Review & Guest Post: Witch Born

Witch Born (Witch Song #2) by Amber Argyle
Release Date ~ September 5, 2012
Starling Publishing
ISBN13:  9780985739409
E-galley received from author for my honest review

And you can read my review of the first book in the series, Witch Song, here!

Goodreads Synopsis:
Brusenna thought it was finished.
She defeated the Dark Witch, saving the Haven Witches from imprisonment and death. She found love and a place to belong.
She was wrong.
Haven is not the sanctuary it appears to be. Even love is in danger of slipping away like water through cupped hands.
Some things can't be saved.
A new threat merges with the old as the Witches’ dark history begins to catch up with them. Only Brusenna knows the extent of the danger and how to stop it, though doing so might cost her everything.
Including her life.
Will Brusenna be required to make the ultimate sacrifice?

Amber's first book Witch Song completely blew me away, and I was thrilled when I heard she had decided to write a sequel to an amazing book (that actually works well as a standalone, too). Witch Song is one of those rare books that's so unexpected, but in a GOOD way.

The first book was full of magical goodness, sweet romance, and incredibly deep character growth with a rather atypical brave heroine who decides to fight back - but Senna is nothing like what you expect at first and she grows in leaps and bounds. The same is true for Witch Born, although it improves in some areas I wished I had seen more of in Witch Song.

  1. Interesting blend of magic, nature and music:

    The creativity of the magic involved in the Witch Song series is one of my favourite things - it's really cool to see how nature and music have such strong influences on the witches and their magic. And it puts a unique spin and limitations on the kinds of magic they can do.
  2. Exciting world building:

    I was fascinated by the world Amber had created in Witch Song, but I was thrilled to see how important the setting became in Witch Born. And on top of that, we really get a good look at the world outside of Haven and learn so many secrets and mysteries that Senna had no idea even existed. It's exciting and helps bring the book to life!
  3. Perfectly sweet romance:

    I adore Joshen and Senna (and Joshen, in particular. He's a great character!) - I loved that we got a much more personal look at their relationship, as things change between them. But I just love seeing how hard they work to overcome difficulties and how they aren't always acting like lovesick teens. There's a definite maturity to their relationship that's rare.
There were some romantic developments that I wasn't the biggest fan of, and some secondary plots that didn't get enough attention to be developed properly which ultimately left them feeling lacking. And there were so many times when Senna's decisions just didn't seem to be very careful - something that surprised me since she's such an intelligent and cautious character. And I also felt like the book had too much thrown into it, especially towards the end. There were a number of dramatic, tragic events that seemed to constantly be trying to one up each other. Instead, it made those parts of the story feel forced and as if the story was trying to force Senna into a tragic martyr role. But you just can't FORCE that, it needs to be done carefully.

So while I didn't love it as much as the first book, I was pleased to see that a few of the things I felt were missing in Witch Song were addressed in Witch Born. But I still highly recommend these books to fans of fantasy and witches in particular.

Purchase Links
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Guest Post by Amber Argyle

How hard was Witch Born to write compared to Witch Song?
I wrote Witch Song as a stand alone with sequel potential, which was all I ever wrote--you can't sell the 2nd book in a series, only the first. So I had very little experience writing sequels, which believe it or not, are a whole different animal from the first in a series. You ever read the first book and love it then read the second and feel like it was a waste of time? This is one of the biggest reasons why.

The second and third big reasons? Pressure and time. There's a ton of pressure for the book to be at least as good if not better than the first book. Add into that the MUCH shorter timeline to write, and you have a recipe for failure. Seriously, I wrote Witch Song in a month, but I edited it on and off for two years. That's a lot of time to edit and come up with brilliant ideas and see pitfalls after the fact.

Witch Song was finished and awaiting publication before I ever started writing the sequel. So I couldn't go tweak anything in the first book. I had to go with what already existed. Plus, some of the storylines were completely wrapped up, so I had to create new ones.  I had a pretty good outline of the last 200 hundred pages, but I couldn't figure out the first 100 or where exactly to start the novel. I rewrote the beginning a dozen times (wasting about 100 pages) before it finally clicked.

After I finally had the beginning down, I started on the second 2/3rds of the novel. It went much faster, but my deadline was coming faster than I could type it out (and I type 75 WPM). I buckled down and asked for help. A few friends helped watch my littlest, who is three. Still missed that dang deadline. By a whole month, I might add. By and large, my alpha and betas were awesome, putting aside their own projects to help me edit mine. Steve Diamond was AMAZING. The twists in the book wouldn't be nearly as good without his help. Seriously, if you don't have an awesome team behind you, the book will suffer a lot.

And you know what? Even with all of that pressure and stress and worry, I think I nailed it. Witch Born is better than the first book, which was always the goal.

Thanks for stopping by to share with us, Amber!

1 comment:

Henrietta @ Leisure Reads said...

I didn't know Witch Born was already out, yay!! And your review makes me want to get hold of a copy of the book as I'm now really curious to find out what's really happening in book two :)

The guest post surely allows me to see the hard work involved to bring a book to life. Thank you for posting!

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