Book Reviews

Review: The Hawkweed Legacy by Irena Brignull

What I loved about The Hawkweed Prophecy was the family relationships. They can be messy, complex, and take years to figure out – but that’s what makes them so intriguing. Where that book left off, The Hawkweed Legacy picks up and improves upon – adding more depth and parallels in a delicious and delightful sequel.

Summary

Poppy has fled to Africa, unwilling to take her crown, or watch as her best friend loves the man she loves. In Africa, she meets unexpected allies who place her safety above everything else – even her freedom. When she feels Leo calling her back, she answers.

Meanwhile, Charlock is holding the coven together by a thread, as they remain queen-less and so she must now go and retrieve their queen. But this new path of hers will bring up old wounds as she must reunite Leo and his mother.

But Ember is impressionable and still new to the modern world – which leaves her open to manipulation. And Sorrel still cannot escape the influence of her mother, Raven. All of these threads come together in a dizzying sequel that will not only decide the fate of each of these characters, but also the coven itself.

book review the hawkweed legacy by irena brignullReview

And what better title could a book about magical families be, than one that includes the word legacy? Family is crucial to this book both by blood and choice. The same characters we know and love are back again, plus some new ones – mainly a witch named Betony (who is fabulous on so many familial levels). This book transforms before your very eyes, taking root, and a life of its own. Exploring not only mothers and daughters, but parenthood in general, we are brought into the past. By seeing the younger Charlock and Betony, the present is set up in conversation with the past examining how we make mistakes and learn from them and ultimately if we pass them onto our children.

The characters represent this multi-dimensional mirror and the main themes of family and love are refracted in varying colors. There’s love lost, love found, betrayal, sacrifice, and forgiveness all wrapped into one and the combination is just thrilling. A special artform exists for the unweaving of this plot and the growth of these characters. I was most impressed by Sorrel’s transformation as she became an unexpected favorite.

Themes

“To be motherless was a curse that Betony would wish on no one”. (95)

The other theme I was impressed by was the conflict between family and duty, and the overlaps between the two. These two, at times, opposing desires form a complicated dance as we grow up and away from the ideas of who are family expects us to be. Where do we draw the line between ourselves as people and our membership to our family? When does our duty to ourselves triumph? These are complicated and difficult questions that have pervaded our human culture since the birth of language.

Overall,

“The past does not have to be our present”. (184)

In a book framed by prophecies and families, do secrets ever really go away? How can we make peace with the past when the same cycles of revenge and bitterness leak into our spirit? In this book, our past mistakes come back to haunt us, slithering underneath our pillows, and coursing beneath our skin. It also asks us how our relationships to our parents change when we find them late in life, or have to navigate the uncertain waters as adults. It is an epic storyline of forgiveness, sacrifice, and reconciliation.

You can pick up The Hawkweed Legacy on Amazon(US), your local indie, and add to Goodreads.

Disclaimer: I received this book in exchange for an honest review from the publisher.

Discussion

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