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**You can’t read, can’t write but you can heal fast, even for a witch. You get sick if you stay indoors after dark. You hate white witches but love Annalise who is one. You’ve been kept in a cage since you were fourteen. All you have to do is escape and find Mercury, the black witch who eats boys. And do that before your 17th birthday. Easy

I love this young adult fictional debut. I bought it due to a mixture of cover art and obsessive advertising in my local Waterstones. Reading the acknowledgements, Green is has been a Open University student and this is her first novel. I’m currently following the same path which added extra intrigue for me.

Nathan is half White Witch and Half Black Witch after his mother had an affair with the most dangerous Black Witch of all time. The White Witches are the ones in control and for good guys most of them seem pretty bad, persecuting and trying to eliminate an entire race, keeping kids locked in cages on the off chance they may do something wrong, segregating the two types of Witches refusing to allow mixed relationships. Admitedly the Black Witches are pretty bad too often killing family members.

This is Nathan’s coming of age story – they events leading up to his 17th birthday when he can accept his Gift and discover the type of witch he was born to be. The White Witch council are afraid of this, hence keeping him a cage but at the same time training him to be a fighter. At some point it will all boil down to a prophesy (or a vision in this case) of whether he will kill his father,.

I loved the pace of this book, Green utiilises one of my own personal favourites in a story – short chapters! The characters are well thought out and it’s easy to picture each one. I can’t decide whether I like the lack of resolution at the end though. You get almost to the end and realise that all the things the story has been heading towards will not be happening – at least in this novel. No big father/son showdown. I’m not even sure what Nathan’s Gift actually is. However the follow up is out next year so hopefully that will lead to some kind of conclusion.

So yeah I really enjoyed this, I want to know more about this world. I’d like to see a bit of magic in a story about witches it does work well enough I think without it. And for once it’s nice to read a young adult novel where the main character isn’t a moody teenage girl obsessed with the badly behaving, misunderstood vampire/angel boy. Go buy it, enjoy x

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