Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Re-read Review: WICCA: Book of Shadows

Book of Shadows (WICCA book one/Sweep book one)
Published: 7th Feb 2002
Publisher: Puffin Books (UK)
Buy/Add to wishlist: Amazon UK/Amazon.com

Description: (from amazon.com)

Narrator Morgan, a high school junior in upstate New York, feels plain and ordinary, especially next to her flirty, drop-dead-gorgeous friend Bree. When Cal, a remarkably poised and handsome senior, transfers to their school, Morgan likes him almost immediately, an attraction she hides when Bree announces that she plans to win him for herself. Cal makes no secret of his belief in Wicca, inviting most of the junior and senior classes to join him in a Wiccan celebration. The rituals powerfully affect Morgan could it be that she, like Cal, is a "blood witch" (a descendant of one of the seven great witch clans)? But how could she be a blood witch when everyone else in her family is so clearly not "magickal"?

My thoughts:

I first read this series when I was about 13/14. I was really interested in Wicca, so my mum bought me a few of these books after she found them on Amazon. I fell in love with the series immediately, as did many of my friends at school. I've not read them for a while, so I was wondering what it would be like to re-read them now, when my tastes (and hopefully attitude) have somewhat matured.

I like Morgan, the main character. The story is told from her PoV, and I could always identify with her because I too had a boyish figure, no breasts and wouldn't be considered 'pretty'. I understood her awe at being liked by Cal, whom she considered totally out of her league so I never found this annoying. It's great to see her total delight that wicca comes so naturally to her. You also really feel for her and the heartbreak and conflict Wicca causes her when her parents, who are staunch Catholics, ask her to stop learning about it because it goes against their religious views.

The books aren't as well written as they could be, but are nonetheless extremely enjoyable. The story is interesting and the secondary characters are all cliche's in a good way-showing that Wicca is something that can appeal to-and unite-everyone-the jocks, the stoners, the geeks etc-members of all these 'cliques' join Cal's coven and delight in Wicca.

There's no major twists or turns in this book, as it seems more like an introduction to Morgan and her world, but the books are short and so easy to read that you can breeze through them in a few short hours and easily read 2 in one sitting.

However the main reason I enjoy these books is the references to wicca included within them. It's obvious Cate Tiernan really did her homework when researching these books, and the magickal elements contained within them are both informative and interesting. It's almost like reading a non-fiction book-but with a story intertwined with the history and knowledge.

I give the series as a whole 4/5. Despite not being as well written as it could be, the story and the characters across the whole series are totally captivating, and each book leaves you wanting more. If these books can still be enjoyed 10 years after they were written, they're definitely worth the read! And you can pick em up fairly cheaply, too.

Have you read/would you read these books? Did you read the originals or the new re-releases, and what do you think of them?


  1. Oh wow! I loved these books in school! It was you and Amy who got me reading them! :P We were all so obsessed! I think I might have to read them again! (After all of the other books and of course, the uni work I need to do!) xxxx

  2. Haha I know I think we lent those books to everyone! They're SO good. They're like the themetune to my teen years, only a book version. xxxx

  3. I used to love these books so much! I would have been about 13, too, and I remember forcing my dad into taking me to the bookstore to get the next one(s). Unfortunately, I think they stopped carrying them which is why I didn't finish the series. :/ I still have a few of the first ones, but I definitely want to get the new volumes they have at some point.

  4. I think you can get them on amazon Stephanie so definitely worth a look! thanks for stopping by

  5. Never heard of these, but they look like they'd be worth checking out. Isn't it weird to re-read childhood favorites, by the way? Books I loved when I was younger are either way worse or way better than I remember, there's not really middle ground. =)


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