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The Black Witch

The Black Witch Chronicles, Book 1
Narrated by: Julia Whelan
Length: 18 hrs and 11 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (1,596 ratings)
Regular price: $39.92
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Publisher's Summary

A Great Winged One will soon arise and cast his fearsome shadow upon the land. And just as Night slays Day, and Day slays Night, so also shall another Black Witch rise to meet him, her powers vast beyond imagining.

So foretells the greatest prophecy of the Gardnerian mages. Carnissa Gardner, the last prophesied Black Witch, drove back the enemy forces and saved her people during the Realm War. Now a new evil is on the horizon, and her granddaughter, Elloren, is believed to be Carnissa's heir - but while she is the absolute image of her famous grandmother, Elloren is utterly devoid of power in a society that prizes magical ability above nearly all else.

When she is granted the opportunity to pursue her lifelong dream of becoming an apothecary, Elloren is eager to join her brothers at the prestigious Verpax University and finally embrace a destiny of her own, free from the shadow of her grandmother's legacy. But she soon realizes that the university, which admits all manner of people - including the fire-wielding, winged Icarals, the sworn enemies of all Gardnerians - is an even more treacherous place for the granddaughter of the Black Witch.

©2017 Laurie Forest (P)2017 Harlequin Enterprises, Limited.

Critic Reviews

"This ambitious story is impressively narrated by the talented Julia Whelan, who creatively details its world of intricate magical practices and diverse inhabitants.... Whelan ably creates and sustains a wide cast of characters with intriguing and faithfully distinguished voices. Most importantly, she cultivates listeners' connection with flawed but ultimately good-hearted Elloren, whose first-person story portrays her fumbling attempts at understanding a wider world." ( AudioFile)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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The controversy should make you want to read this book!

I was intrigued when I first saw the publisher’s synopsis of The Black Witch, but then I read further and discovered all the controversy and negative press surrounding this book. When the public makes premature judgments and starts leaning toward book banning without so much as cracking the binding, I knew I had to find out more and I am so glad I did! The Black Witch is based in a fantasy world, but the protagonist, is dealing with issues of stereotypes, class divisions, racism, misogyny, and still darker real world issues loom. Like each of us, the main character has her flaws. She is often part of her society’s problems, but this story is about the journey of her self-discovery, how her world is not the idyllic place she believed, and how even the vast differences amongst those she comes in contact with cannot hide the beauty of what they have in common and will fight for, together.

52 of 53 people found this review helpful

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Amazing

I have read a lot of controversy around this book... after reading it I find that it's nothing like the people were ranting about. The main character was a sheltered girl who lives in a world of racism and makes friends and breaks down boundaries slowly. The book itself is fast paced and I highly doubt you will find a slow moment in the book.


Only complaint is that she is sometimes very sheltered.

43 of 44 people found this review helpful

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Takes its time but great story

This story trusts itself, it takes the listener on journey step by step and it also shows how religion can be used to justified anything. So, if you willing be patient with this book you won’t be disappointed, because this is a really great read.

10 of 10 people found this review helpful

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Amazing but...

If you are staunch in your religion, political views or sexual orientation this book is not for you (though you need to listen to it more than the rest of the populace.) The book touched on each of these subjects directly but not offensively. It has been a while since I've found a book that I simply couldn't stop listening to and I want more. I sincerely hope with the way this was left that there will be more books to come. The author and narrator are a perfect combination, drawing you in and holding you with a story and characters you can't help but love. I don't think I've been this vested in characters since the Harry Potter series. Simply wonderful.

16 of 17 people found this review helpful

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Great Story Illustrating the Stupidity of Bigotry

What made the experience of listening to The Black Witch the most enjoyable?

Julia Whelan. She was 50% of the reason I chose to buy this book. Every one of her narrations are fantastic

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Black Witch?

Elloren's awakening. Finding out that your people aren't the great saviors of the world and that everyone in the world doesn't want to be like you. In fact, your people have been murderous monsters and most of the world loathes you.

Which character – as performed by Julia Whelan – was your favorite?

Aerial. She got the crazy down perfectly.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

I was holding my breath a few times, scared for them and cheering for them at the same time.

Any additional comments?

People that are freaking out about racism, homophobia and misogyny in this book are totally missing the point.
How could you show the redemption of these characters without first showing the way they were raised and the prejudices they were steeped in. Are bigotry, racism, homophobia and misogyny disgusting? Yes, of course they are, and they were entirely necessary for the story to work.

19 of 21 people found this review helpful

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Worthy of listening to no matter your genre

So there has been controversy over this book.I can see where that is coming from. Not only was thus story well written, well narrated and enjoyable,it has a strong social message for everyone. This story addresses prejudices across the board within each race. Staged in a University setting, this shows how these different races hate each other and how some are learning to work together. Laurie Frost does a great job showing the hate as well as the awakening some of the students and their fears of being discovered for their change of thought among their peers in their own race, Read this book. If you are an individual with an open mind, it may be a reaffirmation of what you believe. If you have issues with other races that make up our humanity, you may be in for an awakening. I hope so.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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Delicious ... then disappointing.

