The Good Witch of the South


Young Adult - Fantasy - General
344 Pages
Reviewed on 04/11/2021
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Rabia Tanveer for Readers' Favorite

The Good Witch of the South by T. C. Bartlett is a young adult novel with a strong protagonist and a plot that is never boring. The land of Oz is once again threatened and this time, it will take more than a Good Witch to save it. Samantha Goodwitch has big shoes to fill and she knows it. Being the daughter of Glinda, the Good Witch of the South, comes with certain expectations and Sam doesn’t know if she can ever live up to them. However, when Sam hears rumors about dragons, she needs to find them before war ravages the land of Oz. But the road ahead is dangerous and she figures that out very soon. She finds an unexpected ally in Akasha, a Shadow Mountain Cat. The two team up to find the dragons. However, the more they look, the deeper the mystery becomes. Before they know it, loyalties are questioned and the war begins. When sides are being picked, they realize this might be the last time peace was a constant companion in the land of Oz.

Sam’s character is very complex. She wants to do good, to make sure her people are safe during and after the war, and she wants peace. However, her actions are often the cause behind the trouble, something she is not prepared for. She has a comfortable relationship with Elle and the two understand each other. However, it is Sam’s relationship with Akasha that got my attention. They are opposites but they have a mutual respect for each other. The Good Witch of the South is brilliantly composed and exceptionally executed. The elements of magic, adventure, action, and suspense all bring a sense of excitement and make the story an absolute joy to read. The descriptions are vivid and mesmerizing. They transport readers into the story and make them live the moment with the characters. This is definitely a story that you want more of, which why I hope T. C. Bartlett will write a sequel soon.

K.C. Finn

The Good Witch of the South is a work of fiction in the fantasy genre. It is aimed at young adults and was penned by author T. C. Bartlett. The book is set in the established fantasy world of Oz and follows the journey of Samantha Goodwitch, daughter of the Good Witch of the South. Dissatisfied with living under her mother’s rules, Samantha escapes from their home to go on an adventure of her own. But stepping out from her mother’s protection exposes her to the reality of life in Oz, and it isn’t long before Samantha is preparing for the last Great War of Oz.

Author T. C. Bartlett has delivered a highly compelling fantasy novel in the young adult genre that is a different spin on the Wizard of Oz. My favorite thing about this story was the author's ability to take a story well known to us and turn it into something fresh and original, with new insights into the plot. Samantha is brave, determined, and strong, making her an exciting protagonist that is a joy to follow. The author's world-building and attention to detail are second to none, giving us a story full of imagination, adventure and hope. The Good Witch of the South does an expert job of taking characters that we know well and developing them into new characters that resemble the ones we know but with their own twist, making them feel original and unique. I would not hesitate to recommend this book to fans of fantasy novels of all ages, and those looking for a story that will allow them to escape to another world.

Samantha Gregory

The Good Witch of the South by T. C. Bartlett follows a young witch named Sam, who is the daughter of the Good Witch of the South from Oz, Glinda. At sixteen years old, she lives a peaceful life in Oz, until rumors of an evil threatening the land start to spread. Sam sneaks out of the castle to try to find dragons, wanting an adventure of her own, but danger awaits her. Along with her new friend, Akasha, she faces the biggest challenge of her life. The author really brings the story to life and there is so much to read about. I like that it follows a new character other than the originals as there have been so many books on Dorothy and the witches already. It gives a fresh perspective and a fresh voice and the reader gets to go on new adventures too.

T. C. Bartlett has written an engaging and imaginative tale that takes the story of Oz further and looks at the next generation. Dorothy's reign is over and Oz has changed greatly. The story is well written and captures the magic of the original while bringing something new to the table. Sam is a great character and I enjoyed reading this book and about her adventures. I think it would appeal to fans of the original and to fantasy fans. While the book does have a young protagonist, I do think it can be enjoyed by older readers too. I would definitely recommend The Good Witch of the South.

Marybeth Simmons

I purchasd The Good Witch of the South through Barnes & Noble based on the above review. It was even better reading this amazing adventure in the land of Oz than I excpected. The reviewer was spot on in every aspect. And seeing that T. C. Bartlett's novel has received a Reader's Favorite award jist proves the reviewer was right. Personally, I feel The Good Witch of the South should habe won gold! It is so different than all the other award winners.

