Review also includes:
The Coven, 978-0141314013
These two titles are the first in a series entitle ‘Wicca’ in which witchcraft meets the American High School novel. Morgan Rowlands, aged 16, discovers she is a blood witch, and becomes part of a school coven. She and her fellow witches can do magic, but otherwise their preoccupations are much the same as those of characters in similar books: boys/girls, parents, friends, driving around in their cars, pimples (but the pimples can be cured by magic).
Perhaps it is too much to expect accuracy in novels as trite as these, but in books from a reputable publisher, readers deserve to be treated with some respect, which includes accuracy in factual information. It is very unlikely that in a west of Ireland village a girl would sit A-levels rather than an Irish examination. Yet in one of the extracts from the Book of Shadows which precede each chapter, a young woman, revealed as Morgan’s mother, is anticipating doing just this. There are other inconsistencies also in these extracts.
It is obvious that this series is cashing in on the current demand for books relating to magic, but the difference between this series and others such as ‘Harry Potter’ is that in the latter readers are invited into what is obviously a fantastical world. In the ‘Wicca’ series magic meets normal life. The way in which this is done lacks any note of credibility in a literary sense, but it also raises questions of treating in such a trivial manner a subject which should be discussed with some caution. That this is a very commercial series is indicated by the supposed cliff-hanging ending of each novel, presumably urging readers to buy the next one. But readers, it would be better to save up for a broomstick.