The Witchling's Girl
Sci Fi & Fantasy | Teens & YA
Hodder & Stoughton
Pub Date 7 Jan 2021
In a quiet street far from the river, with an ancient tree growing through its walls and floors, is the House of the Dead. There lives the witchling: healer, midwife and conduit between the world of the living and the world below. A witchling must give up her family and friends and spend her life alone, tending to the sick and carrying the dead down dark tunnels to the underworld. Haley was born with the gift of death-magic, and at the age of seven her mother abandons her to the witchling to be raised as her successor. But as Haley grows older and learns her craft - as invading armies pass through her town, people are born and die on her floor, and loyalties shift and dissolve around her - she finds it harder and harder to keep her vows and be the perfect and impassive healer. But if she can't, it will be her downfall - and that of everyone she's not supposed to love . . .
I failed to get involved in the storyline, it seemed too reminiscent of the stories of Baba Yaga and her house on chicken legs that lives in many dimensions. (In Slavic folklore, Baba Yaga is a supernatural being who appears as a deformed or ferocious-looking old woman. Baba Yaga may help or hinder those that encounter her or seek her out). So having read stories about Baba and her disciples before and quite enjoyed them, I needed to read a story which was completely different – except this one wasn’t. And death magic is quite common too in stories and comes across better in a humorous format I find.
This is my personal view as someone who reads and has already read, far more than the 10,000 lifetime books – as I read 400 books a year. So you really have to be good and original especially when delving into folk-lore or fairytales.
Village witch turned PI Shade Renard receives her latest case from a most unlikely source in this pulse-pounding installment of USA Today bestselling author Jennifer Blackstream’s latest urban fantasy series.
The dream sorceress who once tried to kill Shade is after her again—
To hire her.
An evil being from the astral plane is building an empire in the physical world. One of his victims sought sanctuary with Arianne—and was turned away. When that same poor soul is murdered, a shocking revelation exposes personal stakes for Cleveland’s most powerful sorceress.
Now Arianne wants Shade’s help to hunt down the killer—and the thralls who serve him. But Arianne isn’t the only danger from Shade’s short, but eventful career as a PI that’s making a reappearance.
Shade soon finds herself playing deadly games of cat and mouse with enemies old and new. To make matters even more complicated, she must also navigate awkward alliances with a persistent masochistic goblin and a tempting, but off-limits alpha werewolf.
Being a village witch was simple. Being a private investigator? Not so much
Review of the series of books about the witch Mother Renard or Shade as she prefers to be known…
Shade is, or was, the mentee /trainee of Baba Yaga or Mother Hazel as she now prefers to be known.
Shade does not know how long she has lived with her mentor, but during that time she has learnt at least 7 languages, and has acquired in depth knowledge of a number of topics equivalent to at least 5 PhDs. She has barely aged and helped Mother Hazel with many village witch activities such as healing, birthing, and childcare, but has not practised her magic a great deal, rather spending her time with learning new knowledge.
As this series begins, Shade has completed, she believes, her apprenticeship with Mother Hazel and has been given a village to look after.
Shade wants to become a Private Investigator not just a village /hedge witch, even if the village is more like a small town, and finds herself meeting a very influential vampire as her first official client.
She also joins up with an FBI agent- Andy- and
finds herself with a fey admirer who continuously tries to seduce her. not to
mention an Alpha werewolf.
Shade is an interesting character. Especially as her abilities develop more than she expects all the time and yet she manages to get (into and) out of trouble with effort and capabilities that stretch her and make her better at her work. One problem with her solutions, as she starts to find out, is that although she may have ‘solved’ the case, the impact of her solutions live on and not necessarily to the good. This is a philosophical conundrum. If you do nothing then something bad happens – but what if your interference also causes something bad to happen (later) ?
The stories hold your attention and have an overlay of humor especially see the bumbag Shade carries and the various fey creatures and their delight in stationery and honey. There are always new Otherworld characters and creatures and the author has a creative imagination and/or done a lot of research.. The vampiric world is evident in more than one fey too. And don’t think that all ‘fairies’ or sidhe (pronounced Shee, just so you know when reading the books) are nice – see the water horses / kelpies and the goblins are just.. well. If you want a compendium of types of faery or sidhe then Faeriepedia has a list with descriptions. A good place to start your research,
I read the complete series as an 8 book binge (last one just out) and each book developed the characters as their circumstances became more complex. Look out for the appearance of a rhino in Andy’s living-room!
I came across book 1 – Deadline in a book comprising 9 stories called After Midnight, published by Dark Valentine Press, 18 Sep 2019, 2508 pages. The book also contains full-length stories by: