fun to read. Abigail’s journey to find her magic without turning her heart to ice is a terrific adventure filled with monsters, temptation, enemies, magic, and more. Adams creates vivid scenes and dialogue while keeping the plot moving at a good pace. Along the way, the author avoids the usual clichés and tropes that make the story predictable. All of the characters are well thought-out and appealing, even the ones I didn’t like -- some fictional people can be so mean. The Blue Witch also contains unique and appealing artwork that enhances the tale. I look forward to seeing where Abigail’s path leads her.

Jessica Barbosa

Parentless for as long as she can remember, Abigail struggles to fit in and find friends both in Creche and in Tarkana Academy. Her situation is made worse by her former friend now turned bully, Endera, whose personal goal was to make her life as miserable as possible. At Tarkana Academy, during one of her unfortunate dealings with Endera, Abigail meets a Balfin boy fascinated with magic, Hugo Suppermill, at the right time. Together, they discover exciting things about Abigail’s unique magic, unearth the mysteries surrounding her birth, and realize that the trials they faced were just the beginning.

The Blue Witch: The Witches of Orkney, Book One is the type of book young readers would clamor for more. It’s concise, fast-paced, unique, and overall just outstanding. Author Alane Adams managed to convey friendship, bravery, compassion, kindness and a lot more in this story and all without shying away from the mistakes her characters make. Adams turned her characters' mistakes into learning experiences that helped them grow and learn. An example is when Abigail accidentally sent Endera and her friends to the netherworld because she let her anger and power momentarily consume her. Adams showed the consequences of Abigail’s actions and gave her the opportunity to correct it. Adams’ characters developed in a way that challenged me to think and grow along with them.

From the characters’ differing personalities to the conflicts happening in the background and the forefront of the story, I felt there was never a dull moment. This book has all the ingredients of a good story: unforgettable characters, each with their own unique personality that makes them stand out; an interesting fantasy setting; and an easy-to-follow plot. I can see myself recommending this story to every young reader with a penchant for fantasy and adventure tales. This is truly an amazing, memorable book.

K.C. Finn

The Blue Witch is an immersive and magical work of fiction for children aged seven and up, penned by author Alane Adams. Book one of the Witches of Orkney series, this novel adds to the Legends of Orkney collection and the world already built by the author, this time introducing a prequel series to the original stories. We follow nine-year-old Abigail Tarkana on her journey to become an all-powerful witch, but at a time when her powers are barely coming through yet. When they do, they don’t quite seem to fit with what her fellow magic students can do, and questions begin to arise about Abigail’s origins, and where her magic really comes from.

Author Alane Adams has created a totally watertight world of lore, life, characters, and creativity that any child can step into and become totally immersed in. I enjoyed Abigail and her friends and enemies very much, each with their own talents and traits, and the plot elements of the tale follow along really nicely to reach an exciting and unexpected conclusion. But the real magic of Orkney lies in the worldbuilding and atmospheric writing talents of the author. Adams grips readers with witticisms, beautiful word choices and simple but effective writing, which is clean and clear for younger readers to enjoy, but also leaves plenty of lavish detail and deeper meaning for older readers, including adults, to really relish. I absolutely adored this book! Overall, The Blue Witch takes some fantastic and unusual elements of European mythology and elevates them to a superb level of fantasy adventure.