Witchy fells kind of familiar; there’s the adolescent with a secret who doesn’t quite fit into their magical world (Nyneve), the kind friend, the former antagonist turned maybe ally (or not) Prill, the seemingly grandfatherly leader of the magical world, the spooky granny figure who provides information and advice, etc. The concept of the magic system is interesting (power usually tied to hair length; more hair suggests stronger power, but too much hair, and the magical police come to execute you (witch burning)) and the suggestion that the standard taught version is not the only way is familiar but how it’s represented is actually kind of cool (wands aren’t the only way to channel?).
I want to like Nyneve and she’s got some relatable qualities to her; she lost her dad to witch burning pretty young, and as such has a healthy distrust of the magic police (Witch Guard), but she’s also inherited some things from her dad about whom we know little (she and her mom, and several other characters likely know more). She’s got her issues, and her reaction to some of them is understandable, as is her feeling of not fitting in, even when she finds a group of possible rebels who help her out. The thing is, even for all of this, I wish she had a little more depth to her beyond the “chosen one” vibes the story so far is setting up.
The more interesting characters are actually Prill, nemesis but maybe not, and Nyneve’s mother Veda. Veda seems to have taken the loss of her husband hard, but she’s clearly doing her best to do right by her daughter, and she might have a good bit of fight in her when she really has to. Prill it turns out has a secret that helps Nyneve and her bond over (no spoilers), but Prill ahs always been strong in terms of magic and patriotic, as in she’s dreamed and assumed she would get into the Witch’s Guard (she does). Once Nyneve goes on the run from the Guards, the set up sort of cliff hanger shows Prill facing a choice: pursue Nyneve as a Guard or somehow find the right thing to do for her own reasons. I really wouldn’t call this spoilers because, again it’s kind of a familiar thing to see two childhood acquaintances face off, having taken different paths, eventually.
The art also looks vaguely familiar but I can’t quite place it, slightly angular with decent use of color for adding details that the lines don’t.
Overall, this is a decent YA-esque fantasy, and although it’s nothing super special, I’d still like to know what happens next.