The Orphan Witch
Grade : B

The Orphan Witch is a lovely but spare novel filled with rich worldbuilding.  The central heroine is worth caring about, and the book has a sweeping sense of romance to it, even if the central love story is very instalove-y.

Author Persephone May is a lonely timewalker. Possessed of magical and unpredictable qualities, things go awry around her whenever she makes eye contact with someone for a prolonged period of time, an action which leads them to reckless behavior.  Persephone cannot control her powers, which resulted in her being bounced from foster home to foster home as calamity trailed her.  She has only one friend, Hyacinth, who sends her an invitation to the mysterious Wile Island in North Carolina. On Wile Island – where Persephone had been abandoned as a baby – she stays with Hyacinth and her sister Moira. Hyacinth confesses to Persephone that they’re distant cousins, and the island’s witches welcome Persephone into the fold.  It seems that she fits the profile of the girl who will fulfill a prophecy which will result in the breaking of the one-hundred-year-old curse that binds the witches living there to the island.  But not everyone on Wile wants Persephone to break the curse, specifically a pair of witches are the lifelong enemies of Hyacinth and Moira.  Soon, half the island is gunning for Persephone – but only the grumpy librarian Dorian may have the key to her heart.

There’s a sense of benign whimsy to The Orphan Witch that amuses the reader as they go along.  Poor, hapless Persephone is a sweetheart, and she tries her hardest to extract happiness and freedom from her miseries.  Readers will likely adore her.  Her relationship with Dorian is very sweet but a slow-burner, so expect to invest some reading time if you want to see it grow.

The book is mainly about developing its magical systems, and Persephone’s relationship with Hyacinth.  It’s about feeling rootless at thirty and how fate can sometimes guide us in that regard.  Persephone searches for blood ties, and blood ties are what she finds.

The book’s prose is pretty and economical, and there’s a lot of fun to be had between its pages.  In the end, it’s a pleasant affair.  The Orphan Witch will probably delight anyone who loves light fantasy books such as Practical Magic.

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Reviewed by Lisa Fernandes

Grade: B

Book Type: Women's Fiction

Sensuality: Warm

Review Date : November 28, 2021

Publication Date: 09/2021

Review Tags: fantasy mystery

Recent Comments …

  1. I’ve not read The Burnout, but I’ve read other Sophie Kinsella’s books and they are usually hilarious rather than angsty…

Lisa Fernandes

Lisa Fernandes is a writer, reviewer and recapper who lives somewhere on the East Coast. Formerly employed by and Next Projection, she also currently contributes to Women Write About Comics. Read her blog at, follow her on Twitter at or contribute to her Patreon at or her Ko-Fi at
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