Author: Amber Argyle
Published Date: September 2011
Publisher: Rhemalda Publishing
Softcover and Kindle; 325 pages
Genre: YA Fantasy
FTC FYI: I received an ARC in PDF form that did not affect my review.
The world is changing. Once, Witch Song controlled everything from the winds to the shifting of the seasons-but not anymore. All the Witches are gone, taken captive by a traitor. All but Brusenna. As the echo of their songs fade, the traitor grows stronger. Now she is coming for Brusenna. Her guardian has sworn to protect her, but even he can’t stop the Dark Witch. Somehow, Brusenna has to succeed where every other Witch has failed. Find the traitor. Fight her. Defeat her. Because if Brusenna doesn’t, there won’t be anything left to save.
I have been looking forward to reading and reviewing Witch Song since I read a sneak peak of the first chapter months ago.
I liked Brusenna (aka Senna) and enjoyed getting to know her better. She is young (14 years old at the start), and knows next to nothing about the witchcraft the villagers accuse her of practicing. She and her mother, Sacra, live hidden in the nearby forest, maintaining a simple and secret life away from those who would harm them.
Hoping to protect her daughter, Sacra keeps Brusenna ignorant of the larger world of witches, telling her only the very basics of what she needs to know. When another witch, Coyel, arrives to beg for her mother’s help in defeating the Dark Witch, Espen, everything Brusenna has ever known begins to change and she finds herself on her own for the first time in her life.
With the help of friends like Bruke, her large canine companion, and Joshen, the young man who wants to be assigned as her official Guardian, Brusenna sets out to learn what she needs to do to defeat the Dark Witch and release her mother.
There is so much more to this story that there isn’t space in this review to cover even part of it. Those who like stories of fantasy, a bit of clean romance and unexpected heroes overcoming evil will really enjoy Witch Song.
Witch Song has some great villians, including Wardof, an attractive witch hunter who has the power of the Dark Witch behind him. Every time he is caught, Espen helps him escape. He is obsessed with capturing Brusenna. There are several serious moments involving Wardof, and a few humorous ones as well.
One thing I found myself wishing for was a better portrayal of Brusenna’s time on the island, Haven, where she studied by herself for a year to become the witch she would need to be. I would have liked to have felt the passage of time a little more consistently. Also, I really wanted to see more of Brusenna’s successes and failures in her efforts to learn the spells and potions she needed to know. I wanted to have some confidence in Brusenna’s ability to hold her own against Espen even if Brusenna didn’t feel it herself, and I never really felt that.
I really liked Joshen and that Amber kept the romance clean. There are a few heart-wrenching scenes involving Joshen and Brusenna that held a lot of emotion.
There is violence (not gory) and death. Obviously there is use of spells and potions. No bad language that I can recall. There is mention of Brusenna’s shyness at being naked after a bath in front of another woman (modesty is promoted). After Joshen and Brusenna’s relationship has moved to kissing, a chapter begins by saying that Brusenna wanted more but Joshen stopped them (there are no details).
I give Witch Song 3.75 stars out of 5. Witch Song is Amber’s debut novel and I’m looking forward to reading more from her. I would recommend Witch Song to readers 14+.
Below is the book trailer for Witch Song: