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The Black Witch

An Epic Fantasy Novel

This book can be downloaded and read in iBooks on your Mac or iOS device.


Critics are raving about Laurie Forests incredible debut, The Black Witch:

"Elloren learns to question authority and Gardnerian history, while developing real empathy for different races and species. Forest uses a richly imagined magical world to offer an uncompromising condemnation of prejudice and injustice." —Booklist, starred review

"Exquisite character work, an elaborate mythology, and a spectacularly rendered universe make this a noteworthy debut, which argues passionately against fascism and xenophobia." —Publishers Weekly, starred review

"This briskly paced, tightly plotted novel enacts the transformative power of education, creating engaging characters set in a rich alternative universe with a complicated history that can help us better understand our own." —Kirkus Reviews, starred review

A new Black Witch will rise…her powers vast beyond imagining.

Elloren Gardner is the granddaughter of the last prophesied Black Witch, Carnissa Gardner, who drove back the enemy forces and saved the Gardnerian people during the Realm War. But while she is the absolute spitting image of her famous grandmother, Elloren is utterly devoid of power in a society that prizes magical ability above all else.

When she is granted the opportunity to pursue her lifelong dream of becoming an apothecary, Elloren joins her brothers at the prestigious Verpax University to embrace a destiny of her own, free from the shadow of her grandmother's legacy. But she soon realizes that the university, which admits all manner of people—including the fire-wielding, winged Icarals, the sworn enemies of all Gardnerians—is a treacherous place for the granddaughter of the Black Witch.

As evil looms on the horizon and the pressure to live up to her heritage builds, everything Elloren thought she knew will be challenged and torn away. Her best hope of survival may be among the most unlikely band of misfits…if only she can find the courage to trust those she's been taught to hate and fear.

From Publishers Weekly

Mar 20, 2017 – In this intoxicating tale of rebellion and star-crossed romance, 17-year-old Elloren Gardner enrolls at Verpax University to study healing. Elloren s grandmother Carnissa was a powerful Mage known as the Black Witch, who led Gardneria to victory in the Realm War. Some think Elloren will fulfill a legendary prophecy and follow in Carnissa s footsteps, but though Elloren resembles the Black Witch, she possesses no magic. Still, Elloren is hated by those on campus whose people Carnissa helped subjugate. Out of loneliness, Elloren befriends Verpax s other outcasts, many of whom belong to races she s been taught to fear or disdain. She begins to question everything she knows about Gardneria s history and culture, and realizes that there s good reason for the growing opposition to her country s new government. Exquisite character work, an elaborate mythology, and a spectacularly rendered universe make this a noteworthy debut, which argues passionately against fascism and xenophobia. Though the worldbuilding is initially dense, the pace and stakes increase exponentially, and the thrilling conclusion will leave readers eager for the next book in this series. Ages 14 up.

Customer Reviews

Outstanding! I couldn’t put it down!

I was fortunate enough to get my hands on an advance copy of The Black Witch and loved it. With genuinely endearing protagonists (and loathesome villans) the book avoids the cliches found in so many YA stories and creates a deeply connected web of complex and compelling relationships between a diverse cast of characters. There are moments of poignant emotional drama and unexpected alliances. There’s an abundance of action and intrigue that left me, after certain scenes, feeling like I had been shot out of a cannon. There aren’t many books that have genuinely made me stay up later than I meant to because I literally could not put them down. The Black Witch is one of those books. Be sure you’ve got a good alarm clock before you start the first chapter or you might be late for work the next morning.

Excellent for All Ages

I purchased this book after reading the good review it received from Kirkus. I had a bit of hesitation due to its obvious target audience (YA), but let me assure any adults out there considering purchasing this that it's money well spent. It's a very good story for all ages. Is it a bit teenage "romancy" for us old timers? Maybe just a tad, but I found myself enjoying even that part of the story (ah, young love...) As a whole it's very well done, and I'm looking forward to the next book.

Loved it!

Couldn’t put it down. Now I’ve got to wait for the 2nd one.

The Black Witch
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  • $7.99
  • Level: Grades 7-13
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Fantasy
  • Published: May 01, 2017
  • Publisher: Harlequin
  • Seller: Harlequin Sales Corporation
  • Print Length: 304 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

Customer Ratings