“I’m small and plain.”
Desni shot her a look of disbelief. “You’re a beautiful girl, Senna. More so because of how rare your features are. Those golden eyes—”
“But when compared to someone like Ciara—”
“You compare diamonds to rubies. Rubies may be a bit more flashy, but diamonds are made of tougher stuff and are more rare.”
Yeah, it's that type of book, y'all.
Allow me share with you a stanza from one of my favorite songs:
Well let me tell you 'bout the way she looked
The way she'd act and the colour of her hair
Her voice was soft and cool
Her eyes were clear and bright
But she's not there
*lyrics from The Zombies: She's Not There*
Look at the cover for this book. It's a beautiful one, as are the lyrics above, and both tells you so much about this book.
You see a girl, an absolutely stunning young woman, barely past the cusp of puberty. Innocence and naiveté shines from her eyes, purity glistens off her rose-tinted lips. Her cheeks are dusted pink with the breath of angels.
This young Witch is as beautiful, as golden fair as the last kisses of sunlight on the horizon at dusk. Her enormous doe eyes are wide open, limpid with...blank incomprehension.
And there's absolutely nothing more to her than that.
WE'RE WITCHES, BITCHES!: Brusenna and her mother are the dumbest witches who ever lived. Her mother has a condition that many mothers in literature suffer. It is called lol-i-ain't-telling-u-nothin-bitch-itis.
Lol-i-ain't-telling-u-nothin-bitch-itis: symptoms may include...
- not telling you daughter a single fucking thing about who she is despite the fact that the Big Terrible Secret might kill her
- keeping everything a secret like your life depends on it...oh wait, your life DOES depend on it
- ignorance is bliss: because if your daughter doesn't know that there are people out to kill her, it means she's totally fucking safe, right?!
- keeping yourself holed up in a hollow where nobody can see you in order to disguise the fact that you are witches and pulling that Mary-Mary-Quite-Contrary verdant-garden growing shit when the rest of the country is suffering from a horrible drought because that shit ain't obvious at all
- being the worst secret keeper ever because your daughter accidentally overhears you talking about a Big Terrible Secret because you won't keep your fucking voice down to a whisper when talking about your Big Terrible Secret with Super Secret Witch Friend
- running the fuck away without telling your 14-year old (YES, 14 YEARS OLD) daughter anything besides the fact that she should run in case people come after her, because that works every time, right?
If you or someone you know suffer from these symptoms, it is possible that you may have lol-i-ain't-telling-u-nothin-bitch-itis. Please contact the local executioner so that they can remove your defective fucking DNA from the human gene pool. Or rather, witch gene pool?
Do Not Judge a Witch Until You've Walked 1000 Fucking Miles in Her Shoes:
Anyway, Brusenna is in danger! GRAVE DANGER. She travels all around the country.
That's it. You might as well read the fucking Hobbit because this book is composed of um, traveling, and getting caught, then traveling some more, then getting caught, then traveling some more, and then, oh, we're actually stopping for 5 minutes to live with some frog dude, and then traveling some more, and then getting caught.
Did I mention that they travel a lot, and they get caught a lot? Because that's THE EXTENT OF THIS ENTIRE FUCKING BOOK. NOTHING. HAPPENS. This book might as well be a travel brochure for the country of Nefarie and Tartan.
Yes, Nefarie and Tartan. Countries in this book.
The Writing: Fucking terrible. This book is just so juvenile. The writing is suffers from a severe case of telling, not showing, and the writing is more suited to a children's book than a YA audience because it is so emotionless, so staccato. The descriptions leave me absolutely cold.
He was tall—head and shoulders taller than her. Thin, but in a strong way. He had a crop of brown hair that hung low over his forehead. His legs bowed out at the knees—probably from riding so much. He had a permanent wrinkle around his eyes, as if he never stopped smiling long enough for the lines to smooth out. He was smiling at her now.
Oh, oh, my. My panties are getting so wet. Such handsome looks. Oh, my feels. They are just all over the place. Not.
Magic Must Rhyme! Yes, it's that type of magic. There is no training for Brusenna's magical use within the book. Senna practices by singing. And it is only a practice in telling, not showing, because a year goes by and WHOO BRUSENNA IS MAGICALLY STRONGER. How the FUCK?! Where's all the hard work?
The magical setting in this book is laughable.
There is no system for the magic in the book besides the fact that you're born with it. And apparently, if it rhymes, it works! Whoooooooo!
Oh, Sister Sea Plants, I ask of thee,
Take me to the place none but Witches see.
