Witch Crag by Kate Cann

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Witch Crag by Kate Cann

Category: Teens
Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: Jill Murphy
Reviewed by Jill Murphy
Summary: This future catastrophe novel is a departure for Kate Cann and her usual contemporary fare. But it's a great read and brings a fresh flavour to the dystopian market without alienating her many fans. Recommended.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 320 Date: October 2012
Publisher: Scholastic
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 140710702X

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Kita lives in a hill fort as part of the sheepmen community. Life since the Great Havoc has been hard and brutish. There are few survivors from the time of technology and nature is gradually retaking the land. There are often droughts and both food and water are often in short supply. For the sheepmen, it's all about survivial. Food, what there is of it, is bland. Days are filled with grinding hard work. Relationships are frowned on. Women are treated like chattels. Although they have an alliance with the horsemen, other groups are avoided and disliked - the farmers, those who live in the ruins of the Old City.

And as for the witches on the mountain top - well, they are reviled as evil and dangerous. Those women who do try to escape the servitude of the hill fort are regarded as tainted. They are hunted, caught and their throats are cut...

... but this doesn't stop Kita from dreaming of escape. And escape she does, with her friends Raff and Quainy. Their journey will expose them to dangers they'd never even imagined but also to the potential of a new world. But war is unavoidable. Can Kita fulfil her destiny and play a part in victory?

This dystopian novel is quite a departure for Kate Cann, whose books are usually firmly centred in the here and now. She distils exciting stories from everyday life. Her numerous fans can rest assured though, that Witch Crag retains a great deal of Cann flavour. It's exciting and pacy and flows beautifully. And Kita makes for a typically Cann-esque spirited heroine. Even in this devastated world, there is room for a girl who any boy would be lucky to get, not a girl who wants to be lucky enough to get a boy. I love characters like Kita.

And, in a publishing scene of endless dystopian stories - and it's not as though I don't love dystopian stories because I do - spun out into series of three, four, even five or six books, it's so refreshing to find one that has a beginning, a middle, an end, and no blinkin' cliffhanger.

So, and of course, I'm recommending Witch Crag, both to fans of future catastrophe novels and to Kate Cann's regular readers. It has more than enough to satisfy both groups: credible, well thought out worldbuilding; a strong and feisty femalec central character; a little bit of romance but not too much; great pace and tension. What more could anybody want?

Prized is another story set in a post-apocalyptic future, featuring a strong female lead with a love interest. Dark Warning by Marie Louise Fitzpatrick is actually set in the past, but its central character also has life-changing visions.

Buy Witch Crag by Kate Cann at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Witch Crag by Kate Cann at Amazon.co.uk.


Buy Witch Crag by Kate Cann at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Witch Crag by Kate Cann at Amazon.com.


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