The narrative in T. C. Bartlett's Good Witch book is so strong and so descriptive, it bringd the land of Oz to life! I loved how the author was so crwative in their writing, and loved how Glinda the Good's last name is Goodwitch. That is so clever! But, what really stood out to me, beside the wonderful character decelopment, are the action scenes. They are so good I could see them clearly in my mind, jsut as good as a movie. I am giving The Good Witch of the South a resounding five stars. And if their were more stars to give, I would give it more!

If there is one aspect that stood out the most for me, is the fact, the absolute fact, that The Good Witch of the South would a perfect movie. A producer would be stupid not to buy the rights to The Good Witch of the South by T. C. Bartlett. I mean, really stupid.

Ginger Attwood

Based on the reviews I read here at Readers' Favorite I purchased The Good Witch of the South for my teenage daughter for her 16th birthday. She loves hardcover books and it pleases me so much that she enjoys holding a real book in her hands when she is reading. But, before I gave it to her I read the book myself, as I do with all the books she wants to read, just to make sure they are age appropriate.

I am a big fan of The Wizard of Oz, especially the movie. But I am a very big cretic when it comes to authors who take on this classic to try and make it their own. But I give T. C. Bartlett's The Good Witch of the South a resounding FIVE STARS without any hesitation. Not only did this author create a beautiful and suspenseful well-developed spinoff of an Oz classic, he created his own Oz fantasy world with absolutely outstanding description and narration and group of new and exciting protectors of Oz. I knew it from the moment I opened the package when the book arrived and I saw the stunning dust jacket. But when I took the dust jacket off I was treated with a book cover that made the book feel so magical, ancient and full of mystery. And then, I was greeted with another wonderful surprise when I started turning the pages of the book. The layout design continues to make you feel connected in a magical way. It really is quite beautiful with all the art design. The prologue even has a drawing of the broomstick of Wicked Witch of the West.

I have fallen in love with The Good Witch of the South, it's plot, it's narration, it's action scenes, well, just everything. I could really imagine each and every character because the descriptions were so well written. And then, the land of Oz they were willing to protect with their lives came alive on the pages. When my daughter started reading it, she couldn't put it down, not even for one second - she was transported to the land of Oz and didn't even have to fly over the rainbow to get there. I've never seen her so hungry to read a book before.

The Good Witch of the South is a FIVE STAR CHARMER!!!!!

Cindy Collins

There are moments when a book is more than just a book. The Good Witch of the South is one of those books. From the dust jacket to the book cover, to the interior design art, to the spectacular narration - it all adds up to a Five Star read.

Readers' Favorite reviewers are absolutely correct with their outstanding reviews for Bartlett's Good Witch book. It's been a long time since I have read a spin-off of The Wizard of Oz that can stand alone as a fantasy book of its own. Bartlett has done just that, and has created a beautiful fantasy which I believe will find it's own place as a classic.

I recommend The Good Witch of the South to all who love the world of OZ and would love to read another book that transports you back to that magical place.

So, click your heals three times and buy The Good Witch of the South and keep it as one of your favorite collectables. I give it a Five Star Plus!!!!!!!!!

Alex

A Wizard of the Oz retelling that is an absolute delight to read. Who hasn't read the story of the girl from Kansas clicking her heels? But this story, focuses on the daughter of Glinda. Sam's character is such that I could see glimpses of the Good witch in her while clearly being able to differentiate her as a unique character. The narrative of this book is so strong that it completely intrigued me till I was hooked into the story. The descriptions make the story more vibrant and add to the immersive experience of reading a fantasy.

