[A quick note: How pretty are these covers?! The one on the far right is the standard jacket, the middle is the naked hardcover for the 1st edition print, and the one on the left is the Fox and Wit exclusive special cover. This was a beautiful story that feels relevant today with climate change and a changing threatened atmosphere. I very much enjoyed it.]
“𝐀𝐮𝐭𝐮𝐦𝐧 𝐢𝐬 𝐢𝐭𝐬 𝐨𝐰𝐧 𝐤𝐢𝐧𝐝 𝐨𝐟 𝐦𝐚𝐠𝐢𝐜; 𝐢𝐭 𝐫𝐞𝐦𝐢𝐧𝐝𝐬 𝐮𝐬 𝐨𝐟 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐛𝐞𝐚𝐮𝐭𝐲 𝐢𝐧 𝐥𝐞𝐭𝐭𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐠𝐨.”—Rachel Griffin
Clara is an Everwitch whose magic is tied to all seasons. But this magic comes at a price. She’s killed people she loves. And an unreasonable amount of pressure rests on her shoulders. She’s the only witch capable of stoping the catastrophic weather events decimating the globe, but to do so, she’ll have to confront the darkness of her magic and learn to control it. But the weather isn’t the only challenge she’ll face. When she begins falling in love with a spring witch, she’ll be forced to chose between him and her magic, unless she discovers a way to have both.
This is first and foremost a story about the pain of loss, guilt, and finding your place in the world. It’s emotional and raw. There were so many beautiful moments. The pages are filled with excellent quotes about the seasons and weather. I felt like I highlighted half the book.
“𝐘𝐨𝐮 𝐡𝐚𝐯𝐞 𝐭𝐨 𝐛𝐞𝐥𝐢𝐞𝐯𝐞 𝐲𝐨𝐮'𝐫𝐞 𝐰𝐨𝐫𝐭𝐡𝐲 𝐨𝐟 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐥𝐢𝐟𝐞 𝐲𝐨𝐮 𝐰𝐚𝐧𝐭. 𝐈𝐟 𝐲𝐨𝐮 𝐝𝐨𝐧'𝐭 𝐛𝐞𝐥𝐢𝐞𝐯𝐞 𝐭𝐡𝐚𝐭, 𝐰𝐡𝐨 𝐞𝐥𝐬𝐞 𝐰𝐢𝐥𝐥?”—Rachel Griffin
Clara’s struggles were splattered across the page in a dynamic arc that took her from fearful and hesitant to powerful and sure. She starts the book wanting to get rid of her power, intent on stripping her magic away so that she’ll never hurt anyone again. But as she learns to control it, she discovers how beautiful it is. The decision to strip herself isn’t as easy as it once was. Through it all, the steady presence of Sang, the spring witch hired to train her, becomes an anchoring point. I loved the relationship that developed between them, built on trust and understanding. Sang never allowed Clara to apologize for what she was. He never blamed her for any of the deaths she’d caused.
“𝐁𝐞 𝐰𝐚𝐫𝐲 𝐨𝐟 𝐭𝐡𝐨𝐬𝐞 𝐰𝐡𝐨 𝐰𝐢𝐥𝐥 𝐥𝐞𝐭 𝐲𝐨𝐮 𝐚𝐩𝐨𝐥𝐨𝐠𝐢𝐳𝐞 𝐟𝐨𝐫 𝐰𝐡𝐨 𝐲𝐨𝐮 𝐚𝐫𝐞.”—Rachel Griffin
The world building was interesting. This is set in a contemporary magic school setting in Pensilvania where witches in our world are a normal thing. Their purpose is to control the weather and keep the earth safe from catastrophic events. Unfortunately the “shaders,” those of non-magic, are destroying the atmosphere. Freak weather events are becoming so common, the witches can’t handle it. They’re dying from burnout. But Clara is supposed to change that. She’s the first Everwitch in almost a century. The only problem is, there’s no other Everwitches to help her master her magic. She’s got to do that all on her own. So we get to see her develop control and learn how her magic works.
I wasn’t sure how I’d like this going in, but I fell in love with the story. It was fulfilling to watch Clara start at a low point and claw her way out. This is mostly a character driven story, so the plot is pretty chill. There wasn’t tons of action other than a few major weather events. But it was still so good! I truly believe a character transformation can be just as enjoyable as an edge-of-your-seat action plot. 𝐌𝐘 𝐑𝐀𝐓𝐈𝐍𝐆: 𝟒.𝟓/𝟓⭐️