Witchlings by Claribel A. Ortega

Disclaimer: I received this arc from the publisher. Thanks! All opinions are my own.

Book: Witchlings

Author: Claribel A. Ortega

Book Series: Standalone for now

Rating: 5/5

Diversity: Latine MC and characters, queer characters, one f/f romance mentioned

Recommended For…: middle grade readers, fantasy, magic, witches, Latine/Latinx characters and inspired

Publication Date: April 5, 2022

Genre: MG Fantasy

Age Relevance: 10+ (bullying, violence, death, starvation, child abuse, assault, gore, scary monsters)

Explanation of Above: There is some bullying and very slight violence shown. There is also some very slight gore shown. Death is mentioned, never shown. There is starvation mentioned, as well as child abuse mentioned here and there (in very vague context) and an assault via magic shown (very brief, not graphic). There are also scary monsters that might be frightening to younger or sensitive readers.

Publisher: Scholastic Press

Pages: 352

Synopsis: Every year, in the magical town of Ravenskill, Witchlings who participate in the Black Moon Ceremony are placed into covens and come into their powers as full-fledged witches.

And twelve-year-old Seven Salazar can’t wait to be placed in the most powerful coven with her best friend! But on the night of the ceremony, in front of the entire town, Seven isn’t placed in one of the five covens. She’s a Spare!

Spare covens have fewer witches, are less powerful, and are looked down on by everyone. Even worse, when Seven and the other two Spares perform the magic circle to seal their coven and cement themselves as sisters, it doesn’t work! They’re stuck as Witchlings—and will never be able to perform powerful magic.

Seven invokes her only option: the impossible task. The three Spares will be assigned an impossible task: If they work together and succeed at it, their coven will be sealed and they’ll gain their full powers. If they fail… Well, the last coven to make the attempt ended up being turned into toads. Forever.

But maybe friendship can be the most powerful magic of all…

Review: For the most part I really REALLY loved this book. It was so sweet and magical and definitely has that School of Good and Evil / Amari feel to it! I loved the magic system and how well detailed it was. I loved seeing how the world interacted with the characters and I loved seeing the character development as well, not only with our main character but with the side characters as well. The book has an amazing premise and it will keep you hooked from beginning to end. The book is also so magical and I would LOVE to see more from this world. Also, this is a total girl-power book.

The only issue I had with the book is that it is a bit fast paced, which had me a little confused here and there, but it would be perfect for younger fast readers who are craving new magical journies.

Verdict: I highly recommend this one!