The Rubicus Prophecy & Witch Wars by Alaine Adams, illustrated by Jonathan Stroh

The Rubicus Prophecy & Witch Wars, Witches of Orkney series by Alaine Adams, illustrated by Jonathan Stroh. SparkPress, 2019. 9781943006984, 9781943006984

Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 4

Format: Paperback

Genre:  Fantasy

What did you like about the book? In the second installment of the Witches of Orkney series, Abigail is back, and in trouble again.  Having escaped death, she is now in her second year at the Tarkana Witch Academy. Endera and her mates Nelly and Glorian are still set on getting her kicked out and are more ruthless than ever.  In this volume, the school learns that the Curse Breaker is in school and could be any of the students. Could it be Abigail who breaks Odin’s curse?  As if things could not get worse, war looms on the horizon as an Orkadian warship arrives on shore.

In the third installment of the Witches of Orkney series, Abigail is still in her second year at the Tarkana Witch Academy, when she accidentally helped the powerful he-witch,Vertulious to re-materialize. Now he is dominating the school and making life horrible for teachers and students alike. Endera, dealing with her mother’s death, is still set on getting her kicked out and is more determined than ever. In this volume, Abigail and Hugo attempt to visit Thor and hope that his hammer will restore balance and prevent war with Orkadia.

Fans of the first book will not be disappointed with these page-turning sequels to The Blue Witch.  Abigail, along with new friends, will enchant readers with their adventures.  Black and white illustrations help to bring the story to life. A map of Orkney in the front of the novels will be helpful to readers.

Anything you didn’t like about it?  They are dark and characters die, which may be hard for some readers.  Reference to Norse gods might be challenging for readers who do not have this background knowledge.

To whom would you recommend this book? Readers, in grades 5 to 8, who enjoyed Harry Potter or Charlie Bone stories about overcoming adversity may enjoy this series.  

Who should buy this book? These would be a good purchase for middle schools or public libraries that cannot get enough fantasy stories with magic and strong female protagonists.

Where would you shelve it ? Fantasy

Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? I feel that these titles would reside near the top of the “to read” pile.

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City and State: Elena Schuck, Nathaniel H. Wixon School Library, Dennis, Massachusetts

Date of review: October 19, 2021

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