I received a copy for review from the publisher
Title: The Hawkweed Prophecy
Author: Irina Brignull
Genre: Fantasy, YA
Synopsis: A gorgeous, bewitching story of two outcast girls whose lives are twisted by an ancient prophecy. Who will be queen of the witches?
The babies were born as the clock struck twelve. A bat fell from the air mid-flight. A silver salmon floated dead to the surface of the river. Snails withered in their shells, moths turned to dust on the night breeze and an owl ate its young. The spell had been cast.
Poppy Hooper has managed to deceive her father into believing that there is nothing mysterious or unnatural about her. He ignores the cats that find her wherever she goes, the spiders that weave beautiful lacy patterns for her, even her eyes – one blue, one green with an extra black dot orbiting the pupil.
Ember Hawkweed is a pitiful excuse for a witch. When the other girls in her coven brew vile potions, Ember makes soap and perfume. Fair and pretty, Ember is more like a chaff than a witch.
When the two girls meet, Poppy discovers her powers, and finds out the truth. Bound by their unlikely friendship and the boy they both love, the girls try and find their place in the world. But the time of the prophecy draws nearer – and the witches won’t give up the throne without a fight.
The Hawkweed Prophecy has everything enjoyable about a fantasy book: a prophecy, in this case, two girls unaware of who they really are, their journey to discover this truth and a touch of romance and mystery. Meeting Poppy and Ember was wonderful, and I found myself reading late into the night to find out if they would discover and work out who they really were. The presence of Leo throughout, and his link to the two girls created an excellent mystery feel. Who was he, besides the boy who somehow knew he needed to be with one or both of these girls?
The mystery about the characters and prophecy only deepened towards the end, leading into what I hope will become a promising and much-loved series, along the lines of Harry Potter or The Chronicles of Narnia. When their worlds collided, Poppy and Ember’s friendship and their love for Leo, the love they both held for him, and for the mothers that were theirs but not really theirs, united them in the common goal of finding out who they really were, and where they belonged.
As they teach each other about the world they know and they discover who they really are and which world they really belong to, Ember and Poppy must each deal with their own worries in the worlds they have grown up in, and the approaching prophecy that Ember’s aunt, Raven, is hopeful that her daughter, Sorrell will fulfil and will stop at nothing to prevent Poppy from discovering her true self.
I enjoyed this book and look forward to book two, The Hawkweed Legacy next year, to see where Irina takes us with Ember, Poppy and Leo, and their families.