Witchlight is a contemporary graphic novel that deals with women’s issues of gender and what is their place in the world. A strong 12 & up (but more likely 13 to 15, and of course, adult) reader would find something here to relate to and/or enjoy.
The main characters are a witch, her friend and the struggles they endure while trying to find peace from their past. Lelek is a witch and Sanja a village girl who is not appreciated by her family. When Lelek and Sanja develop a deep bond, a love for each other, they find the family they are looking for.
Sometimes, the “female empowerment” can be a bit heavy-handed, but this spiritual, modern-toned, concept harbors flashes of the earthly past of women and their powers. The ending is obvious, but this was a comfortable book. I neither OMG LOVED or OMG HATED this book.
Like the others in the Random House Graphic novel series, I noticed each graphic novel had an odd tone to it. It was not until I read more about each author and illustrator that I realized what it was. Each contributor has a European background or at least has an old-school European feel to the writing style. This flows into the style of writing. This might be why, while these are lovely books, the American reader might be somewhat separated from the story. However, you do not feel too disconnected for too long.
One reason are the illustrations. They literally illustrate the text to help fill any holes the mostly sparse text might have. They have the right color to set the mood and details. Jessi Zabarsky’s illustrations These bring to the front the natural colors of the witches use to make their magic.