Witches of ash & ruin

E. 1987- Latimer

Book - 2020

Told in multiple voices, seventeen-year-olds Dayna Walsh and Meiner King, witches from rival covens, team up in a small Irish town to seek a serial killer with motives enmeshed in a web of magic and gods.

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Subjects
Genres
Fantasy fiction
Published
New York : Freeform Books 2020.
Edition
First edition
Language
English
Physical Description
374 pages ; 24 cm
Audience
Ages 14-18.
Grades 10-12.
ISBN
9781368052252
1368052258
Main Author
E. 1987- Latimer (author)
Review by PW Annex Reviews

Dayna Walsh, 17, feels most at home with her coven and away from her reverend father and his followers. Dayna has plenty to deal with—the disclosure of her bisexuality in her small Irish town, her OCD, and the return of her estranged mother—even before a witch is killed and branded with the mark of the Butcher, a serial killer hunting witches in 10-year cycles. When her coven accepts the help of a witch rumored to work in black magic, Dayna navigates her feelings for a new love interest and member of a rival coven. In her race to catch the Butcher, Dayna experiences coincidences that suggest her role within her own coven is more complicated than first believed. Latimer (The Strange and Deadly Portraits of Bryony Gray) infuses modern-day references with Celtic mythology while packing the novel with gory action, alternating viewpoints between the witches and those who hunt them. Despite unresolved subplots and a problematic depiction of Catholicism, the action sequences are cinematic in scope, and rich interior characterizations add depth to an arresting story. Ages 14–up. Agent: Silvia Molteni, Peters Fraser and Dunlop. (Mar.) Copyright 2020 Publishers Weekly Annex.

Review by School Library Journal Reviews

Gr 8 Up—Dayna Walsh is a closeted witch hiding the truth from her conservative reverend father. Recently outed as bisexual, Dayna is socially isolated outside of her coven in her small Irish town. When witches start becoming victims of an alleged serial killer, two rival covens must team up to hunt the hunters. Complicating this fact is Meiner King, the granddaughter of an infamous dark witch, whom Dayna finds infuriating and fascinating. Dayna and Meiner must join together in a fight for their lives, their town, and the world. The creative magic system, based on Celtic mythology combined with modern neopaganism, is the selling point of this story. The well-drawn and diverse set of queer female characters is also notable. Young readers may be frustrated and disoriented in the beginning when the book switches among a large number of point of view characters. The rapid-fire introduction of characters with names unfamiliar to an American audience may also confuse readers, but it is worth it to read the conclusion of this pulse-pounding story. Each character has complex motives and backstory, and these plotlines intertwine well in the end. Latimer does not shy away from the gruesome side of dark magic, so squeamish readers should stay away. VERDICT A suspenseful supernatural story. Recommended for libraries serving teens, especially where occult and horror books are popular.—Jeri Murphy, C.F. Simmons Middle School, Aurora, IL Copyright 2020 School Library Journal.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

Struggling with Somatic OCD, her premature outing as a bisexual and the return of her long-absent mother, 17-year-old Dayna concentrates on her growing witch powers before members of a dark coven share dire predictions. 50,000 first printing. Simultaneous eBook.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

Told in multiple voices, seventeen-year-olds Dayna Walsh and Meiner King, witches from rival covens, team up in a small Irish town to seek a serial killer with motives enmeshed in a web of magic and gods.

Review by Publisher Summary 3

Modern witchcraft blends with ancient Celtic mythology in an epic clash of witches and gods, perfect for fans of V.E. Schwab's Shades of Magic trilogy and The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina.   Seventeen-year-old Dayna Walsh is struggling to cope with her somatic OCD; the aftermath of being outed as bisexual in her conservative Irish town; and the return of her long-absent mother, who barely seems like a parent. But all that really matters to her is ascending and finally, finally becoming a full witch—plans that are complicated when another coven, rumored to have a sordid history with black magic, arrives in town with premonitions of death. Dayna immediately finds herself at odds with the bewitchingly frustrating Meiner King, the granddaughter of their coven leader. And then a witch turns up murdered at a local sacred site, along with the blood symbol of the Butcher of Manchester—an infamous serial killer whose trail has long gone cold. The killer's motives are enmeshed in a complex web of witches and gods, and Dayna and Meiner soon find themselves at the center of it all. If they don't stop the Butcher, one of them will be next.

Review by Publisher Summary 4

Modern witchcraft blends with ancient Celtic mythology in an epic clash of witches and gods, perfect for fans of V.E. Schwab's Shades of Magic trilogy and The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina.   Seventeen-year-old Dayna Walsh is struggling to cope with her somatic OCD; the aftermath of being outed as bisexual in her conservative Irish town; and the return of her long-absent mother, who barely seems like a parent. But all that really matters to her is ascending and finally, finally becoming a full witch'plans that are complicated when another coven, rumored to have a sordid history with black magic, arrives in town with premonitions of death. Dayna immediately finds herself at odds with the bewitchingly frustrating Meiner King, the granddaughter of their coven leader. And then a witch turns up murdered at a local sacred site, along with the blood symbol of the Butcher of Manchester'an infamous serial killer whose trail has long gone cold. The killer's motives are enmeshed in a complex web of witches and gods, and Dayna and Meiner soon find themselves at the center of it all. If they don't stop the Butcher, one of them will be next.