Reviewed by: ?wazithinkin
Genre: Fantasy/ Young Adult
Approximate word count: 50-55,000 words
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Thea Atkinson has been an editor, a freelancer, and a teacher, but fiction is her passion. She writes character driven fiction and describes her work “to the left of mainstream.” “Her characters often find themselves in the darker edges of their own spirits but ultimately manage to find the light they seek.” Find out more about Thea Atkinson on her website or at her blog.
“When a witch can't control her own power, others will try to control her.” Alaysha is a unique witch raised by an emotionally distant father who uses her as a weapon to gain more land and control his subjects. She is raised in isolation and taught to view people only as targets. Fear brings her devastating power forth, which she can barely control, so she has learned to separate herself from her emotions. When one villager escapes from her power, her father orders her to track him down. Alaysha uses this opportunity to escape her father and try to find her place in this world.
In this character driven story of a young Water Witch coming of age story we are given insight into Alaysha’s inner thoughts and fears. However, a lot of the story is third person narrative. She has been manipulated her whole life and doesn’t consider herself a person of any worth, she is just a tool of war. Taken from her mother at a young age and raised captive by her overbearing and uncaring father she was seasoned for battle. When she learns the village she just decimated was the last of her mother’s tribe she is ordered to hunt down the one who escaped the devastation she caused. Being temporarily out from under her father’s control she seeks to discover information about herself from Yenic, who was magically protected by his tribe. They both feel an attraction to each other and he has offered to teach Alaysha to control her powers.
This is a unique story with an interesting set of characters that are well drawn. Ms. Askinson does an excellent job painting us a picture of her world in this fantasy. The plot moves at a steady pace, but the author was hesitant to give us too much detail at one time, I was often left wanting more. Towards the end we are shown a more honest picture, or perhaps just a different view, of the relationship between Alaysha and her father, Yuri. As a result I was left with more questions than answers. It seems we have only been given a view through the eyes of a rebellious teenager. I felt a little duped by the narrator, but it does add an interesting twist to the whole story. While there is no real cliffhanger this story is not complete. If you are interested to find out if Alaysha finally learns how to control her power, or how the relationship between Alaysha and Yenic turns out you will have to read the next book.
A small number of proofing errors.
Rating: **** Four stars