Review originally posted on www.basiasbookshelf.com
All her life Brusenna has been publicly ridiculed and treated as an outcast just for what she is: a witch. It doesn't matter that it's her people that keep the earth's weather patterns in check, she has mystical powers and is therefore different. While attending the local market one day, Brusenna is wrongfully accused of thievery, and is about to be put in the stocks when she is rescued by a mysterious woman. The stranger reveals herself to be a witch, and tells Brusenna it is very important that she meets with her mother immediately. This meeting between her rescuer and her mother will forever change Brusenna's life. Her mother, Sacra, has been keeping secrets and has sheltered Brusenna from the truth about what's happening in their world. There is a war going on, a war between witches. Sacra is desperately needed, as there are only a few witches left that haven't been taken captive by the Dark Witch. Brusenna's mother leaves her at home, and sets out on a journey to reunite with the few remaining witches to rid the world of the Dark Witch and her harmful magic.
After weeks of waiting for her mother to return, Brusenna is forced out of her home and on to her own journey to discover Sacra's fate. Along the way, she meets up with Joshen, the son of a local horse seller in the next town. Joshen is a Guardian in training, sworn to protect Brusenna even at the cost of his own life. Despite the daunting task, the two find their way to the Dark Witch's lands and battle for their lives and for the future of this world.
Witch Song is the classic tale of good vs. evil -- witch style. I didn't know what to expect when I first started the book, but I was pleasantly surprised with how much I enjoyed it. Brusenna takes us on this epic journey, and not everything goes well for her all the time. The book actually spans a long period time, two years I believe. This is not a case of the main character finding out the fate of the world is in her hands and BAM, suddenly discovers she has all these great powers and then BAM, defeats said bad guy all in the matter of a week. In the case of Witch Song, Brusenna is very untrained and wouldn't have stood a chance if she went up against the Dark Witch in the first week of her journey. Instead, she spends some time training and preparing. This could have easily been a case of Brusenna being TSTL, but it was the complete opposite of that. Thankfully.
The world that Amber Argyle has created in Witch Song is detailed and interesting. There isn't one setting, there are several and each has its own.. personality, I guess you could say, that make Witch Song different from others in the genre. I was never once lost or confused about what the characters were talking about. The author wrote in such a way that while I was immersed in the story, their world was my world. This book isn't like anything I've ever read before, and for one who reads as much as I do, it's such a treat to read something exciting and new.
I would say my only critique, which is probably more personal preference than anything, is that at times Brusenna was a little too self-sacrificing. She could have cared less about her own life, but when anyone tried to intervene to save her, she became emotional and distraught. She couldn't bear the idea of anyone getting hurt or dying because of her. She would push everyone away if she felt like their life was in any sort of danger, but she never understood that she was taking away their choice in doing so. I thought she could have been a little less emotional about all that, and a little more focused on other things. But maybe that's just me. ;-)
My Summary: I highly recommend this book for anyone looking for a story to take them away from real life for a few hours. Witch Song has it all: epic journeys, magic, oddball characters, bumbling minions and the kind of loyalty that will leave a smile on your face well after you're done reading the last page. It's books like this that keep me coming back for more.
My Rating: A-