The first book in the Ever After series by Shelby Bach was this little beauty, Of Giants and Ice. Readers were introduced to the characters of Rory, Lena, Chase, Rory's family and learned of the after school program that is designed to assist children with finding "their tale." This first story involved Rory's friend Lena's tale. Not just any tale, but the tale of Jack and the Beanstalk.
In Book Two, Rory is feeling more confident. She's just finished battling ice griffins after all. Doesn't that make you a veteran or something? Yet, the Evil Snow Queen is working against the Ever After Program and Rory quickly finds herself as a companion in a new quest. The stakes in this book are much higher then before as the entire school has been poisoned. Rapunzel sets forth a prophecy that five characters must travel forth and in seven days time draw the water of life from the spring in order to save the school. Rory begins to have doubts whether she will be able to help to save the school and her friend Lena. Of Witches and Wind is filled with many light moments, snarky comments, puns, humor and a plot that escalates the tension just the right amount. There are some beautiful moments between Rory and Chase where she finds that she doesn't really know everything about him. That he has had a lifetime before she was even born. So yeah, plenty of secrets, prophecies and a story that I really enjoyed reading. Bach has a lovely way of capturing the angst of a middle grader and at the same time developed a beautiful story about friendship. She captures the voice of a middle grade girl with the doubts, insecurities that they may feel. My favorite quote, "Doubts can conquer a person more quickly then an army. If you know yours, you can conquer them instead." In the end, as Bach puts it best in her acknowledgments, "Of Witches and Wind is all about how surviving middle school is so much easier when you have great, caring, loyal friends." My review copy was purchased and I eagerly await the next in the series.