Author: Amber Argyle
Book: Witch Song (Witch Song #1)
Published: September 2011
Publisher: Starling Publishing
Brusenna, Senna for short, has lead a sheltered life. Her mother, a powerful witch, has tried to protect her, shelter her from the Dark Witch, Espen. When summoned to a final battle with Espen, she leaves her daughter a notebook that explains some of what a witch does. Driven into the open, Senna must master her craft and face off against a witch who has captured all the others and stolen their magic from them. Senna, a self-taught novice, must figure out how to vanquish a witch with the combined powers of all the captured witches.
The world Amber Argyle created for her Witch Song series is interesting. This is not a true swords and sorcery world of high fantasy. It seems to be set in a world that could exist from the fourteenth to seventeenth century on our Earth, with the addition of magic. The magic of the witches is life based: air, plant, water. While not lighting or fireballs, it’s potent enough to get the job done and provide a framework to create a story around. There were a few time jumps (a great deal of time that passed between scenes) that the author dealt well with so they were hardly noticeable.
On the minus side, the main protagonist seems a little overdone. She is young, dealing with self-doubts, and is unprepared for the horrors and necessities of war; fair enough. However, Senna seems to keep coming back to these doubts almost to the end. The author kept drawing attention to the fact that it almost became a cliché instead of something Senna gradually overcame. The ending became a little anticlimactic, with two final battles. The end strayed perilously close to deus ex machina (almost literally). The story was not a page turner, and the end was unsatisfying. However, it was an interesting take on magic and the author’s first attempt. It will be inserting to see how her story telling develops.