A new Black Witch will rise…her powers vast beyond imagining.
Elloren Gardner is the granddaughter of the last prophesied Black Witch, Carnissa Gardner, who drove back the enemy forces and saved the Gardnerian people during the Realm War. But while she is the absolute spitting image of her famous grandmother, Elloren is utterly devoid of power in a society that prizes magical ability above all else.
When she is granted the opportunity to pursue her lifelong dream of becoming an apothecary, Elloren joins her brothers at the prestigious Verpax University to embrace a destiny of her own, free from the shadow of her grandmother’s legacy. But she soon realizes that the university, which admits all manner of people—including the fire-wielding, winged Icarals, the sworn enemies of all Gardnerians—is a treacherous place for the granddaughter of the Black Witch.
As evil looms on the horizon and the pressure to live up to her heritage builds, everything Elloren thought she knew will be challenged and torn away. Her best hope of survival may be among the most unlikely band of misfits…if only she can find the courage to trust those she’s been taught to hate and fear.
So by now I'm sure everyone has heard of this book. You've been told this book is racist, sexist, homophobic, and lots of other horrible things. If you've been trying to talk about this book on Twitter in any positive form, then you have likely been called these things, I know I have. Well, I'm here to say that this book is none of the labels that have been stowed upon it by SJWs and neither are you for wanting to read it.
This book follows Elloren Gardner, from a small town called Halfix in Gardneria. She's very sheltered not knowing anything about other races other than what she's been taught, which aren't good things.
Right on the first page it shows how she's been raised to think: "The evil Icaral-demons." Her Aunt doesn't help this way of thinking either when it comes to other races, calling other races 'heretic races' (page 47), They may look like humans, Elloren, but they aren't." (Page 53)
So this is the kind of viewpoint that she had been made to see for 17 years. No others, of course she would be prejudice. It's all she knows how to be. Though what I love about this story is that she changes, even in the beginning you can see that she doesn't quite think the way the others of her kind do by the way she told Fenil'lyn to call her by her name. (Page 58) If she was truly racist then she would not want her to use her name and still use her title, because she would think she was better then her.
Then when Elloren is in the dress shop with the girls her Aunt sent to accompany her they are vile to a little Urisk girl and Elloren takes a jab at Fallon just for that. "I think of her treatment of the little girl and can't help myself." (Page 81)
Then she arrives at Verpax University and even some of the others there don't help her in seeing the truth any faster, she's bullied when she first starts work at the kitchen by people just as prejudice as Elloren is. Or the Icaral that tried to scare the crap out of her.
I think it's so important to say here that not everyone is as you'd think they would be. Just because someone did you wrong that does not mean that everyone from that group is just like them. So I can understand why the Icaral's wanted to scare her as they didn't want her to hurt them. They probably thought she was like others of her race and thought they were all evil. See how bad prejudice is?
The more she's around these other races, the more she sees that everything she was taught was wrong. These races aren't lower than her own, they are just like her. They are all people. One of her best friends even becomes Diana the Lupine girl (whom I love btw).
One of my favorite scenes in the whole book is where Elloren, Rafe, Diana, and Jarod talk about the things they've heard about the other. You can see that it really never occurred to them to believe anything different than what they were taught. (Pages 335-341)
Even one of Elloren's friends starts to see the truth, "It seems we may have been mistaken about them." (Page 341)
Also her little group soon works together to stop those in the Gardnerian army from their awful plans. They take down a freaking military base! Someone who doesn't change and thinks she better than all these other races would never do this. Just saying.
This book does have racist and prejudice characters. The author is showing how bad these things are. It's so heavy handed, the author shoves in down the readers throat that this kind of behavior isn't good! You can tell she is completely against it. Though people are still calling her horrid names on Twitter.
Also I want to address something else, a lot of people are saying that Elloren didn't change fast enough for their liking. Um, hello, you are raised to think one way for 17 years. You will not change overnight, but she did change fast once she saw the error of her ways.
I want to express how much I loved the teamwork in this novel, it wasn't just one girl saving the world. Nope, they banded together and worked together and it was glorious! The ending left me dying for more and I just can't wait to get my hands on more of this series.
This book is great and think everyone should read it, if it's your thing of thing, it's got a great plot, great character development, and the writing is easy to follow. Also I want to add you should read this book for Yvan Guriel because I want to know what is up with that guy and what secret he's hiding...
All I can say is don't be scared to read this book. Don't let others tell you what to do or how to think. Think for yourself, don't let some else's voice be yours. You have your own mind, make your own opinion. Be an individual. Be you!