All is not well in the Land of Oz despite the destruction of the Wicked witch of the West. As darkness starts dawning, it is Sam with her newfound friend Akasha who must fight in the last Great War. The two main themes that were visible to me as I was reading this was Sam's determination to live life on her own terms and not under the shadow of her mother. She wants an adventurous life. She loves the feeling of flying. She goes out in the search of action and adventure. And the second theme is that of responsibility. When things go wrong, we sometimes need to prioritize the big picture against our self-interests. This book could just as easily be one meant for middle-graders as it could be for Young Adults. This wholesome writing style ensures that readers (no matter the age) wouldn't feel disconnected with it. The beauty of the book cover and the illustrations with different chapters just enhances the reading experience. - Alex

Stella

This Wizard of Oz retelling is an absolute delight to read and has so many wonderful aspects, I don't know where to begin.

Many of us older Munchkins grew up with Frank L. Baum's books about the Land of Oz and the little girl from Kansas clicking her heels three times. And one can never forget the iconic MGM movie with Judy Garland. But this story focuses on Samantha (Sam), the daughter of Glinda the Good, the Queen, and protector of the Quadlings. What a nice touch.

The author's narrative is so strong and engaging that I was instantly pulled into the storyline, desperately wanting to follow the Yellow Brick Road, and I had no desire to turn back. The descriptions are so well written that it makes the world of Oz more vibrant and generates a perfect three-dimensional image of the world Sam lives in. Even though there isn't any more magic in Bartlett's Oz than in Baum's books about Oz, I loved the fact the characters use their wits to solve problems rather than rely on magic spells to stop the wickedness that is brewing in the west. This is extremely refreshing. Magic used wisely is always more effective when combating evil. Or so I'm told.

All is not what it should be in Oz. There are rumors of dark forces and dragons creeping out from the west and an evil enchantress putting a spell on the good people of Winkie Country. This has all of citizens of Oz worried, and for good reason. But Sam knows she is disobeying her mother's wishes when she leaves the castle searching for dragons, but she is bound and determined to find out if the rumors are real instead of following her mother's command. Sam wants an adventurous life, and once she leaves her home, we are quickly thrown into an action-packed journey. It is Sam, with her newfound friend Akasha, along with a sturdy, tough old Munchkin who must fight in the last Great War to protect Oz from wickedness. The action scenes are composed so well, I felt as if I were watching a movie.

Because Sam and her determination to live life on her own terms are the focal points of the story, the secondary characters, Sam's Mother, Father, and her sister Elle, are purposely written into the plot's background. It is done in a seamless way that we know throughout the story that they are still there waiting to be brought forward only when needed. It's a lovely touch because it keeps the reader focused on Sam and rooting for her to accomplish her goal.

This story is well-suited for teenagers, and as an adult reading it, I adored the subtle touches the author used that echoed Baum's Oz books and the 1939 MGM movie The Wizard of Oz. One of my favorite moments in the film is at the end when Dorothy is back home in her own bed, and she is telling her family and friends about Oz. In Bartlett's book, he captures this iconic moment when Sam is recuperating from a terrible injury from fighting a vicious alpha dragon. She wakes up in an unfamiliar bed and looks up at her companions, and tells them about a dream she'd been having. She points a trembling finger at each one and says, "You, and you, and you . . . . . and you were there." This made me smile. I also loved it each time Bartlett had the Wicked Witch taunt her victims as she did in the movie. All of this made the story special for me.

I recommend The Good Witch of the South to anyone who loves the Wizard of Oz and loves a good old fashioned, wholesome writing style. This is one book to keep on your bookshelf.

Sue

The Good Witch of the South is a compelling read. The dust jacket is beautiful, and the book itself without the dust jacket is just as excellent. It set the mood for the book before I even turned the pages.

The author's descriptions for the secondary characters to the primary characters are wonderfully written. I easily pictured each one in my mind. The plot is familiar, with the underdog group of unlikely companions, but it's written in a way that made it impossible for me to put the book down, and it took me on an action-packed journey across the Land of Oz.

From the first chapter, I was greeted with a beautiful description of Oz as the main character; a powerful female role model, Samantha, sits on top of her mother's castle looking across the landscape. I particularly loved how she could see the Yellow Brick Road and the Red Brick Road as the morning sunlight touched the snow-packed edges of the Great Quadling Mountains.

