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It’s that time of year that spooky things become fun. Witches, magic and little scares turn the ordinary into something a bit more. Between the decorations, anticipation for trick-or-treating and yummy treats October is one of the best parts of the year.
I love to gather my kids up on the couch with blankets and hot cocoa and dive into a good story; well, at least I did when they were younger. But, once kids age past picture books, but aren’t yet old enough for teen or adult fare, it seems there aren’t a whole lot of options unless you’re into Goosebumps…which my 7 year old is not.
That’s why I was super excited to stumble upon the Witches of Orkney series by Alane Adams. This is a prequel series for fans of Legends of Orkney. It’s about witches, obviously, can get you into the spirit of the season, and is perfect for middle-grade kids between 7-12. Younger kids will probably need to be read to, but older kids could tackle it on their own.
Ok, so what’s it about? Well, I’m glad you asked.
The first book is The Blue Witch. It introduces us to Abigail, an orphaned witchling, (young witch) who is starting her first year at Tarkana Witch Academy.
She wants to be a great witch, but she faces bullies and struggles to find friends. An even bigger problem–she’s going to fail out of school if her magic powers don’t show up soon.
In her quest to fit in, things don’t always go as planned, and she isn’t immune to influences that do not have her best interests at heart.
You can listen to/watch the author read the entire book, chapter by chapter, on her YouTube channel. It’s a fun way for kids to listen and each video auto plays into the next.
Book 2, The Rubicus Prophecy picks up where the first book leaves off.
Abigail is starting her 2nd year at Tarkana academy, taking her classes, trying to resist an evil spell book that wants her to use it, and learning about the famed Rubicus Prophecy–about the chosen one who will break the God Odin’s curse over the witches–as it becomes the talk of the school.
Once a mysterious ship arrives, she and her friend Hugo are swept up in a mystery quest searching for a missing object with a by from the ship. Then she learns she must stop the Rubicus Prophecy or everyone she cares about could be destroyed.
Book 3 is Witch Wars, and it’s brand new!
Since the end of the Rubicus Prophecy things have not been going well for Abigail. After throwing off the balance of powers between the witches, Gods and regular humans, she is determined to fix it before war erupts and destroys them all.
With the help of friends, she’ll have to outwit foes who are trying to stop her. But, the outcome is far from certain. Will Abigail and Hugo be able to turn things around and bring peace?
What I like about this series it that it’s a pretty easy and quick read for middle-grade readers. It’s a fun one to read aloud too. The books are full of suspense that isn’t too scary, but lends enough sorcery, witches and magic to make it fit right in with October fun.
Abigail is a nice girl who struggles following her heart when witches are “supposed” to be mean and hard hearted. It’s great for lessons on friendship, being yourself, overcoming challenges and learning a bit about Norse mythology too.
My daughter and I really enjoyed the Witches of Orkney series. The stories are a bit simple and not very in depth; and the world isn’t fleshed out fully, but they’re fun and there is always something happening.
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