What to Read After… Look Up! 20/09/21
The Witch's Boy
Ned lives with his parents in a village on one side of the Deadly Forest, and Aine lives with her bandit father on the other in the land of Duunin. Ned’s mother, called Sister Witch in her community, owns a pot of magic which she keeps under control, hidden away in the house and only used when strictly necessary, because the magic is dangerous and unpredictable, and takes a toll on its user.
Yet when Aine’s father, the Bandit King, learns of the magic, he comes to take it and Ned, alone with the magic, takes matters into his own hands and absorbs the magic into himself, where it burns and moves on his skin. Ned is now a powerful being, but the magic is not particularly fond of being virtuous. With Aine’s help, he must try and control it with words, but controlling an ages-old power is no easy task…
A classic fantasy tour de force, this riveting adventure story is deep with meaning and yet an accessible read, both intelligent and fun and with beautiful writing that never gets in the way of the plot. Vulnerable Ned and brave, clever Aine are excellent characters to root for, and their struggle to control something ancient and powerful (that the adults around them have failed to do) makes for compelling reading.