When Rowan Middlebrook left Secret Hallow for college, she swore she would never return home. Her magic is too dangerous for her to control.
But Nana Winterblossom has asked for Rowan’s help saving The Elder Tree. If it dies, there can be no magic in Secret Hallow at all. Rowan's family has cared for the coven for generations. She has no choice but to help, even though she'll have to resist the urge to embrace her witchy heritage.
As soon as Rowan returns, she meets the new warlock in Secret Hallow: Caedmon McFarland, who thinks he’s going to take over the coven by marrying Rowan, despite the fact they’ve never met before. Between dodging arranged marriage and trying to save The Elder Tree, Rowan is remembering how much she loved being a witch among her coven - if only she could find a little control.
After all, you can take the witch out of the magic, but you can't take the magic out of the witch.
Kathryn - 2.5 Star
I can see myself getting into this series but I did find this first installment a bit difficult. It was initially tricky to sort out the various magical abilities. Much like any fantasy series there were new terms and new characters that don’t only relate to each other but have additional powers that you need to keep straight.
I wish the novel had been longer because there were a number of members whom I felt didn’t get enough background information for me to feel their link to Rowan. Though Rowan was well described and you got a good understanding for her, there were the Ash sisters for example that I was a bit confused about. Are they Rowan’s sisters? They seemed to behave as if they were but they didn’t have much link to her within the novel?
I was also confused by Rowan’s relationship with Orianna- we were given the impression that they were really close but they hadn’t communicated in the four years Rowan left to go to college outside of the village? That was tricky for me because the female characters should have an established bond which I didn’t feel until the end of this novel. I was also taken aback by the assumption that Rowan should marry a complete stranger to save the village- he was in himself a bizarre character- his personality flip-flopped from completely unpleasant to mildly endearing but I loved Garrett immensely- I think if you don’t then you must have missed something. He seemed like he could be Rowan’s dream man.
Overall I found the novel interesting but felt something was missing to make me fall in love. I would likely read the next one in the series (should it be offered) though as I’m curious about what happens next. I think it could have used more time and more in depth setting of the scene to really get my attention.
Thank you to Masterful Books for our review copy. All opinions are our own.
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