- Paperback: 192 pages
- Publisher: Puffin; First Thus edition (7 Feb. 2002)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0141314001
- ISBN-13: 978-0141314006
- Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 1.3 x 19.8 cm
- Average Customer Review: 31 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 607,361 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Wicca: Book Of Shadows (1) Paperback – 7 Feb 2002
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Fifteen-year-old Morgan thinks witchcraft is laughable when her best friend, Bree, drags her to a meeting of the Cirrus Coven. But during a ceremony led by Cal, a new and very attractive boy who's just arrived in the area, Morgan starts to feel strange. Does she have special power? She doesn't want to get involved in witchcraft but it seems as though she doesn't have a choice. Gradually she discovers things about herself and her family that throw her whole life into question.
About the Author
Cate Tiernan has written several books for young adults in the US. This is her first book for Puffin UK. She has researched Wicca and witchcraft thoroughly for this series, giving the story an authentic and convincing background. Cate lives in the USA.
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Also, the blurb is a little misleading. It makes the book sound mysterious and dark, whilst the story is quite a bit lighter. But then again the blurb was one of the things that made me read this book. So it balances out.
But to the book. This was the first time I read this particular book, although I have read Cate Tiernan’s “Immortal Beloved” (which I liked). Her writing style is still very nice and flowing. The pages flew by and made for a gripping story.
I found the story quite enjoyable, it moves at a nice pace and is well written. It reflected the protagonists feelings well. At first it bothered me slightly how Morgan just looked at Cal and then she was oh-so in love. But I tried seeing the story from a teenager’s perspective. Often the initial attraction is based on looks and there is no reason why this could not be real. And as teenagers sometimes do, maybe she is making it sound a little deeper in her head than it actually is. Which made me realize that Tiernan had actually a lot of insight into a teenagers world view when she wrote this story and that is very impressive.
Tiernan obviously went through great lengths to understand Wicca before putting this on the paper and for that she has my respect. I think it is really important that she was careful and thorough with this because unlike magic systems that are based on fantasy alone, Wicca is a real religion and Tiernan gave it the respect every religion deserves. You can see it especially in times when Morgan was conflicted about what she was doing due the opposition from her parents who were Christians.
Morgan is an interesting character who does quite a bit of self-discovering in the book and I think she is a well-developed character. I do hope that Cal (and his Wiccan mother) get more back story in later books. At first I had some trouble trying to keep up with all the numerous characters, but I liked how we got the extra information on them woven into the story. It was smooth and made the characters individuals.
I think this is a great story and would definitely recommend it, especially to teens. But I have a feeling that when the story develops it will also be very insightful for the older readership. “Book of Shadows” deserves three and a half stars and they are strong ones, shining bright next to the waning moon of the goddess.
The review is also on my blog:
This is the first in the Wicca/Sweep series which is hands down one of my favourite series of all time. I've read and reread these books countless times over the past ten years or so making an actual review way overdue. The book mixes magick (spelt here with a k) with normal teenage life in a fascinating way. The attention given to detail, especially in this first book shows that the author has done some serious research into modern Wicca and generally presents it in a realistic way, although a degree of artistic license is taken.
The storyline is well paced with Cal's appearance and the introduction of Wicca coming early on. From there the emotional ramifications of Morgan's choices keep the pace fast, and the writing makes the book really accessible and easy to read without being dull. Interestingly the start of each chapter includes a quote from a fictious magickal text and a segment from the journal of one of the characters which adds an extra dimension to the storyline.
Morgan is a brilliant lead character who really comes to life on the page. The first person narrative really allows the reader to get inside Morgan's head and experience things alongside her. Her inner turmoil about being drawn to Wicca is particularly well-written as are her family's reactions. As her life begins to change Morgan gradually becomes more confident and starts going after what she wants which is a brilliant characteristic.
The supporting characters are equally well written, with Bree pulling off the glamour-puss role without being irritating and Robbie being the ideal best friend. Cal is the perfect mix of gorgeous and tempting, especially with the additional draw of being the only witch Morgan and her friends know.
All in all, this was an awesome read and I can't wait to get stuck into The Coven.
Morgan is shown a whole new world when she meets Cal and with that whole new world she finds herself.
Cal introduces Morgan and her friends to Wicca and Morgan has an uncanny affinity for it. She's finally being noticed and when she and Cal develop feelings for each other it causes trouble amongst herself and Bree.
Despite the difficulty that practicing Wicca brings to Morgan's life, she finds that without it she feels empty. Choosing between Wicca and other important areas/people in her life is difficult for Morgan but will she be true to herself or others?
An interesting quote in the book that has always stuck with me from this book:
"Anytime you feel love for anything, be it stone, tree, lover, or child, you are touched by the Goddess's magick."
by Sabina Falconing, in a San Francisco coffee shop, 1980
Morgan has been touched by the Goddess! My only complaint with this book is the length, it is quite short, as is the rest of the series.
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