Char by Kristina Wojtaszek

by Kristina Wojtaszek
Published by World Weaver Press Genres: Fantasy & Magic, Young Adult

Title: Char

Author: Kristina Wojtaszek

Publisher: World Weaver Press

Format: Paperback

Publication Date: April 26, 2016

Overall: 5 out of 5 stars —  Mesmerizing!

Source: I received this book free of charge from World Weaver Press in exchange for an honest review

Fire is never tame—least of all the flames of our own kindling.

Raised in isolation by the secretive Circle of Seven, Luna is one of the few powerful beings left in a world dominated by man. Versed in ancient fairy tales and the language of plants, Luna struggles to control her powers over fire. When her mentor dies in Luna’s arms, she is forced into a centuries-long struggle against the gravest enemy of all Fae-kind—the very enemy that left her orphaned. In order to save her people, Luna must rewrite their history by entering a door in the mountain and passing back through time. But when the lives of those she loves come under threat, her rage destroys a forest, and everything in it. Now called The Char Witch, she is cursed to live alone, her name and the name of her people forgotten.

Until she hears a knock upon her long-sealed door.

Interwoven with elements of Hansel and Gretel and The Seven Ravens, Char is the stand alone sequel to Opal, and second in the Fae of Fire and Stone trilogy.

review

Whew! How’s my hair? I feel like I just got off Splash Mountain and I need to check myself over to ensure that I made it back in one piece. The twists and turns in Wojtaszek’s newest novella are sudden, jarring, and occasionally heartbreaking, and Luna’s struggles with controlling her power make it clear that possessing magic doesn’t mean an easy — or even safe! — life. Throughout my lifetime of reading fantasy novels, I’ve always wished that I could have access to the magical powers that the characters in my books wielded; strangely, it wasn’t until reading and then contemplating about Char that I realized that those same characters are also forced to make terrible decisions, leave behind friends and family, fear for their lives, and suffer great losses.

Luna as a character, while not one to whom I found myself easily relating, makes sense as a product of the events and relationships that take place in Char. Her developing feelings for two of the men with whom she works closely, as well as in different instances of time, causes her an understandable burden of confusion and heartache. Any of us that have faced the quandary that comes with choosing between two potential relationships can empathize with the fear of making the wrong choice, the concern about hurting feelings or losing a friend, and the desire to build a lasting, happy relationship. The love story aspect of the novella brings humanity to the characters, and really adds an important element into the book.

As with Opal, the first book in the Fae of Fire and Stone series, Char takes place in multiple instances of time. Wojtaszek masterfully weaves together layers of time with characters in different stages of growth and personality development, and incorporating the same manipulation of time in both books shows artistic commitment to style throughout the series so far. While the teaser states that the book is “interwoven with elements of Hansel and Gretel,” there isn’t really much of the fairy tale present in Char besides in the first and last couple pages, and even then it has no bearing on the bulk of the story. You might disagree, though, when you see how it ties in at the end. Either way, as with Opal, the teaser on the back cover is my biggest problem with the book.

While it’s true that Char can be a stand alone sequel, I highly recommend reading Opal first; the tie-ins at the end of the novella are more clear, more magical, if you’ve already got the foundation of the background established. Check out my review of Opal for an idea of the merits of the book, and, hopefully, so I can convince you to read it! Perhaps it will be clear by my next comment, but I’ll still preface it by saying that Opal and Char are my first experiences with novellas: I wish these books were longer; I wish all of the characters (even the minor characters) were fleshed out more; and I wish there was an excessive amount of detail, so that I could picture and live in the world in the story. If Kristina Wojtaszek comes out with a series of novels, I’ll be first in line to read them. To be fair, I will probably read anything by Kristina Wojtaszek that I can find, after discovering these fantastic books.

Lastly, head on over to our Giveaways page for a chance to win a copy of Char for yourself!

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**Please Note: This review is my honest opinion and I did not receive monetary compensation from it, just a pretty awesome book**

Find KRISTINA WOJTASZEK online:

Official Website | Goodreads | Twitter | Facebook

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“A book is a dream that you hold in your hand.” ~ Neil Gaiman

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