My first impressions of this story were 'a magnificently deep and richly crafted story with deliciously detailed universe development and a heroine I could get behind ....

But I'm still waiting. The universe was as I suspected indeed detailed and imaginative and blew me away. I also appreciated the deeper themes and motifs. But all along I'm waiting for the main character to blow me away ... while she does develop and change ... it kind of feels like the whole time 'winter is coming , winter is coming' and then it never does. I'm hopeful for the next book ... please tell me there is a next book so my questions can be answered ???

NARRATOR WAS INCREDIBLE!!! The story telling was perfection. Well done. Five stars. Standing ovation. So many different characters speaking and I know exactly which one is at any given time. She did a fantastic job.

11 of 13 people found this review helpful

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Really Good! Only wish that......

.......the main female heroine didn't behave so simple-minded. I fully understand the author's want to make her appear sheltered; but the level of naivety shouldn't equate to a lack of common sense. Many series have turned me from reading them because of the same equation of: sheltered past equals no common sense.
*** Spoilers ***
For instance:
(1) Elloren states many times that Fallon scares her, yet she continuously goes after her, all the while knowing her own power isn't fully manifesting.
(2) Elloren cannot fathom why all the other Supernatural races despise her even after realizing her own direct likeness of her grandmother once she's been informed of her grandmother's cruelty.
(3) She ignorantly believes that her aunt will somehow move her to a new room even though she again states she's not wand fasting yet.
Lastly, my most frustrating example.......
(4) Elloren admits, during/after her legit wand testing, that remnants of her grandma's Black Witch power flows through her, deep inside; but she never even questions that she may in fact be the new Black Witch (& her fae side may be blocking it? Or a form of fae shielding was done to hide her power?). There's absolutely no speculation from her! Characters don't have to be written as dimwitted to come across as being sheltered.

Alas, I am currently downloading the 2nd book to this series! I'm hoping for Elloren to grow intellectually; however, if it doesn't happen, she's definitely not the worst character I've ever read about in a series. So there's that lol.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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should be required reading for every American

Absolutely amazing. The characters were compelling, the world-building was flawless, the story is crucial to America's current political climate. To top it all of, the narration brought everything to life perfectly. I didn't want it to end.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Did you hear about the controversy?

It’s not not a valid complaint. Anyone who objects to the racism in this book has missed the point entirely - or more likely, hasn’t actually read the novel. This is the story of a young woman raised with a limited worldview who’s advancement to university slowly opens her eyes. Without being accepting or apologetic, its possible to see how decent people could buy into such limited views. The kind of emotional turn-around illustrated here could come across as trite. In this case it’s quite masterfully handled with the characters having positive and negative experiences that shape their beliefs again and again in a very realistic way. Particular praise to the voice actor who reads the audible version. She did an amazing job with unique terms and names and generally made it possible for me to fall into this book hook line and sinker.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • phae
  • 05-13-17

Wonderful

I am bereft!! The book is finished... already..... and I have so many questions!
Where is the next one?
More, Ms Forest! MORE!!!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 01-25-19

A fantastic read.

I loved this book. I can't wait to get stuck into the next book. Performance was great and the story unfolded chapter by chapter. I may have to read it again!

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  • nat
  • 10-15-18

great read

loved this book can't wait to immerse myself in the next part of the series. Enjoyed getting to know all the characters and seeing them grow as the story unfolds. Captivated with the realisation that they still have more hidden depth and unanswered questions, leaving me wanting for more....

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  • Julie Evans
  • 10-06-18

Love this book

I am drawn in to the very different lives of the characters such detail pictures form in my mind friendships are formed based on common goals untruths uncovered about the history of each race powerful bonds forged secrets shared. I can't wait for the next book

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  • JR
  • 09-07-18

Best book in a very long time

I loved this book and the narration. Can’t bear that it’s finished. The characters are new and dynamic and it goes along at a great pace.
Fabulous!! More please.

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    2 out of 5 stars
  • Mr. D. Haywood
  • 05-15-18

Build up

sadly the book starts off very well, you're soon past the middle, then it stagnates, you get everyone's back story and deep character analysis. This absolutely ruins the book for me, from the action and promise of a thrilling character (the black witch) becoming so, stalls and stalls. so much so, I gave in.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 04-18-18

amazing book

totally captivated and can't wait for the next one! brilliant story line and characters. Loved it!

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  • Leanne M.
  • 02-24-18

Loved it

I need the 2nd one now can't wait for its release so so good, amazing

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 01-11-19

WOW!!

Wow what a great read. once you start you won't be able to stop!! Fantastic story and awesome narration :)

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  • MissMetalNeen
  • 07-13-17

Good story, not the best narration

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

I wouldn't because of the narration.

Would you be willing to try another book from Laurie Forest? Why or why not?

Yes I am looking forward to wandfasted coming out.

How could the performance have been better?

The narrative was not the best. The accents by the narrator was terrible.I really hate it when fantasy novels are read with American style words like (h)ERBs. It sounds stupid. The American accent just made the main character sound very mean girly/whining that at some points I found very hard to listen too.

Could you see The Black Witch being made into a movie or a TV series? Who would the stars be?

If it was it would be better played by English actors.