War of the Witches

( 8 )

Overview

Outsider Anaíd leads a solitary life in a small village in the Pyrenees with her mother Selene. She does not suspect there is anything particularly strange about her family, aside from her mother’s personal eccentricities . . . until one day Selene disappears without a trace and Anaíd is confronted with a shocking truth: her mother is a witch, prophesied to be the chosen one to end an ancient war between two feuding clans.

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War of the Witches

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Overview

Outsider Anaíd leads a solitary life in a small village in the Pyrenees with her mother Selene. She does not suspect there is anything particularly strange about her family, aside from her mother’s personal eccentricities . . . until one day Selene disappears without a trace and Anaíd is confronted with a shocking truth: her mother is a witch, prophesied to be the chosen one to end an ancient war between two feuding clans.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Cara Chancellor
Anaid remembers the last time someone in her family disappeared, and it did not end well. Ever since her grandmother's body was discovered in the forest, Anaid's mother, Selene, has grown even more distant. As though their physical contrasts—Anaid's mousy brown hair, Selene's fiery red mane; Anaid's tiny stature, Selene's statuesque beauty—were not enough, Selene has launched into a lavish lifestyle of men, spending sprees and online self-promotion. It soon becomes apparent, however, that Selene's disappearance has nothing to do with shopping or her boyfriend Max, despite the mysterious postdated e-mails that appear in her inbox days later to say otherwise. When her Aunt Criselda arrives, Anaid finally learns the truth: her mother is a witch, the Chosen One from an ancient prophecy who will save the world…or thrust it into darkness. As Criselda's and the other witches' suspicions about Selene grow, Anaid must decide between hiding from the dark forces that suddenly have taken notice of her and confronting them to save her mother and friends. Carranza captures a remarkable heroine in Anaid, who exhibits the perfect blend of hesitation, wonder and blind faith, and the extraordinary pacing of the book allows it to provide new discoveries from beginning to end. Castex's skill almost makes the reader forget that this is, in fact, a translation, although occasionally the characters' reasonings are unclear. This book will be enjoyed tremendously by dark and teenage fantasy fans and will leave its readers breathless for the translation of its two sequels. Reviewer: Cara Chancellor
VOYA - Rebecca C. Moore
When Anaid wakes up one morning and discovers her mother Selene missing, her whole life changes. Before her biggest concern was being the school misfit. Now she learns that not only is her mother a witch, but Selene is also the witches' "Chosen One," prophesied to destroy the peaceful Omar witches by joining the wicked Odish ones. When Anaid discovers that she herself is a powerful Omar witch, her powers-such as flying and talking to animals-begin to develop at an astonishing rate. Growing ever-more-deeply involved in the witches' world and developing exponentially more powers, Anaid is determined to save her mother from the Odish-even if all the other Omar witches think the only solution is Selene's death. This Spanish import has the potential to be great, with an original and well-developed mythology, an unusual setting, and creative fantasy elements. Unfortunately it fails to live up to its promise. The primary issue is that Carranza crams several books' worth of ideas into one, resulting in too much telling rather than showing. Key developments-such as the existence of spirits and the emergence of Anaid's new powers-are dumped on the reader abruptly and without ceremony, robbing them of impact and leaving readers confused. Secondary issues include the author's vague explanations of the magic system and awkward attempts to maintain a teen-angst subplot. With much well-written fantasy now available for middle schoolers, give this one a pass. Reviewer: Rebecca C. Moore
VOYA - Julia Robbins
Despite a rather weak opening, the plot picks up the pace a few chapters in, and the story becomes stronger. Also the somewhat clichTd characters (unpopular versus popular) gain personality as the story continues. The dramatic climax after the battle against the villain is tied up nicely, and the little dash of normalcy in the last chapter pulls the book together. Overall it makes for a comfortably long read. Reviewer: Julia Robbins, Teen Reviewer
VOYA - Hannah Preisinger
This book offers a fascinating interpretation of the terms "magic" and "witch," a difficult task to accomplish for such thoroughly overused terms. The author also sneaks in humor along with surprises and the occasional heartrending moment. Although the book is very dark and might not be the best choice for younger readers, this reviewer found it impossible to put down! Reviewer: Hannah Preisinger, Teen Reviewer
School Library Journal

