cover image The Hawkweed Prophecy

The Hawkweed Prophecy

Irena Brignull. Weinstein, $18 (368p) ISBN 978-1-60286-300-2

Brignull, a British screenwriter whose credits include the upcoming film adaptation of The Little Prince, debuts with an instantly engrossing novel about two girls—one a witch, destined to be queen, the other a human “chaff”—who are magically switched at birth. Poppy, raised a chaff, and Ember, raised a witch, endure lonely childhoods, unable to fit in with their families or peers, always the odd girl out. After a chance meeting in the woods, the girls find solace in each other but are driven apart by a homeless boy named Leo, who captures their hearts. Brignull’s prose starts with a simmer and burns brighter as the relationships among these three teens grow increasingly complicated and intricate. Even though readers are aware of the girls’ shared circumstances from the start, the revelations are captivating as Brignull unspools the details of the shocking truths around them. It’s a fantasy with the air of a classic, yet one that’s also entirely contemporary in its tight focus on identity, friendship, and romance. Ages 12–up. Agent: Catherine Clarke, Felicity Bryan Associates. (Sept.)