[BOOK REVIEW] ”Careful what you ask the wind.” //The Near Witch by V.E. Schwab//

There are no strangers in the town of Near.

Until a stranger arrives. No signs. No warning. He sets foot in this old town full of old people set in their old ways and all of a sudden, the wind shifts it’s course.

Faint voices intertwined with the howling wind – as if lamenting it’s loss of attentive listeners. It wants to tell you a story. A story that’s as old as Near itself. A story of a misunderstood but powerful soul and it’s soul’s thirst for revenge.

Are you willing to listen?

I sat in the front yard – with my back propped up on one of those black chairs that my dad keep with such care, and legs straightened on the other. The wind that started in the rusting leaves found it’s powerful way into my open hair. It felt as if the driving force of the book I was holding in my hands had crawled into my world, and it was just the beginning.

The Near Witch had come.
Or had I gone to meet her?
Was I in the town of Near?
Or was it in me?

Honestly? I don’t even know. All I cared about was the fact that there was this strange music all around me – the wind was singing and the words were compelling. THAT was the power this book held over my mind, even my surroundings.

From the very first page itself, I was left in awe of the way Schwab played tricks on me – her hauntingly lyrical prose and the world she created were so convincing that for the time being, nothing existed other than me, the town of Near, and it’s people.

”Nothing good grows out of fear.”

Fear is a strange thing.

It has the power to make you act in ways you never even contemplated of. But while it may be true for some, others see it as an opportunity to finally let out all those horrible urges that they have been holding on for far too long. And that’s what happens when one by one, the children of this moor bound town start disappearing. People’s ignorance and unwillingness to at least try to understand a point of view that goes against their idea of what’s ”NORMAL” ignites the fire of chaos and fear feeds it until it becomes uncontrollably large and dangerous.

And all of it must come down to that mysterious stranger that ”vanishes in thin air.”
Does he?
Doesn’t he?
How can we know for SURE?!

”He’s a ghost.”

”No such thing as a ghost. He’s a halfling – part man, part crow.”

Rumors and lies start spreading all around and everyone decides to take the course that’s of the least inconvenience to them. And all of this – for what? JUST TO KEEP THEIR OWN PASTS HIDDEN.

Yes. A LOT of happens IN the story, as it goes on. But let me also tell you what happens OUT of it.

You see it’s one thing to follow the characters – especially such strong and determined ones as Lexibut it’s a whole another thing to actually BE them, to lose yourself in their struggles and actions that you experience the same changes that THEY go through. ALL OF THAT is what happens seemingly away from the hustle and bustle of the ongoing plot

because it happens in oneself;
it happens IN THE HEART AND THE MIND.

Lexi was someone who believed in what she did and did what she had ABSOLUTE AND UNWAVERING FAITH IN. She was so in touch with the gifts that the moor – the nature – had bestowed on her that it was a delightful experience to just BE ON THE JOURNEY WITH HER.

The way the whole story is structured and written is additive BEYOND MY EXPECTATIONS!! What started as a love affair with the cover soon made me realize that the TRUE beauty of this book lay deep within it’s heart, in it’s very core – and I could not have been more pleased!

Page after page, I could feel myself becoming more and more emotionally invested in Lexi and Cole’s relationship. Theirs was an attachment that was given time to flourish as naturally as a little rose bud spreading it’s petalled wings delicately and unapologetically FOR ALL TO SEE AND ADMIRE AND FALL IN LOVE WITH IT!

COLE, though! I fell for him. Ached for him. Rooted for him. I did it ALL for him and Lexi. AND OH MY GOD! The more I fell for him, the more I feared that he would be taken away from me! 😦

BUT WAS HE?

WHAT HAPPENED EXACTLY –
To the Near Witch that she had to unleash her wrath upon the village?
To the people of Near who were so rigidly set in their – borderline idiotic – ways?
To Lexi and Cole who were thrown into circumstances they SHOULD NOT have had to deal with so young?
AND ABOVE ALL –

WHAT WILL HAPPEN TO YOU ONCE YOU DECIDE TO PICK UP THIS GORGEOUS BOOK?

I’ll let you find all of that out o your own. But, always remember –

“Properly buried.”
“Properly kept.”
“That is the way with witches.”
“And with all things.”

And disrespected bodies often give rise to vengeful bones that lay their roots deep and infect the land with their hatred and anger.