“The nature of witches” by Rachel Griffin is a wonderful YA fantasy romance novel about extreme weather, and how witches are taught to deal with it. The cover gives it the look of a classic, there is something both compelling and comforting about it, I wasn’t even sure if it was really a young adult book when I looked at it, but I knew I wanted to give it a try. I did well.
We follow the adventures of Clara, an exceptional witch who can control all the seasons, but her unusual power comes at a heavy cost, when she gets overwhelmed, her powers seek the people she loves and kills them. And so she builds herself an iron tower that she blocks tight to stop all emotions and plans to get rid of her power. But can she in all conscious do that when she might just be the only solution to global warming and can save countless lives? Shouldn’t she choose self sacrifice?
The book is really a declaration of love to nature, the weather, flowers, and there is something very anchoring about it. I am sure many younger readers will find it comforting and it will talk to many of their conflicting emotions. I loved Sang’s kindness and he made for a truly sweet love interest. Because it is a book heavily about emotions it talks to everyone, especially self-doubt, the fear of blooming emotions and hurting someone when you are not in the same places as them. There are many analogies that can be made.
I really enjoyed that this book addressed global warming. It is not a topic we see enough in fiction. But we are creating a terrible world right now, we are beyond the turnaround point, and the fact it is not a priority for most people is the most terrifying of all. When we see the extent of the damage, that is when we regret that the world is managed by elderly people. They obviously don’t expect to live in what they are leaving behind. This book talks a lot about responsibility, and I think this is a debate everyone should have.
There is no real antagonist in this novel either, so while there is many ups and downs and blames, this is rather a relaxing read. While the stakes are high, they are not brought up in a sensationalist way, and I think that’s the power of the book. There is something that almost reminds me of Jo Walton’s books, and if you liked Among Others you will certainly enjoy this.