There was a prophecy that foretold of the next witch queen. She would be a descendant of one of the Hawkweed sisters, Raven or Charlock. To ensure that her own daughter would become queen, powerful witch Raven ensured her sister would only carry sons, which are unwanted by the coven and destined to die. When Charlock finally becomes pregnant with a girl, Raven switches the baby witch with a human child, in a flash of magic that no one notices.
But Raven never expected the girls to find one another in a wooded glen one day. The two girls—sweet Ember Hawkweed, with her inability to produce even the most meager spell; and troublemaker Poppy Hooper, who has lived her whole life with the strangest occurrences happening around her, from cats shadowing her to spontaneous fire—make an instant connection. But as the truth comes out about Raven’s betrayal, it won’t be easy to make things right, especially when the two girls begin to fall for the same boy, Leo, who feels electricity from Poppy and warmth from Ember.
In this world, created by the acclaimed screenwriter of The Little Prince, magic is a delicate lattice that connects witches in their jealousies, power struggles and insecurities. Everyone in this story is an outsider, from Poppy’s mother who has gone mad from believing that her daughter is not her own, to Leo who lives on the streets. It seems that no one belongs, but their efforts to make sense of a world that doesn’t want them is what connects them all. The love triangle between Poppy, Ember and Leo is but a mere distraction as magic builds, and despite all the spells in the air, it’s the most unbelievable aspect of the story.
Author Irena Brignull tugs heartstrings here and there in The Hawkweed Prophecy, but she excels at tapping into something a little wicked. In the end, the reader isn’t so concerned that Poppy will end up happy, as much as they want to see just how much havoc she can wreak.