For fuck's sakes. The rhymes in this book, the "magic" shit is so utterly laughable. Brusenna is a witch that sings, her power comes from songs, she can control the plants for no fucking reason at all.
Corn, stop the men who hold me tight,
Bind them though they fight.
She has the power to sing to the plants and to nature, to bend them to her will. And the poems---the spells...they are just terrible, laughable ones.
Plants of the forest, make a path for me,
For through this forest I must flee.
After I pass, hide my trail,
For an enemy I must quell.
Deus ex fucking Machina: And naturally, this use of magic means that deus ex fucking machina is rampant throughout the book.
They get captured! They escape. They get captured AGAIN. They escape. They get captured YET AGAIN. They escape.
Plants, with strength and swiftness, come to me,
For with my companions I must flee.
Whenever you're in danger of death, torture, or whatever shit that might wrinkle Brusenna's pretty little forehead, MAGIC TO THE FUCKING RESCUE. Fucking spare me, please!
Senna is the Name of a Laxative: It really is. And it's rather fitting that she is named after a plant with laxative properties, becaues Brusenna, her personality and her character---is full of shit.
She is beautiful, without knowing it.
He saw a face set against a dark cloak. Wisps of blonde hair, wavy from the moist air, fell across her breast. Her lips were full.
The book takes every fucking opportunity to remind us that Senna is so diminutive in stature, so small, so delicate.
Before she could change her mind, she snatched her wrap from its hook and flung it around her narrow shoulders.
Her small hands, her tiny hands. Her straw-colored hair. Her odd-colored eyes. So ugly, right? Not.
Senna is not a fucking warrior, she is a magical Barbie doll.
She is magical, without knowing it. She is born to be strong. She has innate magical powers.
“I’ve heard her. When she’s fully come into her own, I wouldn’t doubt she’ll be at least a Level Four."
She is a rare witch, the last of her kind.
"My guess is you might be the only Witch left.”
Brusenna the Blushing: Badass, Senna is not. Senna is so completely childish. She starts off the book at 14, and she matures to 17 before the book is through, but believe me when I say she feels like a very immature 12-year old. She stammers. She blushes. She flushes. Her heart beats pitter-patter. Her heart skips a beat. The blood rushes to her cheeks. She can't bear her emooooooootions, maaaaaaan!
The blood drained from Senna’s face.
Her hands were shaking too badly.
...her voice shaking with desperate hope and fear.
A tremor shook her to her bones. Tears slipped from her eyes faster than she could wipe them.
Oh, the tears. Save us from hysterical females. Brusenna cries a motherfucking river.
Brusenna sank to the floor, buried her face in her quilt and sobbed.
Senna’s sobs increased.
She took a strangled, gasping breath and then a sob finally tore free.
Just stop. Stop.
Senna is some bark, no bite. And it ain't exactly the bark of a big, rough bitch (see what I did there?), more like the yipping of the tiny useless ankle-nipping fucking chihuahua down the street that you secretly long to punt into the nearest hot dog bun to see whether it fits.
Animal fans, please don't hate me for that simile.
She is indecisive. She has no action plan.
Joshen lowered his voice. “Then how’ll you find it?”
“I’ll find it,” she assured him.
Oh, WELL THAT EXPLAINS A LOT. You're just going to magically find it, eh? Spare us from your motherfucking feelings and instints.
She didn’t know how to explain it, but the song felt right.
Overall: Trust me, I have a whole lot more complaints, but I'll keep it short because this review is getting way too fucking long. The plot is boring as fuck. The characters are dumb as fuck. The romance is nonexistent, but it's more of the WAAAAAAAAH I LOVE YOU BUT WE CAN'T BE TOGETHER BECAUSE EVERYONE I LOVE DIES. GO, GO, DEAR HEART! I WILL GAZE AT YOU LONGINGLY FROM AFAR!1!!1 Mwah mwah mwaaaaah!
They escape from so many fucking instances of capture because they are followed by two of the most incompetent fucking witch hunters who ever walked the Earth. The two men---Garg and Wardof---are straight out of Monty Python in their incompetency.
Bringing his bruised face closer, Wardof beckoned Garg toward him. “You wanna do something to stop me, you dull, fat, laughable excuse for Espen’s Servant!”
The plot is ludicrous. The two (Brusenna and love interest Joshen) don't know the meaning of subtlety if it danced in front of them wearing pink tasseled pasties and a strap-on dildo. They don't know how to disguise their tracks at all, WHICH IS WHY THEY KEEP GETTING CAPTURED.