Thursday, May 1, 2014

The Thickety: A Path Begins by J.A. White Review

Book Nerd Review by Chloe

Hand in hand, the witch's children walked down the empty road.

When Kara Westfall was six years old, her mother was convicted of the worst of all crimes: witchcraft. Years later, Kara and her little brother, Taff, are still shunned by the people of their village, who believe that nothing is more evil than magic . . . except, perhaps, the mysterious forest that covers nearly the entire island. It has many names, this place. Sometimes it is called the Dark Wood, or Sordyr's Realm. But mostly it's called the Thickety.

The black-leaved trees swayed toward Kara and then away, as though beckoning her.

The villagers live in fear of the Thickety and the terrible creatures that live there. But when an unusual bird lures Kara into the forbidden forest, she discovers a strange book with unspeakable powers. A book that might have belonged to her mother.

And that is just the beginning of the story.

The Thickety: A Path Begins is the start of a thrilling and spellbinding tale about a girl, the Thickety, and the power of magic.

Kara is awakened by footsteps. Hands grab her and she is thrown into a wagon. She is driven to a field where she sees that her mother is hanging from a tree. Her mother had just given birth to Kara’s brother two days before. Who could have done this? What has happened?

Years later, when Kara is 12 and her brother, Taff is 7, Kara is picking hushfruit by her house, when a one-eyed bird flies by and steals the locket that hangs from Kara’s neck, her mother’s locket. Kara follows the bird into the forest and finds the locket with a strange book that Kara feels belonged to her mother also. Soon after, Kara is walking with her friend, Lucus, and some strange animal tries to attack Lucus. In her mind, Kara wishes that the animal would go away. Strangely, it does. Returning home from the attack, Kara finds that a picture of the animal is in the book. Looking closer Kara realizes that the picture is made up of words and symbols. Kara speaks the words and the animal from the attack comes to her. Kara realizes that she can control animals.

Grace is girl from the same town as Kara. She holds a grudge against Kara’s family because Grace believes that Kara’s mother caused the damage to her leg. After stealing spells from Kara’s book, Grace decides to go a step further and get the book itself. To do this, she kidnaps the one person that Kara is the closest with, Taff. Kara confronts Grace and after a fight using the spells from the book, Kara gets her brother back but in the process losses another prize possession.

The use of magic in this book is amazing. Having both Grace and Kara use magic is a nice touch because most of the time only one person uses magic. This is important for me because it makes the battles more interesting. Making up a new fruit was a funny thing to do. It added a nice touch to a serious time. The Thickety – A Path Begins, is a good book for 4th – 7th graders who like magic and suspense.

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