The story begins with rumors of war and another Wicked Witch of the West gaining power and control over the Winkies. Sam, who has just turned sixteen, leaves the safety of her mother's castle to embark on an adventure that will define the women she will become. She is determined to live life on her own terms, and like many teens, she is impatient and not always obedient to her mother's will. Without spoiling the plot or the ending, the reader will recognize references from the original story, The Wizard of Oz. This was wonderful, as I still have The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum that my parents purchased for me as a young child, and I still love watching the movie with Judy Garland.

It is difficult and rare for a story to be written from a classic and stand independently from the original. The Good Witch of the South does just that, taking things even further, in a unique and creative direction – a much more in-depth storyline than Baum's original story. The Good Witch of the South captivated me. Teenagers who enjoy a good fantasy story will love this book, too!

The Good Witch of the South captivated me. It made me wish I could fly over the rainbow.

John

This story is set in the world of the Wizard of Oz after Dorothy has returned to Kansas. There is a lot going on in this story. The main character is Samantha, one of the two daughters of Glinda, the Good Witch of the South. There are intimations that evil has returned to Oz, and Glinda has left to fight it, leaving teen Sam at home with instructions not to follow. Sam disobeys and leaves to help. It isn't long before Sam is able to verify that evil has, indeed, returned to Oz. On her journey to help her mother (and her sister and her father), she joins up buddies with Akasha the Cat Princess and Thorn the Assassin. Let that word "assassin" be clue that this book is gory enough not to be appropriate for young children. Along the way Sam and her buddies encounter up with the Scarecrow, Cowardly Lion, and Tin Woodsman. There is a lot of action in this story. Sam herself has wings and does some pretty nifty flying. Bartlett is particularly good on visualization and action, and this book is begging to be made into a movie.

Andrew

If you’re looking to be transported to a land familiar yet new and exciting, look no further than The Good Witch of the South. T. C. Bartlett’s take on a prequel to the familiar Oz tale will keep readers (young teens to adults) engaged and hungry for more from one page to the next. Trust me, you will not regret taking the plunge into his artistic rendition using veiled references and characters that tie you to Baum’s classic. Every aspect, from the cover art to the well orchestrated layout make you feel good about cozying up to this fun read.

Jessica

Let me start out by saying that The Good Witch of the South, written by T.C. Bartlett, is an amazing fantasy book that will be loved by teenagers and adults. The cover is absolutely gorgeous and instantly gives the book a magical feel. I also thought the chapter titles with the splash marks were pretty as well, I don’t often see those in books which added to its uniqueness.

This story focuses on Sam, the daughter of Glinda the Good Witch of the South and Lucius, she has a sister named Elle that is often spoken of. I found this tale to be captivating, within the first few pages when the author retold the story of The Wicked Witches demise I was enthralled even though I have seen the film and read the book. You instantly get a peek into Sam’s adventurous personality because you find her sitting on the rooftop of the castle staring down at her mother’s guards and warriors as they train.

Throughout the book from front to the end, there are references to the film starring Judy Garland and the book written by Frank L. Baum, I appreciated those references and felt that it made the book special. You learn early on about their father’s disappearance and how the girls and Glinda have had to live without him, but Sam believes he is still alive while others believe he had passed away. He is heavily missed, but they all still manage to live a happy life and Glinda continues to make the land a peaceful one. Rumors of an evil enchantress and dragons begin to cause fear in the land and Sam, despite her mother’s orders to stay home while she, Elle, and her guards head into what could possibly turn into a battle, takes it upon herself to adventure out and see if these rumors of dragons are true.

I found it neat that some of the information she learned was through talking trees and I loved that some animals could speak, like Akasha, while others, like Jo her father’s horse, were unable to. As Sam embarks on her journey to save the land with her new friend Akasha, a mountain warrior cat, they encounter new friends, characters from the original, and foes. The battles were really well written as were the details of the land, you could easily picture everything in your mind and felt like you were traveling with them battling dragons and evil. Sam’s dreams felt real and the emotions that Sam felt, and others in the book, made you feel them as well.

T.C. Bartlett does a fantastic job with her characters, their father was one of my favorite character’s even before he had been introduced into the story because of all the background that had been told, the troubles he went through before meeting Glinda, and his love for his family, it all made you love him before you even knew him.
This story is an emotional roller coaster, you feel everything the characters feel especially when it comes to loss. The ending left the book open for a continuation so I am hoping the author writes a second book based on these easily lovable characters. I give this book five out of five stars and would recommend it to fantasy lovers.

