Witches Steeped in Gold

Ciannon Smart. HarperTeen, $18.99 (560p) ISBN 978-0-06-294598-3
Ancestral magic radiates throughout Smart’s Jamaican folklore–inspired YA debut, a dual narrative driven by grief and revenge. When her sister is killed in a sacrificial ceremony, 17-year-old Alumbrar witch Jazmyne Cariot vows to bring the island of Aiyca’s doyenne down. But Doyenne Cariot is her mother, who regularly sacrifices children to protect the island, and who murdered the previous royal family, the Adairs, a decade before, taking the crown for herself. Having hidden her identity since that coup, 18-year-old Obeah witch Iraya Adair, sole survivor and rightful heir to the throne, is released from prison, also planning to kill Doyenne Cariot. Recognizing that they share a common goal, Jazmyne and Iraya reluctantly ally themselves: Jazmyne seeks to avenge the death of her sister and innocent Alumbrar children, while Iraya wants justice for her slaughtered family and Obeah everywhere. Reminiscent of A Song of Wraiths and Ruin, Smart’s ornate world succeeds in its fantastical backdrops and frequent action. Though it grows increasingly meandering after an electric start, the story clearly navigates the intricacies of maintaining power and respect while singing the necessities of honor and trust. Ages 14–up. Agent: Taylor Haggerty, Root Literary. (Apr.)
Reviewed on : 02/18/2021
Release date: 04/20/2021
Genre: Children's
Ebook - 560 pages - 978-0-06-294600-3
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