ARC Review: The Nature of Witches by Rachel Griffin
The Nature of Witches is pitched as Practical Magic meets Twister, and goodness does it deliver! Action-packed but full of heart, it’s a love letter to nature and a journey to loving yourself and I adored this debut fantasy so much. There’s still time to pre-order a copy and help combat climate change — a tree will be planted for every book preordered!
About The Nature of Witches
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire | Release Date: June 1, 2021 | Pages: 362
Age Range: Young Adult | Genre: Contemporary Fantasy | Format: eBook | Source: Edelweiss*
In Autumn, Clara wants nothing to do with her power. It’s wild and volatile, and the price of her magic―losing the ones she loves―is too high, despite the need to control the increasingly dangerous weather.
In Winter, the world is on the precipice of disaster. Fires burn, storms rage, and Clara accepts that she’s the only one who can make a difference.
In Spring, she falls for Sang, the witch training her. As her magic grows, so do her feelings, until she’s terrified Sang will be the next one she loses.
In Summer, Clara must choose between her power and her happiness, her duty and the people she loves… before she loses Sang, her magic, and thrusts the world into chaos.
Practical Magic meets Twister in this debut contemporary fantasy standalone about heartbreaking power, the terror of our collapsing atmosphere, and the ways we unknowingly change our fate.
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Read an Excerpt
climate change, death, depictions of grief, isolation, loss of a loved one, trauma
My Review for The Nature of Witches
Beautiful and engaging right from the beginning, The Nature of Witches drew me into the narrative with its prose and tone. You know how some books are just so beautiful that you want to have a copy to hold and look at lovingly? I knew this book was going to I placed a pre-order of the book after finishing the first chapter.
“Winter is the truest of the seasons. It’s what remains after everything else is stripped away. The leaves fall. The colors fade. The branches get brittle. And if you can love the earth, understand it when all the beauty is gone and see it for what it is, that’s magic.”
This book is truly a love letter to nature in all its forms, and each season has a section of the narrative. I loved the fast-paced and descriptive narrative, I not only could envision the scenes but also feel them. Told in the first person perspective of 17 year old Clara, it feels deeply personal – almost like reading a diary. She’s got the weight of the world and the power to help, if only they could figure out how to control her magic and not hurt the people she loves. For the last year she’s lived alone in a small cabin in the woods and kept to herself.
“Realizing you love someone is like noticing you have a sunburn — you don’t know exactly when it happened, just that you were too exposed for too long. So I minimize my exposure. To Everyone.”
One thing that I’ll never grow tired of is the isolated character letting their guard down slowly over time and catching feelings. Bonus points when the character also learns to love themself in the process. Friends, Clara’s journey is such a beautiful one and we watch her blossom. It’s never fun to be alone with one’s thoughts, so sometimes Clara’s anxious worrying about things feels a little repetitive, but not in a way that ruined my reading experience.
“There’s nothing more powerful than being understood.”
Soft and supportive boys are the best and Sang is such a kind character. We all deserve people like him in our lives. I really enjoyed watching his and Clara’s relationship evolve over the seasons that they train together. His calm and genuine care helps Clara learn to trust — others, as well as herself. This botanist will capture the hearts of readers. Did I mention there’s yearning? Because there’s lots of yearning.
“You are the most magnificently disruptive thing that’s ever entered my life.”
I loved the worldbuilding, especially the way it builds upon our world. It is such a fun take on elemental magic that ties into the seasons, and personality traits often associated with the elements. The Nature of Witches is very much a contemporary book with magic and beyond the magic system things are largely left unexplained, which makes this an excellent read for those who struggle with high fantasy and heavy worldbuilding. I do wish the origin of witches was explained more because that’s the kind of reader that I am, but given this is Clara’s story and experiences it makes sense that it’s focused on school and her training.
Overall, I absolutely adored The Nature of Witches with its beautiful prose and characters. It’s got an important message about climate change and needing to take action, but it’s done in a way that it doesn’t take over the story, and honestly it makes me want to go frolic in a meadow. I also have the urge to learn the meaning of all flowers. I read the book in one sitting and the ending brought tears to my eyes and warmth to my heart, I wholeheartedly recommend that you add this one to your TBRs.
Pre-order a copy of The Nature of Witches and submit your receipt before June 1, 2021 to receive an exclusive art print and a signed bookplate! US and Canada only, sorry friends. ALL pre-orders placed, regardless of retailer, will have one tree planted as well!
Not only will you get the goodies and do some good for the environment, but you’ll be guaranteed to get one of the special, limited run printed case – exclusive to the first printing. Check out Rachel’s post for all the details.
No two readers experience a book in the same way; this was mine, but what about you?
💬 Have you read The Nature of Witches yet? If so, what are your thoughts?
💬 Did I convince you to add this book to your TBR?
💬 What are your favorite books about climate change? What should I add to my TBR?
Let’s go on another adventure together!