Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Book Review | WITCHES STEEPED IN GOLD by Ciannon Smart

Ciannon Smart
Publication: April 20, 2021
Publisher: HarperCollins CA,
Genre: Fantasy
Rating: ★★★★★

Divided by their order. United by their vengeance.

Iraya has spent her life in a cell, but every day brings her closer to freedom - and vengeance.

Jazmyne is the Queen’s daughter, but unlike her sister before her, she has no intention of dying to strengthen her mother’s power.

Sworn enemies, these two witches enter a precarious alliance to take down a mutual threat. But power is intoxicating, revenge is a bloody pursuit, and nothing is certain - except the lengths they will go to win this game.

Drenched in politics, social injustices, and ancestral magic, WITCHES STEEPED IN GOLD is a broad and complex narrative. This Jamaican-inspired fantasy is told in turns between two main characters. Jazmyne Cariot is an Alumbrar witch and successor to Doyenne Judair Cariot of the island Aiyca. Driven by her desire to bring back justice to her people, Jazmyne is one of the key minds leading a rebellion to overthrow her mother. Iraya Adair is an Obeah witch, rightful heir to the Aiycan throne, fueled by her newly awakened naevus and desire to avenge her family. Reluctantly, these two witches dared the Shook Bargain to eradicate their shared enemy.

Ciannon Smart created a world where magical power is a birthright, while deception and betrayal are must-learn skills. The large volume of details slowed the pace down, allowing the reader to absorb the intents and atmosphere of the storytelling. The distortion of good and evil towards the end of the narrative stretches the notion that good intentions can very well be poison. And while the plot is focused on the characters’ development and magical system, both fully realized and vivid, Smart’s intention to enlighten readers on Jamaican culture and feminism is not lost.

WITCHES STEEPED IN GOLD is a promising opening for an intense fantasy series. This is recommended for readers who enjoy rich world-building and unpredictable characters.


About the Author:

Of Jamaican heritage, Ciannon Smart grew up in a small town in the south-east of England. As the only daughter in a house full of boisterous sons, she developed a voracious appetite for reading from an early age, preferring anarchy in stories rather than real life. In YA she loves her heroines exactly as she loves her villains: wilful, wily, and unpredictable. When not writing, Ciannon can be found reading, painting, or taking the long way home to listen to a good song more than once.

*Thanks to HarperCollins for the galley in exchange for this unbiased review.
*This post is a part of the monthly linkups organized by Lovely Audiobooks! You can click here to check it out and be a part of it.


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