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The Thickety: A Path Begins

by J. A. White

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: The Thickety (1)

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3042467,662 (3.68)6
"When twelve-year-old Kara discovers her mother's grimoire in the dangerous forest, she must decide if she'll use it, even though such magic is forbidden"--

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» See also 6 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 24 (next | show all)
This is not shelved as YA at my library, but I think maybe it should be? There's death, torture Kara gets pressed!! Which is insane, and some pretty twisted stuff.

At least it's a good story! Really engaging and interesting, with complete worldbuilding and fleshed out characters. It even verges on the path of having an anti-heroine, since Kara gets more and more dark/angry/vengeful as she uses her grimoire and I hope that's explored in the sequels.

And Grace is a wonderful and infuriating villain. ( )
  Elna_McIntosh | Sep 29, 2021 |
This review originally posted at The Children's Book and Media Review

Kara’s mother is killed for witchcraft when Kara is only six years old. She grows up as an outcast, doing her best to take care of her little brother, Taff, and her distant father. The villagers believe that nothing is more evil than magic except the Thickety, the forest where Sordyr lives. One day a bird lures Kara into the Thickety and she discovers a book that may have belonged to her mother. In spite of the danger that she is in from associating with magic, Kara can’t stop feeling drawn to the book and discovering new ways to use the new magic she is exposed to. Kara has to discover the secrets behind her mother’s witchcraft to save her little brother and the village from another more devious magic user. Kara learns that magic is power, and power often kills.

This book has a dark tone of grief and death that is uncommon for fantasy books in this age range, but it still manages to be wonderfully magical. Kara deals with an addiction to magic, and her horrible treatment from the villagers make her bad decisions seem justifiable. She realizes that her bad actions in the end are not okay, but other characters do not and the ending is as dark as the rest of the book. Kara’s character development is interesting, but some of the other characters have gaps that might bother older readers but younger readers will likely fill in with their own enemies. The first part of the book is interesting, but it seems to drag out for part of the book and sometimes it seems dark just for the sake of being dark. For readers who like darker stories about witchcraft, this book will likely be thrilling. ( )
  vivirielle | Aug 4, 2021 |
When Kara Westfall was six, on the night of her brother Taff's premature birth, her mother is condemned as a witch for killing a couple and publicly executed in front of all the townspeople of De'Noran. Kara is acquitted as a witch, but the surviving Westfalls are pariahs. The town ruler’s pretty daughter, Grace, makes it her special mission to torment Kara while making it look like Kara is the one bullying her.

One day, when Kara is 12, a bird steals her mother's necklace, forcing Kara to follow it into the Thickety, a mysterious forest where the Forest Demon, Sordyr, lives, making it forbidden and dangerous. Deep in the forest, Kara finds her mother's grimoire, a magical book that eventually allows her to conjure animals and control their actions. Things really get going when Grace steals the book and is able to use it much more effectively. Kara and Grace engage in an escalating contest of will and magical strength.

May be too dark for some middle schoolers. And it is accept young Kara as de facto head of the household before she is 10 years old.
( )
  skipstern | Jul 11, 2021 |
Potentially a good fit for Halloween season since it's about witches. This was darker than I expected, but well written. That said, I have reservations about one of the major villain characters being disabled. It felt a bit too much like the "Evil Cripple" trope for my taste. I've not read the rest of the series, and it sounds like this character makes another appearance later on, so perhaps this is subverted in later books. ( )
  bookbrig | Aug 5, 2020 |

I started reading this because of Goodreads 'Readers also enjoyed this' feature. I was looking for something similar to Jessica Townsend's Nevermoor and this one popped up.
I liked the premise and it felt like darker version of Nevermoor by the description on the site, but when I started listening to the audiobook I quickly learned that these two books not even close.
A Path Begins is set in a world similar to our medieval times, when witches were worst of the people. And the opening sequence is burning one of them and up to 13 percent it's bullying main character.
It's too dark for my liking and I thought it would be more whimsical and dark in other senses. My mistake.

Btw, narrator doing an amazing job! If you like audiobooks I feel like you could really enjoy her performance! ( )
  Alevis | May 17, 2020 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
J. A. Whiteprimary authorall editionscalculated
Offermann, AndreaIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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