Reading The Hawkweed Prophecy was like that moment when you realize that all your dreams of becoming a witch were true. But then you realize that magic and witchcraft come with a price and that having power isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.
Poppy Hooper and Ember Hawkweed lead very different lives. Poppy hasn’t managed to stay in one school, has no friends, and a mother who won’t acknowledge her. Ember is a struggling witch who doesn’t feel at home in her coven or in magic at all. They both are on the outside looking in – feeling as if they’re in the wrong place. These feelings disappear once they meet each other and find, in their friendship, a sense of belonging and acceptance. But fate is a fickle thing, and their chance meeting isn’t chance at all – instead part of a larger prophecy, one that began before they were even born.
Right off the bat (which you can read as a witch pun or baseball pun), my enjoyment of this book was inspired by the characters. Poppy and Ember are empathetic to the core. We’ve all felt like we don’t belong, maybe we still feel that way. There’s a genuine longing and vulnerability in feeling so misplaced and lost in the world. I think most of us can embrace that deep sense of desire – for home and acceptance. So when they find it in each other, it’s a happy sort of resolution that seems to promise danger as well. Because when you don’t belong, no one ever belongs to you.
Characters & Family
But even the other characters, their mothers, Ember’s cousin, they all share these motivations of longing. Whether they long for love, power, acceptance, security, we see various mirrors of ourselves in their desires. We too have wanted, craved, love and community. We know what it’s like to be ridiculed for our hair color, or to feel like the odd one out. So it becomes especially easy to see how these motivations, these essential human desires, morph into dangerous magic. Magic that threatens to rip the world apart – just for the chance at being happy.
Throughout this story, family is at its core. The sacrifices we make to keep our family safe, the relationships we have with our mothers, these questions revolve around the entire book – like the eye of a hurricane. And it does feel like that. There’s this whirlwind of legacy, prophecy, and danger that suck all of these relationships into the center of the storm. All to be revealed in chaotic colors and consequences.
I have a weak spot for family dramas, for sisters, for mothers and daughters, and for witches. I was bespelled way before the end. It asks us if there is something essential about the bond between mother and daughter. We are asked how we create our own families. And we must confront what we will sacrifice to maintain the family balance, to leave our house standing even after the storm passed through.
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review from the publisher.
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