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Reviewed by Lit Amri for Readers' Favorite
Somewhere in South Bohemia, around the 16th century, 16-year-old Talitha has been charged with witchcraft and shunned by her people and her own family. She escapes to the abandoned Cursed Lands, hoping to find her grandmother, who also received the same harsh treatment years ago. In the deep woods, she starts to remember her ancestral lore of healing and magical symbolism and receives guidance on how to survive from the local spirits.
The Witch Within by Iva Kenaz is a quick, easy read. The prose is clear with some lyrical flair to it and the plot is interesting. It’s an engaging story and readers could easily root for Talitha and her plight for survival. Her escape to the Cursed Lands for freedom ends too soon, when she is captured by two brothers, Daniel and Nathaniel. Daniel is a brute who physically and verbally abused Talitha during her captivity, while Nathaniel is the kind one who shows mercy and is even attracted to her.
To my relief, Talitha manages to escape them and continues her journey until she finds a group of refugee women. Her time with the women is interesting. She’s fascinated by them, yet she’s quite desperate to leave and be alone again as she find their companionship and way of thinking can be overwhelming. Talitha is on the cusp of womanhood, therefore her inner conflict is remarkable to read. All the magic and runes in the story are intriguing, and I do wonder which ones have some historical pagan truth to them and which are fictitious. All in all, Iva Kenaz has written a captivating story.