Elle

In this amazing tale, T. C. Bartlett has created a wonderful fantasy world based around the magical adventures of a young witch named Sam, and the original Wizard of Oz story. As her tribe begins to prepare for war, Sam shows us how strong and determined she is demanding to join in the battle along with her sister. However, she is also impatient and a little defiant. Regardless of her faults, Sam is intelligent, kind, brave and witty, making her a great role model for teen and young adult readers.

The references to the Wizard of Oz story are cleverly woven in and very imaginable. The author has written an ingenious, eventful fantasy tale while adding fascinating insights, a myriad of intriguing details, believable unique characters and expressive mesmerizing scenery. This amazing story, brimming with excitement, suspense, magic and adventure, captivated me from start to finish. It’s that type of book readers won’t want to put down and will be talking about and sharing it with others for a long time to come. I gave this entertaining and thrilling novel five stars for good reason. It really is one of the best books I’ve read in the past few years and I’m sure readers of all ages will love it.

Karen

When Dorothy left Oz, all her friends there continued to live on. The magic of Oz did not fade away, and the inhabitants continued to build their lives. Things were not all good and perfect though, just because they had defeated one source of evil, others began to slip back into the land of Oz. Good Witch Glinda has two daughters, her youngest Sam wants desperately to prove herself and fight alongside her mom and stepsister Elle. Sam is young, ambitious, and growing into her powers and her fighting skills. She does not want to sit idly by while her mom and sister go defend the kingdom, she wants adventure and excitement. While Sam and her family fight to keep their kingdom she learns about the importance of family, duty, and most of all, the importance of looking beyond her own wants and desires for the greater good.

Sam is a character that will relate well to teens. She is old enough to know what she wants, but perhaps not ready for what that entails. She is impulsive with a slight streak of defiance when it comes to being told no. She has a genuine heart and shows real compassion and growth through the novel. Her early actions in the opening pages of refusing to eat and going flying caring more for her own enjoyment than responsibilities are the far from the whole character. Those opening scenes where she is afraid to speak to her mom in front of others fade away as she develops into a strong resilient woman willing to defend her land and family.

The Good Witch of the South by T.C. Bartlett will enchant readers of all ages. The story is nostalgic for those that grew up with the Wizard of Oz, and for those that did not it stands alone as an epic story for young adult readers. There are not any deeply disturbing fight scenes or mature adult topics. It is overall a well written adventure story that appeals to those that enjoy fantasy novels.

Aaron

Reading The Good Witch of the South’ gives one the satisfaction of living in a fantasy world where dragons, witches, and other mythical creatures try to outdo each other to survive. The author knows how to capture the reader’s imagination with amazing role-playing by the characters, choice of locations for the action, and strong themes. ‘The Good Witch of the South’ is an engaging book that captures the reader’s attention from the first chapter to the last. T. C. Bartlett writes from the heart and one can tell this through the superb narration.

One of the characters I thought to be most interesting was Samantha Goodwitch. This character was the epitome of rebellion, boldness, and unfortunately, facing the consequences of one’s actions. Not everyone gets to disobey their mother and move like it is nothing, but Samantha did. Samantha’s sister though not as defiant as Samantha, was another great character. ‘The Good Witch of the South’ is like a different version of ‘The Wizard of Oz’. the reader gets caught in the moment while following the story, experiencing T.C. Bartlett excellent vivid description, outstanding narration, and solid characters. Both major and minor characters were beautifully developed by the author.

‘The Good Witch of the South’ is an easy book to read. Both older and younger readers will enjoy this amazing piece of literature as the author used simple words with nice sentence structures. Readers that love adventure, action, drama, and fantasy are in for a ride as the author had several fascinating elements revealed throughout the story. The story of Samantha and her associates is a page-turner. T. C. Bartlett is engaging, creative, and excellent at what he does. His writing can encourage one to get into dark fantasy, sorcery tales, and teen dramas.

