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Heart of the Witch by [Goodwin, Judy]
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Heart of the Witch Kindle Edition

4.5 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Length: 452 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
Page Flip: Enabled

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Product description

About the Author

Judy Goodwin has been writing since she was a child, when her fourth grade English instructor told her, ‘You should be a writer.” She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Creative Writing from the University of Arizona, and a Masters in Education from Argosy University. Over the last ten years she has appeared in several small press magazines and anthologies with her fantasy and science fiction short stories and poetry. This is her debut novel. When not working on her fiction, Judy works at a local college and also does technical writing as a consultant. She is proud to say that her daughter has the writing bug as well. They live in a house full of life in the form of three dogs and four cats, and always try to appreciate the beauty of nature. You can connect with the author at her blog here: http://judygoodwin.wordpress.com or at her Twitter account, judygoodwin6. She is also a Goodreads member.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 4144 KB
  • Print Length: 452 pages
  • Publisher: Diamond Print Press; 2nd edition edition (2 Jan. 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,606,424 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

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While the underlying plot of a young magic user having to flee an oppressive religion and find his place in the world is common in fantasy, Goodwin adds freshness by setting it in a world of colonial oppressors and black-powder weapons rather than a pseudo-European Middle Ages.

Zerrick Dhur is trapped between two drives: as the son of the pastor, he is expected to be an example of proper behaviour; as a curious teenager, he wants to learn all the magic his mentor can teach him. But, studying magic is not just inappropriate it is sinful, forcing him to learn in secret. When his mentor is arrested for witchcraft, Zerrick is forced to exchange his comfortable life for one of running from both the righteous and the criminals who lurk in the jungle.

Goodwin’s world-building is solid. Both the colonials and the natives have a distinct society but are composed of disparate groups, creating an immediate feeling of realism.

The revelation of both magic and the more unusual flora and fauna is well-paced, allowing the reader to share Zerrick’s learning experience without having to experience long periods where little develops. Both the risks of magic and its source are plausible, creating a balance between solving problems and causing them.

The religions are similarly skilfully crafted, offering both benefits and disadvantages to followers. And – unlike some fantasy novels – there is no hierarchy of worth; no one religion overcomes the others, or is ethically superior.

The dénouement, when it arrives, is both satisfying and consistent with the rest of the book.

Goodwin’s characterisation is as sound as her world-building. Zerrick’s combination of self-doubt and arrogance is a very realistic response to the stresses he faces.
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Format: Kindle Edition
I am a fan of the fantasy genre. In fact, the majority of what I read is fantasy. I enjoyed Heart of the Witch. Fans of the genre will not be disappointed.

Zerrick is a well-developed character and following him through his coming of age story was a treat. The elements of fantasy that can be hard to create, such as the rules of magic, were done nicely and were easy to follow. The world created for the story was well though out and interesting.

Overall, this is a great story that will hold your attention
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Format: Paperback
I enjoyed this book. The world and magic were well-thought out, the cultural conflicts as Zerrick (and his honey Mira) moved from place to place kept it interesting. Some of the background was maybe a bit over-detailed -- but that's a quibble. Overall, Heart Of The Witch has a good and satisfying plot, and the story moved along nicely. I liked the heroes, and disliked the villains, and rooted for the former to succeed.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Heart of the Witch follows Zerrick, a young man who practices magic in secret under the tutelage of Alden, an old herbalist. The problem is, he lives in a town becoming more and more afraid of "witches" and the power they wield. No one would ever suspect that the witch everyone is so afraid of is Zerrick, the son of the town's pastor, a devout follower of Iahmel, whose purpose is to rile the town against the threat of witches.

Zerrick, hearing differing histories and views from both his father and his mentor, is conflicted from the start. On the one hand, he is taught that magic is evil and dangerous, a gateway to the domain of Angist. His father also teaches that Ainera, the Goddess of magic, is also evil, a trickster to fool people into using and abusing their magic. On the other hand, Zerrick is taught that Ainera and the magic are not inherently evil and that the magic is natural and beneficial. Only men with evil hearts who listen to the lies of Angist use it for evil. This contradiction forces Zerrick to consider each side for himself. But the conflict doesn't remain an internal one for long, because the benevolent Ainera and the evil Angist eventually take note of him.

Overall, the plot, characters, mythology, and cultures within the story are both well-developed and believable. I enjoyed the parallels drawn with Christianity and with colonial pilgrims (including their fear of witchcraft). Although this is a work of fiction, it's obvious the author draws from extensive knowledge of these subjects to weave such a vibrant world.

I love this book and would recommend it to anyone who loves thought-provoking fantasy that doesn't strictly adhere to the cliched norms of the fantasy genre.

I received a free copy of this book in return for an honest, non-reciprocal review.
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