Ｔｉｔｌｅ：The Witch’s Kiss
Ａｕｔｈｏｒ：Katharine and Elizabeth Corr
Ｒａｔｉｎｇ：★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
＊Ｎｏｔｅ：I received an ARC from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.
Sixteeen-year-old Meredith is fed-up with her feuding family and feeling invisible at school – not to mention the witch magic that shoots out of her fingernails when she’s stressed. Then sweet, sensitive Jack comes into her life and she falls for him hard. The only problem is that he is periodically possessed by a destructive centuries-old curse. Meredith has lost her heart, but will she also lose her life? Or in true fairytale tradition, can true love’s kiss save the day?
✩ Meredith was a typical teenager. She was worried about school, cared about her family, and most definitely did not want to accept her destiny right off the bat.
✩ Leo was really protective of his sister. He was also kind of sarcastic at times. I feel like he didn’t play a very big role in the story and I would’ve liked to know him better.
✩ Jack was interesting and I did feel kinda bad for him. He was kind, gentle, and caring. You know, when he’s not possessed by the curse, haha.
❝ Once upon a time–because that’s how all the best stories start, even the ones that lead to death and darkness and unhappy ever after–there was a kingdom.❞
The book starts off with Meredith and her brother, Leo, discovering a box that is tied to a curse and promise that her ancestors made long ago, but the real story starts when we learn about the dark wizard and King of Hearts.
One of my favorite aspects of the book was where we learned about the history of the curse. In a way, the story reminded me of Maleficent, with two people falling in love and then one setting out to destroy the other when they are “betrayed”. Although I wouldn’t call this story a retelling, it does have some elements of Sleeping Beauty in the story. I actually really enjoyed reading about the antagonist and how the curse had come to be, it drove me to keep reading and I wanted to find out how Meredith’s family played into it.
However, right after this the story lost a lot of steam. After we learn about the curse, Meredith spends her nights going to the lake where Jack and the Wizard reside so that she can use a spell to keep Jack from killing people in town. I feel like these daily trips to the lake were meant to be a time to build up the relationship between Jack and Meredith, but ultimately they felt like stale interactions that were very repetitive.
I also didn’t feel much of a connection to Meredith’s friends or school life since it was brought up so infrequently or at odd times. We heard about all the sports Meredith was in just in passing but she never seemed to stress much about anything related to school. It just made her seem fractured in an inconsistent way. It also made her character feel flat to only have her chapters focus on the trips to the lake.
❝ “You are to collect hearts for me, Jack–the still beating hearts of people foolish enough to believe they are in love–and from them I will gain power to create my dark servants, an army that will take away your mother’s kingdom.”❞
The trips to the lake also made the story feel really slow in the middle because of how repetitive it was. The routine was the same every time and it felt like it took Meredith way too long to figure out what step to take next in her quest.
The story picked up once again towards the very end when Meredith and Leo finally make it under the lake. This is also where we get to meet the Wizard for the big showdown (which I own’t spoil). I thought the ending to the book felt a little cheesy and predictable, but I liked it. I thought the way that the braid of hair played into the ending make a lot of sense and was very symbolic. I liked the message that it sent. However, I wasn’t very sure what to make of Jack’s part in it, or the last message the scroll gave Meredith. It made me curious to see how and if Jack will get another chance in the sequel.
The Witch’s Kiss was released on September 19th, I recommend giving it a chance if you like fantasy or stories with fairytale elements!