Ember Hawkweed, too, doesn’t fit in. She’s a pitiful excuse for a witch and the secluded group of women and girls she lives with tolerate her at best.
Throw in a hotly-contested prophesy and a throne up for grabs and there’s the making of a dark, twisty fairy tale.
I quite enjoyed this story about two babies, switched at birth, growing into young women who are at odds in the societies they live in. Poppy was a very strong character - intelligent and capable, but vulnerable, too. Ember was okay, too, but possibly a bit too drifty and away with the fairies for me. There were parts where I kind of wanted to give her a good shake. However, I liked how they interacted with each other and I thought they both got a good ending.
This book also had some really interesting ideas about what about us is nature and what is nurture. Both girls tried desperately to fit into the families they had been born into and their desire to find a place where they would be accepted for who they were is a theme we see a lot in contemporary YA, so it was interesting to see it being given a magic realism twist.
The plot meandered around a bit as Poppy and Ember worked out who their true families were and both got involved with Leo. I really liked the back story of the witches’ coven - how they’d managed to stay hidden for centuries. Their history and practises were quite dark and creepy, as was the jostling for power around the prophesy and the throne.
I didn’t really get on board with the romance side of things. I thought Poppy was far too strong a character to get so moony over a boy (although I could totally see Ember drifting off into Instalove-Land). Also, Sorrel. She fell for him, too. What was it about this boy that he had three girls dying of love for him? He must have been one attractive homeless guy.
So, yeah. I think this book might have actually worked better without a romance element. The idea of a story where a bunch of fiercely strong women literally beating the shit out of each other with magic is fairly compelling.
All in all, a pretty good read.
I received a copy of The Hawkweed Prophecy in exchange for an honest review. Many thanks to Hachette and Netgalley.