Wildwitch: Wildfire by Lene Kaaberbol. Book Review
Twelve-year-old Clara leads a very ordinary life, until the day she meets a huge black cat with glowing yellow eyes, who deliberately scratches her. Her mother behaves almost hysterically and quite rightly too, because before very long Clara begins to have some very strange and life-threatening experiences as she wanders into the mysterious Wildways and meets the evil Chimera.
This is the type of tale that will be very familiar to its readers; a young girl whose family background is that of white witches, whose mother tries to keep her away from her heritage. But Clara cannot escape who or what she is and so undergoes a voyage of discovery and an inevitable rite of passage.
That there are no real surprises through the book with regards to plot is no bad thing. Sometimes it is nice for a young reader to be able to curl up with the familiar and enjoy the way in which the story unfolds on this particular telling. The whole concept and style of writing is pitched just right for the mid-grade reader who wants to become immersed into a mysterious world, but doesn’t want to struggle with one complex concept after another or with an overwhelming amount of complicated, new words. The story is told simply and does not make heavy weather of the world building, which is done in a way that eases the reader into Carla’s new life.
This book charms the reader (even this very much older reviewer, who suspects she will invest in a copy for the occasional ‘comfort read’). Wildwitch: Wildfire also has the right amount of scary from the evil Chimera and the reassurance of a wonderfully supportive and colourful group of witches who must eventually stand on the sidelines, unable to help Carla while she undergoes what are life-threatening tests to overcome the witches’ foe.
Wildwitch: Wildfire is the type of book that can be read to a young person more than once, with the adult reader finding as much enjoyment as their audience, from the characters which inhabit it and the way the story is told.
Wildwitch: Wildfire was courtesy of Pushkin Press via NetGalley