Posted in Recommendations

Review: The Midwinter Witch

This book is special to my little blog I did my first review of the first book in the series so I’m very happy to review the last one. Though honestly I could read adventures about these characters for quite a while longer.

The Midwinter Witch 

The Midwinter Witch by [Molly Knox Ostertag]


You can find my reviews for the first two parts of the series here and here. Now I was just starting reviewing so be kind please.

As we left off in the last book Ariel has become a magical ward of the Vanissen family. She’s getting lessons in witchery, but some stuff just isn’t sticking she has questions about her past.

However those questions will have to wait as she joins Aster in the Midwinter Festival, a giant family reunion of the entire Vanissen family. Which includes competitions in witchery and shapeshifting.

Aster is excited to compete as a witch in the annual Jolrun tournament. He wants to show everyone he’s proud of who he is, but defying tradition always comes with a price.

Those questions about Ariel’s past might not be willing to wait, a strange woman is visiting her in her dreams claiming to be her family. She claims she knows the truth about Ariel’s past. While Ariel appreciates what the Vanissen’s have done for her this woman may be offering a place where she can truly belong.

However, this woman has dark secrets and when sinister forces tear apart the family reunion, will Ariel finally see that her place is among the Vanissens, or will she let dark magic draw her away from her newfound family.


I’ll take 8 million more of these please. Seriously this series is like candy, it’s sweet in all the right places, hits all the emotional notes that it needs to hit, and shows the importance of family all while talking about defying gender roles! What more could you ask for? I’m pretty bummed the series is over but I figure that Knox-Ostertag will write something else great in the future so I’m here for that.

While there aren’t actually any LGBT  main characters (Charlie has two dads), Ariel and Charlie are strongly suggested as being a potential couple at some point. So that’s why I’m going to make this my second review for Pride Month. Also the book is written by and LGBTQ author and talks a lot about defying gender roles so I think it counts.

Five Favorite Things

  1. The Magic System
  2. Aster’s influence
  3. Ariel’s choice
  4. Charlie
  5. Aster’s mom

Overall these books always get 5 stars so it’s no different now. Great book, by a great author would love to read more work from them.

Amazon: The Midwinter Witch

Photo by Simon Migaj from Pexels

Posted in Uncategorized

The Witch Boy Review

I recently finished The Witch Boy by Molly Knox Ostertag and I can’t help but give it glowing reviews. Before I even get to the plot, it’s simply a beautiful book. Every character’s art is distinct, even the names seem to have a deeper meaning. It’s a world, despite having scary points in the story, that you want to jump into and chill out in.

As for the overall plot, it is well paced and keeps tension throughout the story. There is also a good twist ending that I saw coming but I won’t spoil. Even though I saw it coming I still enjoyed it.

Ostertag gives the characters heart and makes you feel for them. You definitely get a sense of their personalities even though you just meet some of them for a few pages.

The story itself is about Aster who comes from a family of witches and shapeshifters. These roles are gender-based are girls are witches and boys are shapeshifters. Yet deep down Aster knows he’s a witch. Despite his family’s disapproval of his interest in witchery. Aster tries to pick up what he can of witchery by overhearing lessons and trying out techniques in secret.

All the while he keeps his head down as the pressure to become a shapeshifter like his father, uncles, and cousins continue to mount. On a special night when he’s supposed to find the first animal form, he’s supposed to be able to shapeshift into. Something strange happens to one of his cousins

Soon the boys from his family start disappearing and the witches can’t find a solution.

Will Aster and his new friend Charlie be able to help where others can’t? Are they the ones who can face an old family enemy and live to tell the tale.



Aster and Charlie’s Friendship

It was adorable. The two bonded over berries and gender expectations. Even though Charlie doesn’t get enough page time in this volume, she’s a standout. She helps Aster see a side of himself he’s not expecting and doesn’t think his being a witch is odd. They are great equals, in the way that they are both outcasts.


She provides a great ‘real’ world perspective to Aster’s mystical family. She also helps him piece together some difficult problems about what is expected of him. But far from being just a helper, she has a very useful ball bat.

The Grandmother

Though she gets far more page time in the second book, her last couple of pages with Aster in this book make her worthy of a nod. Also, the fact she has a peg leg and I think is purposefully calling everyone by the wrong name.


None really.


I’d recommend this book probably to a middle-grade audience. Probably 8-12. I’d totally read it again. It’s a great story about defying what is expected of you, being who you are really meant to be. It’s especially important for youth from unsupportive families.


Though the cast is diverse, Aster and some of his cousins are mixed race. Charlie is black. Charlie also has two dads and some of Aster’s cousins have two moms. All of this seems to be just seems to be in the background to Aster’s gender role issue. I can understand this, but I would have liked at least a nod to some of the other issues.


This book deserves 4.5 stars, it’s well paced, I love character relationships, and the art is fantastic. Also, I’d totally re-read it. I think it’s going to be one of my favorites this year.