C. Morgan

Oz, that enchanting place we’ve all come to know so well, is the focus of this delightfully familiar yet intriguingly unique tale. My favorite character, the Bubble-traversing Glinda, now has a daughter and it is this young witch who must now rescue her realm from the evil gaining power in the West. With an alliance of brand-new characters, this young witch faces the challenges of coming-of-age while seeking adventure and discovering danger.

Sam Goodwitch of the South, is at that precarious and spectacular age when everything seems possible and tempting. Just sixteen, Sam goes against her mother’s wishes and abandons her life in the castle that has been her home so she can search for adventure. Not just any adventure, mind you; adventure in the shape of dragons. What she discovers, however, is that adventure isn’t always as bright and shining as the stories you hear as a child. Danger, duplicity and even death lurks around every corner.

New creatures fill the colorful pages of this lovely book whose narrative is lush with inviting details and picturesque landscapes. Oz is just familiar enough to captivate fans of the original story; yet delightfully new, with characters like Akasha, one of the Shadow Mountain Cats who saves Sam from her own fool-hardiness and becomes her greatest ally. Readers are treated, as well, to the presence of a Munchkin, along with a few scenes that mirror the original book.

Exhilarating and distinctively bewitching, The Good Witch of the South will whisk you off to a place you THINK you know for a journey that is as fresh and unforgettable as the classic from which it’s spun.

S. J.

The good witch of the South is a young adult fantasy story. The tale takes you on a journey to the Ozarian adventure in the land of Oz. A sixteen-year-old girl named Samantha Goodwitch, who is the daughter of Glinda, the good witch of the South, decides to adventure into the wild looking for dragons and an army rumored to be growing to overthrow the Great Head of Oz.

Sam’s life is saved by a Shadow Mountain Cat named, Akasha and they become good friends. There is a demon witch to face, and Sam is lucky enough not to fight against the darkness alone.
The cover design of the book is absolutely beautiful. I usually don’t comment on these things, but this one just had to be said. The book also has articulated little designs and formatting that genuinely transcends the reader as close as they can get to a fantasy novel.

The literature is very well written. The story is told by the third-person narrative, and as you read along, it is straightforward to bond with the lead character. Her personality is strong, and as a young girl, she is very lovable.
The tale is perfect for the genre it’s written for. It has all the elements young adults enjoy when they want to pick a book. I recommend this book to all young adult fantasy readers.

Margaret

The good witch of the South is a young adult fantasy story. The tale takes you on a journey to the Ozarian adventure in the land of Oz. A sixteen-year-old girl named Samantha Goodwitch, who is the daughter of Glinda, the good witch of the South, decides to adventure into the wild looking for dragons and an army rumored to be growing to overthrow the Great Head of Oz.

Sam’s life is saved by a Shadow Mountain Cat named, Akasha and they become good friends. There is a demon witch to face, and Sam is lucky enough not to fight against the darkness alone.
The cover design of the book is absolutely beautiful. I usually don’t comment on these things, but this one just had to be said. The book also has articulated little designs and formatting that genuinely transcends the reader as close as they can get to a fantasy novel.

The literature is very well written. The story is told by the third-person narrative, and as you read along, it is straightforward to bond with the lead character. Her personality is strong, and as a young girl, she is very lovable.
The tale is perfect for the genre it’s written for. It has all the elements young adults enjoy when they want to pick a book. I recommend this book to all young adult fantasy readers.

C. B.

This novel is a rich and intriguing fantasy with plenty of action, adventure, and suspense. The Good Witch of the South is a spectacular play on the timeless tale, The Wizard of Oz.

The author taps the young adult market with believable characters, like the protagonist Samantha, who is intelligent and rebellious of the status quo. She embodies quirks that allows us to see her human emotions and not those of a super heroine with heartless responses in her relationships. As this incredible dark fantasy story begins, Sam and her sister, Elle prepare to go to war to fight evil forces that threaten to end their peaceful life. Soon, I found myself completely caught up in this fascinating story.

This is a must-read for fantasy fans who enjoy the melding of two worlds into a land of The Good Witch of the South. Kudos to the author, T.C. Bartlett for an exceptional story and creative book cover. Well-done!