Monday, March 25, 2019

Middle Grade Monday and Audiobook Review: The Apprentice Witch by James Nicol

The Apprentice Witch by James Nicol. Unabridged audiobook on 7 compact discs. 7 hours and 34 minutes. Read by Elizabeth Knowelden. Scholastic Audio, 2017. 9781338159721. (Review of audio borrowed from public library. Own hc.)

Middle Grade Monday features The Apprentice Witch by James Nicol. Nicol's delightful debut features Arianwyn Gribble, an insecure student witch who is haunted by a mysterious symbol and bullied relentlessly by Gimma. When she flunks her witch's final, she's not sure what the future holds until her influential grandmother pulls some strings, Arianwyn is dispatched to Lull as an apprentice witch. Lull is not as dull as one might think, especially with the dark woods just outside its borders. Woods that might hide any manner of evil being. Will Arianwyn be up to the task of being Lull's apprentice witch?

This was such a fun read made all the more enjoyable by the performance of new-to-me narrator, Elizabeth Knowelden. Her narration was perfectly paced and her vocal inflections were easy to follow. The world that Nicol created is vivd and its characters are all memorable. They are a lovable, eccentric bunch. Lonely and self-doubting Arianwyn is achingly relatable. Readers will just want to give her a hug. 

This is a great book to hand to your fans of magic and witchcraft. The ending wraps up nicely but leaves room for book two, A Witch Alone, which is on shelves now and which I cannot wait to read. 

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