Yes, I review books by other people who don’t have the last name “Newquist.” It just so happens that I’m a pretty fast reader and I like to pass along the word about good stuff I think readers of this blog might enjoy. Which brings me to the fourth book in Morgon Newquist’s The School of Spells & War series, The Witch’s Gift.
The Witch’s Gift is another of those interstitial character pieces like book two that seem to fall between the more weighty adventures. The Witch’s Gift picks up after the wizard Alis and the warrior Cahan return from successfully ridding the remote village of Ashfern from the spirit of a malovelent witch. Alis is testing her new powers out on the titular school’s ground when–BOOM!–she causes a gigantic explosion.
It turns out that the witch from Ashfern imbued Alis with her power, and the results are hard to control. Not only that, they’ve caught the attention of the school’s headmaster . . .
There’s not much more to say about The Witch’s Gift without providing a blow-by-blow synopsis. It’s short, and it gives more insight into Alis and Cahan, serving as a breather before their next soon-to-be-released adventure.
I will say I like the adventure–short breather at the school–adventure–short breather–and so on pattern that Ms. Newquist appears to be following. But it does seem that we’ve gotten a much clearer glimpse into Alis and what makes her tick than we have with Cahan. Perhaps Cahan is just more guarded, though we’ve gotten tidbits about his story, particularly in book two. I don’t presume to tell Ms. Newquist how to write her stories, but a little more about Cahan wouldn’t be amiss.
If you’re already a fan of this series, there’s no reason not to pick this one up as a nice appetizer before book five. It introduces a new character, hints a little more at Alis and Cahan’s “will-they-or-won’t-they?” dynamic, and sets up plot points and concepts that I’m sure will have ramifications in the future.
And there’s still the overarching problem of the Formless to deal with . . .