Gr 7-10

Insecure about her underdeveloped, awkward body, 14-year-old Anaíd Tsinoulis hides her mature, clever mind from cruel, teasing peers. When her beautiful mother, Selene, disappears from their home in the Pyrenees, Anaíd discovers some startling things. She is an Omar witch and Selene is the suspected "Chosen One," prophesied to end the long, nasty war between the Omars (benevolent witches) and the Odish (self-obsessed, human-blood-drinking witches bent on immortality). With her body and powers developing double time, a coven of well-meaning ladies making things claustrophobic, and evil Odish on the loose, Anaíd fights to find her mother, despite the possibility that Selene has turned traitor. She learns to trust in herself, discovering that situations and people aren't always what they seem. Bits of realism lurk beneath this slightly clichéd fantasy, and readers will relate to Anaíd's desire for acceptance and growing independence. The lore is appealing, reminiscent of European old wives' tales with magic steeped in nature and the pitting of faith and selflessness against fear and selfishness. Amid the danger, betrayals, and magic lessons are convenient quick-fix conjurings, some superficial resolutions (Anaíd's sudden beauty sparks instant approval), occasional awkward or unnatural dialogue, and adversaries that seem too easily defeated. Consider only for larger collections with a big fantasy fan base.-Danielle Serra, Cliffside Park Public Library, NJ

Kirkus Reviews
When her mom mysteriously disappears, Ana'd discovers that she belongs to an ancient tribe of witches. She must quickly learn the arts of witchcraft to enter The Dark World and find her mother. Suddenly unpopularity and not-so-good looks seem like small problems! Carranza relates a complicated tale about two bands of warring witches, the Odish and Omar, and the ancient prophecy that binds them together. Ana'd's mother Selene is believed to be The Chosen One, a redheaded beauty at the heart of the prophecy. Ana'd's story, thick with legend and epic struggles, finds real strength in her experiences and distinctively modern voice. Teens will love watching the mousy outsider grow into an immensely powerful witch. The twists in this circuitous story keep readers guessing, wondering who's an ally and who's an enemy. Feminist issues (sisterhood, power, independence) surface, nudging young women to value their gender. All young adults will relate to Ana'd's unabated yearning for friendship. Rich, sophisticated language leaves readers spellbound; a relentless plot will have them panting during Ana'd's first tremulous steps into The Dark World. (Fiction. 14 & up)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781599903927
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
  • Publication date: 9/1/2009
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 352
  • Age range: 12 - 17 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.52 (w) x 8.36 (h) x 0.95 (d)

Meet the Author

Maite Carranza studied anthropology and worked as a teacher before deciding to focus on literature, writing fiction as well as television and movie scripts. She has written more than forty books for children, and lives in Barcelona, Spain.

Noel Baca-Castex (translator) was born in Argentina and has a degree in Spanish-English translation. After working in publishing for more than ten years in Buenos Aires and New York, she now freelances full-time in West Orange, New Jersey.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 8 )
Rating Distribution

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Sort by: Showing all of 8 Customer Reviews
  • Posted March 25, 2012

    Best book I've ever read!

    Best book I've ever read!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 28, 2012

    Greendragon

    One if the best books i've ever read and one of my favorite. I would read it over and over again, its that good :)

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted December 31, 2011

    Lacks purpose and direction.

    I found this book to be seriously lacking in all areas. The plot was all over the place and was poorly carried through. The story is nonsensical and there is an absurd amount of build up for absolutely nothing. The ending seems like a poor attempt for a leave-off so that a sequel can be written. The only reason why I bothered to finish the book was in the futile hope that something, anything would actually happen. I was disappointed.

    This book has the potential to be something great but is in dire need of CPR. I wouldn't recommend it to anyone, even if it were in the bargain bin.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 31, 2011

    Awesome

    I really enjoyed this book and the plot is amazing.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 19, 2009

    Great Fantasy Book- I loved it

    This book has to be one of my favorite books- i loved the beautiful storytelling, the unique journey of discovery, and the emotion and mystery the author created in the writing of this book. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who likes fantasy. An original and mind-provoking story in teen fantasy, the enchantement, interesting and believeable charactors, and the creative mythology that maite carranza spins into this book makes it a great read.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 19, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Reviewed by Harmony for TeensReadToo.com

    Anaid is short, too smart for popularity, and embarrassed by her mother. <BR/><BR/>But when her mother suddenly disappears, Anaid realizes that she's a witch. And not just any witch, but the daughter of the Chosen One. <BR/><BR/>She's the one who's supposed to end the bloody war between the Odish and the Omar. As she searches for her mother, Anaid finds out more about her heritage and about herself. <BR/><BR/>I found WAR OF THE WITCHES to be exciting, though it was slightly confusing at parts. There's a great plot and original characters, and if you're a fantasy lover and can get past some of the details, I'm sure you'll like this book.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 23, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 22, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 8 Customer Reviews

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