Author: Alex Flinn (Blog. Facebook.)
Publish Date: February 14, 2012
Genre: YA, Paranormal
Kendra Hilferty, the witch who curses Kyle Kingsbury in Beastly, tells about her immortal existence-how she discovered she was a witch and the various ways she has used her powers to help people throughout the centuries. (Unfortunately her attempts have often backfired.)As it turns out, Kendra has actually had a hand in "Hansel and Gretel," "The Princess and the Pea," and "The Little Mermaid"-but these are not the fairy tales you think you know! Kendra's reminiscences are wrapped around a real-time version of "Cinderella," except the "ugly" stepsister is the good guy.
Kendra Hilferty has always been a bit of an enigma. While there are well-known witches doing dastardly deeds and witches known to have been transformed due to their evil ways, there's never been another witch quite like Kendra. She's been around for century upon century, popping up at the most opportune, or inopportune (depending on which end of the story you lie), moments. Beneath layers of magic and mystery, there is a heart that beats with honesty and truth within Kendra, and for the first time, we're about to meet the witch behind that Beastly spell.
I became a sucker for Alex Flinn's writing style by chance, randomly picking up Beastly while on a book-buying binge nearly two years ago. Now, here's an example of a fully versatile author that can write the most breathtaking, poetic prose for one book, then turn around and write an entirely different way, though still completely captivating. Bewitching is vibrant and alive with excitement, whirling with magic and mystery from start to finish. With a layered plot, an insider's look into the heart and soul of Kendra Hilferty and a birds-eye view of some of the most classic of fairy tales, Bewitching hits a home-run.
If you've read Beastly, you'll remember the character Kendra who, while shrouded in mystery, drove the actual storyline. I wanted to know more about the witch then, and I'm so glad to say that Bewitching addresses pretty much everything I wanted to know. Kendra is a fantastic character! While morose and a bit solemn in her prior character, she comes alive within the pages of Bewitching, and I have to say that her story, or backstory as it were, is utterly enchanting. She's flawed, and it's an incredible discovery and transformation that we can follow throughout the entire story because, though Kendra isn't human, Bewitching very much features a singing undercurrent of the nature of humanity. The world of Bewitching, too, is leaps from the pages with each and every fairy tale we encounter. The plot is action-packed, the tension is brittle and real and the emotions run high, but Bewitching's beauty lies within the fact that you can lose yourself in a world that's exciting, safe and entrancing, much like the childhood stories we love so much. The only real issue I had with Bewitching was the fact that some of the subplots leaped a bit too fast, and the transition jarred a bit, though it smoothed back into a steady past after a few pages.
Overall, I adored Bewitching, and the story of Kendra is one that I truly hopes will continue because it was such a pleasure to explore where she came from. I give it a 4.5 out of 5, and I highly recommend it to all fans of YA, especially those who enjoy paranormal, fairy tale retellings and stories from Alex Flinn.
I received this book free of charge from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This, in no way, affected my opinion or review of this book.