The third novel in the Black Witch Chronicles, The Shadow Wand, separates our heroes in this action-packed story of rebellion and overcoming prejudice.-Cynthia B.
Laurie Forest continues to expand her Black Witch Chronicles, exploring the different reaches of the rebellion and the dangers of Vogel’s demonic wand.
Forest did a fantastic job with the storytelling here. The Shadow Wand begins with high tension and even higher stakes. While risky, beginning with a central character’s death was a jaw-dropping and explosive to start the story.
But this novel is different from its predecessors. In the previous books, there were the occasional chapters highlighting another POV. These chapters added to the plot. But now, we are seeing different chapters explore other POVs of characters close to Elloren.
We’re seeing characters close to Elloren given more time to develop. But through them, we’re seeing how people can grow. Everyone hates Elloren and her family. But not without reason. She’s the new Black Witch, and her grandmother was the previous Black Witch responsible for so much death and destruction. She tipped the balance in favor of the Gardnerians, which is why racism is so high, and prejudices were allowed to fester and grow.
However, through her friends, the reader sees how everyone has prejudices. Every culture is different, but to break the cycle of oppression and genocide, they must put aside their differences and learn tolerance, just as Elloren’s friends have. Elloren’s friends have all grown through their experiences and the love they have found for one another; because of that, they are stronger.
The best part of The Shadow Wand was the character growth by Elloren.
Elloren was never the fiercest character. Don’t get me wrong, she was always a strong character, but she was not the most physically active with her magic bound.
She recognized her privilege as a Gardnerian, and her naivete was stripped away. And when she realized she was the Black Witch, her power was too much, and she sought to tame it.
By the end of the book, she is not just a mage; she is a warrior. The image of her with her daggers at the novel’s end was breathtaking.
There are no words to describe her incredible transformation other than excellent and worth reading.
The Shadow Wand is a spectacular new addition to the Black Witch Chronicles. Forest expands the story by including some great new perspectives while also focusing on Elloren’s growth and the growth of the rebellion.