Sunday, May 3, 2020

These Witches Don’t Burn by Isabel Sterling - HIGH

These Witches Don’t Burn by Isabel Sterling, 336 pages. Razorbill (Penguin), 2020. $10

Language: R (100+ swears, 11 “f”); Mature Content: PG-13 (pagan rituals, drinking, drugs, makeouts); Violence: PG-13 (kidnapping, burn at stake)



Hannah’s heart is still barely surviving her break-up with Veronica, a fellow Elemental witch. As witches in Salem. Massachusetts, of all places, the girls know that they are supposed to be very careful about using their magic in public.  But a burning pentagram at a pre-graduation bonfire, and an even bigger fire that threatens a good friend’s life means that someone has seen one of them using their magic. And though it might be a blood witch, it might also mean that the Witchhunters might not have left Salem after the witch trials – they may have been playing an even longer game than anyone in the coven could believe.

While this is the first book in the series, the action of the breakup took place before the main action starts and sometimes when the girls refer to it, I feel as if I missed an earlier book.  Beyond that, however, Hannah’s story is nice and tight.  As an adult, I may have been annoyed by the girl’s cavalier use of their magic after 100’s of years of the coven successfully hiding, but for a teen reader, it is all very tense and taut and thrilling.

Cindy, Library Teacher, MLS

No comments: