Witch Culture - Melting Pot
I am a huge Harry Potter fan....no really....HUGE. I own just about every book that has anything to do with the beautiful world that J.K. Rowling created. I visit Pottermore often. I know my Hogwarts House (Ravenclaw), Ilvermorny House (Wampus), and my patronus is a badger – though, I’d like to think it’s a honey badger. Ha!
I stumbled upon Akata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor at my local bookstore and it made me stop and ponder a few things. Harry Potter follows the European traditions and notions with regards to witches and wizards. Which made me wonder, what are other cultural traditions and thoughts on witches and witchcraft?
This month's selections provide a sampling of witch cultures.
It was the cover and back cover copy that made me pick up this book. However, it was the engaging characters that kept me turning the pages. Akata Witch is a lovely young adult story that follows the life of twelve year-old Sunny as she discovers her powers.
Sunny is a Nigerian albino who spent her early formative years in America. Not only does the story give you a peak into Nigerian traditions, it also touches on what it is like to be an African-American of Nigerian decent returning to Nigeria.
Harry Potter fans will enjoy elements like the funky bus and the great battle scenes. The second book in the series, Akata Warrior, will be released before the end of year….and yes, I already have it on pre-order.
Akata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor
Affectionately dubbed "the Nigerian Harry Potter," Akata Witch weaves together a heart-pounding tale of magic, mystery, and finding one's place in the world.
Twelve-year-old Sunny lives in Nigeria, but she was born American. Her features are African, but she's albino. She's a terrific athlete, but can't go out into the sun to play soccer. There seems to be no place where she fits in. And then she discovers something amazing—she is a "free agent" with latent magical power. Soon she's part of a quartet of magic students, studying the visible and invisible, learning to change reality. But will it be enough to help them when they are asked to catch a career criminal who knows magic too?
Ursula K. Le Guin and John Green are Nnedi Okorafor fans. As soon as you start reading Akata Witch, you will be, too
One of my favorite authors, Daniel Jose Older, recommended this book and provided a cover copy blurb….so I had to pick it up. From beginning to end, Labyrinth Lost doesn’t disappoint. This story of love, family, and self-acceptance is a brilliant peak into brujas and their place in Latin culture. I will most definitely look for more works by Zoraida Córdova.
Labyrinth Lost by Zoraida Córdova
The only way to get her family back is to travel to a land in between, as dark as Limbo and as strange as Wonderland...
Alex is a bruja, the most powerful witch in a generation...and she hates magic.
At her Deathday celebration, Alex performs a spell to rid herself of her power. But it backfires. Her whole family vanishes into thin air, leaving her alone with Nova, a brujo boy she's not sure she can trust, but who may be Alex's only chance at saving her family.
Praise for Labyrinth Lost:
"Enchanting and complex. Every page is filled with magic."-Danielle Paige, New York Times best-selling author of Dorothy Must Die
"... enchants from start to finish. Labyrinth Lost is pure magic." -Melissa Grey, author of The Girl at Midnight
"Magical and empowering, Labyrinth Lost is an incredible heroine's journey filled with mythos come to life; but at its heart, honors the importance of love and family." -Cindy Pon, author of Serpentine and Silver Phoenix
"A brilliant brown-girl-in-Brooklyn update on Alice in Wonderland and Dante's Inferno. Very creepy, very magical, very necessary."-Daniel Jose Older, author of Shadowshaper
My To Be Read Pile:
You will see The Bone Witch in my October column, for sure!
The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco
In the captivating start to a new, darkly lyrical fantasy series for readers of Leigh Bardugo and Sabaa Tahir, Tea can raise the dead, but resurrection comes at a price...
Let me be clear: I never intended to raise my brother from his grave, though he may claim otherwise. If there's anything I've learned from him in the years since, it's that the dead hide truths as well as the living.
When Tea accidentally resurrects her brother from the dead, she learns she is different from the other witches in her family. Her gift for necromancy means that she's a bone witch, a title that makes her feared and ostracized by her community. But Tea finds solace and guidance with an older, wiser bone witch, who takes Tea and her brother to another land for training.
In her new home, Tea puts all her energy into becoming an asha?one who can wield elemental magic. But dark forces are approaching quickly, and in the face of danger, Tea will have to overcome her obstacles...and make a powerful choice.
Memoirs of a Geisha meets The Name of the Wind in this brilliant new fantasy series by Rin Chupeco!
Columnist: C. Morgan Kennedy
I have a confession to make. I’m a time traveler. I love flinging myself into the future, then hurtling fast to an alternative past. In my usual time-space-dimension, I’m a mechanical engineer and business woman. So, I have a natural penchant for hover cars and steam or aether powered engines. Though I was born in the wrong era, I’m actually a child of the sixties – 1860, 1960, 2060.
My stories feature strong women, who know how to wield their minds like weapons. Their men are smart and often controlling….but, rest assured, my female leads give them a run for their money. They strive to follow their hearts and dreams for the betterment of themselves and their loved ones. Like my life, all of my stories feature a diverse cast of characters.
With my business partner, Therese Patrick, I work to demystify marketing principles for my author friends. Our first book, Author Marketing 101 Guide & Journal, was published by Gazebo Gardens Publishing and released in October 2013.
Steampunk, futurist, blerd, artist, author, and marketing maven…a real creative force of nature – that’s me in a nutshell.
Keep tabs on my adventures via my blog, Morgan’s Mix Tape, on my website: http://www.cmorgankennedy.com.