Hello Hello. First series review in a long time. TBH we probably will be getting more soon with all the series I’m reading. Best!
Customary warning: This is a reminder that these are my personal opinions. My thoughts and feelings are not your thoughts and feelings. I may not always be the target audience for a book; sometimes I am. If I do not like a book, that doesn’t mean you’ll dislike it. If I love a book or simply like a book, you may hate it. Take everything I say with this knowledge. If it sounds interesting to you despite what I’ve said, then go ahead and read it. You’ll only know you like something if you read it yourself.
That being said… Spoilers Ahead
The Hawkweed Duology by Irena Brignull
What I Liked:
Poppy; Poppy!! She was a girl who wanted to have a different life, fell for a boy, saved a people, and told that she couldn’t be what she wanted to be. When she finally ran away, came back, and made her own choice, I was there with her.
Ember; I really liked seeing Ember’s struggle with becoming. She never had magic so she never fit in. And then as she didn’t fit in in the non-magic world either. As compared to Poppy or Leo who struggled and found each other, she had to find herself.
Sorrel; This poor girl was caught up with her mother the entire time, all the time. She was just trying her best to be something different, to be better. I do think that she can become it. I do think that she will be a good queen too. I don’t care much for how she got pregnant, but I hope her kid turns out well not corrupted by her mother.
Leo; I really liked his character and progression. He had an adopted mother, was actually a witch son of a witch, an existence who should not exist. I liked his arc of trying to find himself in general, and finding his magic. It mirrored the girl’s very well.
Raven; WHAT A rhymes with witch. She wanted her own daughter to be queen so bad, that she ruined the life of three girls (her daughter, Poppy, and Ember). She also ruined Leo’s life. She was a strong queen and strong with magic. She also made some real sketch decisions that ended in the death of herself and the assault of her daughter on Leo.
Charlock; This mother is insane, but she has to be in order to match her sister. She took care of Ember best she could, but when she found out Poppy was her daughter, it’s no surprise she jumped. She ended up destroying and killing a lot, until she got what she wanted. It resulted in her ultimate death, but she kinda deserved it.
Melanie; This poor mama. She took care of Poppy, only to find out Poppy was never her daughter, and then she went through a bad spot, even while she tried to care for Ember. Ember just wasn’t her daughter, not really. I feel for her. She tried her best.
Betony; She’s a mama that just wants to protect her son. She did her best, until she had her memories wiped, and when she got them back, she did her best again.
Poppy and Leo; Their relationship was a little bit obsessive in the second book, but I did like it. I did like how they fought for each other. There were a few convoluted things in their plot, but in general I did like their relationship for what it was worth.
Poppy and Ember; Best relationship right here. These two girls becoming best friends is perhaps one of the best things of this book series. I really liked watching them rise together in the first book, and then how their relationship was tested in book two. I love them so much as best friends so much.
Ember and Leo; I understand that she liked him because he was the first boy that she met. I thought it was interesting that she realized this in the second book. I never really like them as a couple, and getting to see it as a inevitable failure was nice to witness.
Writing Style; I think this was my favorite part. I really liked the way that the book was written and developed. The beautiful sentences and way things were written, did make me happy.
Magic System; While I know that this magic isn’t 100% to witch culture, but it does develop itself well. We learn a lot of their culture and their magic and sort of how it works. In general it is a rather soft system, but I think it works fo the book.
Language and culture; I really liked looking at the witch culture. There was so much to learn about the Witches but I think my favorite thing was the cultural dissonance. Like yoking. LOL no one calls it that. Either way the culture of the Witches is more fully developed in the first book than the second.
What I Would Have Liked or Changed:
Lol I mentioned it before but the Witches get pregnant too fast.
Also, I don’t really think that the Sorrel getting pregnant with Leo was necessary. That whole plot section just makes me sick. (Raven forcing Sorrel to force Leo.)
Why You Should Read:
Witches, sisterhood, and friendship. Interesting dynamics between different women. If you like characters who are trying to come into their own along with a bit of magic this book series is for you. Neither book is particularly long and there are only two. They end on a generally positive note as well.