Series: The Thickety #1
Published by Katherine Teagen Books on May 6th, 2014
Genres: fantasy, middle grade
Buy on Amazon
Hand in hand, the witch's children walked down the empty road.
When Kara Westfall was six years old, her mother was convicted of the worst of all crimes: witchcraft. Years later, Kara and her little brother, Taff, are still shunned by the people of their village, who believe that nothing is more evil than magic . . . except, perhaps, the mysterious forest that covers nearly the entire island. It has many names, this place. Sometimes it is called the Dark Wood, or Sordyr's Realm. But mostly it's called the Thickety.
The black-leaved trees swayed toward Kara and then away, as though beckoning her.
The villagers live in fear of the Thickety and the terrible creatures that live there. But when an unusual bird lures Kara into the forbidden forest, she discovers a strange book with unspeakable powers. A book that might have belonged to her mother.
And that is just the beginning of the story.
The Thickety: A Path Begins is the start of a thrilling and spellbinding tale about a girl, the Thickety, and the power of magic.
I’ve started this new thing where I’m mood reading now. Lots of other bloggers do it, and I think reading on a schedule was just not working for me anymore. For one, I was way behind and kidding to myself every time I said I was going to get caught up. Second, reading what I want when I want has made me passionate about reading again as blogging was feeling a whole lot like work. This is not to say I won’t read ANYTHING on time, I am just not pressuring myself to do so when I’m not feeling it. If publishers stop sending me books due to that, then so be it. I have enough ARCs and books I have bought sitting here to last me five years or more.
Keeping that in mind, The Thickety was one of the first books I wanted to mood read. I requested it way back when and never got to it, so it was finally time.
It was NOTHING like I expected it to be. Based on the blurb, I expected way more time spent in the forest. There were barely ten pages spent there. I also expected the book to be less dark than it was. It was seriously depressing. And as someone who suffers from moderate depression, I have to mention this in case someone like me decides to read it. There are ZERO moments of light in this book. Even Harry Potter had moments of light. I found this really weird for a middle grade, but that doesn’t mean it was bad. Aside from the depressing factor, I actually really loved it.
Right at the beginning there is an execution. It isn’t particularly graphic, but it is disturbing all the same, and it sets the tone for the rest of the book. There is plenty of abuse in this book, parental neglect, the town and island where these people live is basically a cult and all the citizens are suffering from Stockholm Syndrome, if you ask me.
Kara is just a girl living in this town but she is the daughter of a witch and witchcraft is seriously frowned upon. They think her mother is evil, they executed her, and as a result, they abuse Kara and treat her like garbage because they think it is a matter of time until she becomes a witch too. And yet, she is still devoted to this town which pretty much makes me sick but at the same time, it is the only life she has ever known. See? Stockholm Syndrome.
The citizens are terrified of the forest on the island, called the Thickety. There’s supposedly a demon there, and Kara runs into him, but I still think there is more to him than meets the eye. And like I said, we basically spent all of ten pages in the woods so that was kind of disappointing.
Still though, I read this book quickly and I went ahead and downloaded book two from Edelweiss and intend to read it soon. I wonder how many books this series will have? I hope it’s not too many. And anyway. I just have to read this because this is the only book I have read where the protagonist and I share a name. It’s like reading about myself as a child, sort of.
I definitely recommend The Thickety. Just keep in mind how dark this is. It’s dark for an adult book, let alone a middle grade. I think you have to be in the right kind of mood to pick it up. I was looking for something fun for Halloween, and though this definitely touched on themes that fit with Halloween, fun it wasn’t.