Okay, I see you, Witchy. You have my attention!
In the witch kingdom Hyalin, the strength of your magic is determined by the length of your hair. Those that are strong enough are conscripted by the Witch Guard, who enforce the law in peacetime and protect the land during war. However, those with hair judged too long are pronounced enemies of the kingdom, and annihilated. This is called a witch burning.
Witchy is a comic about the young witch Nyneve, who is haunted by the death of her father and the threat the Witch Guard poses to her own life. When conscription rolls around, Nyneve has a choice to make; join the institution complicit in her father’s death, or stand up for her ideals?
I am impressed with how much the creators were able to do in Volume One of Witchy. There was a bit of backstory and exposition, but the flashbacks gave the reader a good insight into the motivations of our characters while never dragging the storyline, a feat which is really difficult to accomplish!
Nyneve is a person with a secret to hide. She has a friend and a sort-of frenemy who are interesting characters in their own rights, but at the start of our story she is more or less a loner. Others don’t really interact with her, and it becomes clear that is strictly because of her appearance. In a world where long hair equals power, Nyneve puts a spell on herself every day that makes her hair appear short. Why would anyone ever do that? Because her father was taken when she was a child because his hair was too long, and Nyneve will never forget that. As the exams and draft into the Witch Guard draws near, Nyneve is sure she will never serve in the same group that murdered her father. Hopefully, if all goes well, they won’t even want her.
Nyneve is young and stubborn and a bit rash, but she stands up for what she feels is right even when it’s not easy. She quickly learns that she doesn’t know the whole story, though, and she learns a valuable lesson about not underestimating your mom who, as it turns out, is a badass. As she navigates her first adventure, Nyneve makes a few more friends including an insanely gorgeous leader of a resistance group that raises orphans, a talking (and somewhat snarky) raven, and a tree/human spirit who wants to see the world but is literally rooted into the earth and so can’t move. We are also introduced to the person who is likely the main villain of the story, and it is made clear that he recognizes Nyneve because she carries her father’s name.
That can’t bode well.
Quite a lot of setup happens in one novel, and like I said, it never drags the story down. I very much look forward to getting my hands on Volume Two!
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