Thank you Sourcebooks Fire and Netgalley for the opportunity to enjoy Rachel Griffin's beautiful exploration of power and place in the world, The Nature of Witches.
"And if you can love the earth, understand it when all the beauty is gone and see it for what it is, that's magic."
In a version of our world where seasonal witches care for the weather and atmosphere, Clara Densmore's powers aren't limited by the time of year. She's an Everwitch, the first in centuries to be blessed with the magic of summer, spring, winter, and autumn.
Or is it a blessing?
The same power that makes her the strongest witch of her generation is dangerous to those she cares for--deadly to her parents and her best friend. But as climate change worsens, stripping witches of their power and killing them, Clara is forced to decide: embrace the magic that isolates her or give the magic up and lead a normal life.
For the TL;DR, "just tell me if I should buy it" crowd: order this book if you love the first, heady breath of spring, the magic of midnight snowfall, a perfect summer day, or piles of autumn leaves to jump in. And a little less aesthetic and woo woo, order this book if you love reading stories about characters who come into their power on their own terms as a result of suffering and come out stronger for it. See also, adorable botanist boyfriend.
If you're still not convinced...
This book gave me so many feelings. It reminded me so much of some of my favorite books in high school (I'm an old now). These aren't comps in any way but it had the same vibes as Becca Fitzpatrick's Hush Hush and Claudia Gray's Evernight series in that The Nature of Witches feels so close to our real world with a heavy dose of the fantastical. (I like my contemporary with a dash--more like a scoop--of magic).
The magic system was really interesting and unique--weather magic isn't anything new, but I loved the way Griffin put limitations on it. Even Clara, powerful as she is, wasn't spared the changing of the seasons. I also really liked what *could* be done with the magic, but that's a spoiler so you're gonna have to read it to find out what I mean.
The emotional stakes were palpable. From the very beginning, it's clear to the reader why Clara thinks the way she does and the MASSIVE decision that sits on her shoulders. People have died because of her magic and she's pretty over it--to the point it has stifled her power. And when more people show up for her to care about it only makes it worst. (A cute botanist has entered the chat).
I really enjoyed the relationships in this book and it had some really sharp insights about loving people and loving yourself. There were some lines that went straight for my heart like a bolt of lightning *wink**wink* But in all seriousness, there was so much REAL hurt on the page that I think will resonate with most readers.
There was a moment toward the end that I was a bit confused--this could be entirely the fault of midnight binge-reading--but overall I was on board for the ride from beginning to end. I would definitely recommend this book to a friend and will read Griffin's future work.