Sunday, August 23, 2020

MG Review of The Rubicus Prophecy by Alane Adams, illustrations by Jonathan Stroh

The Rubicus Prophecy by Alane Adams, illustrations by Jonathan Stroh
Series:  Book Two of the Witches of Orkney
Format:  Paperback
Publisher:  SparkPress
Number of Pages:  216
Published:  October 15th, 2019
Source:  Publisher in exchange for an honest review

Opening Line: "Hermodan, King of Orkney Isles, stood alone in the center of the Ring of Brogar."

I like how the Prologue touches on the Norse mythology of the series, explaining the connection between Odin and the coven of witches.  How during ancient times one of the covens was entombed to protect mankind from their magic because of a bargain that King Hermodan made with Odin.  The prologue also explains the creation of Orkney and is starting to flesh out more of the witches history.  To really appreciate the series I suggest beginning with the first book of the series,  The Blue Witch.  

The current book of the Witches of Orkney series centers on the Rubicus Prophecy or how  one witchling is destined to one day break Odin's curse.  The story begins with Abigail headed back to Tarkana Witches Academy for her second year and reuniting with Hugo and Calla, who are back from their summer break.   Just as Abigail gets to the gates of the school, she notices a red sunflower has started to grow at the site of the Viken attack she had last year and the witches are convinced that it's a sign that the prophecy is about to come true.  

Abigail starts off her term with visions of a transparent women who seems to be following her around trying to share an important  message with her. She's afraid of the dark magic that seems to be inside her and the ancient spellbook that she received last year continues to taunt her, trying to deceive and entice her to use its spells for revenge, it kind of reminds me of Tom Riddle's diary and the influence that it had over Ginny.    Abigail's anger becomes more uncontrollable and she even lashes out hurting Calla by accident.  

At the same time an Orkadian warship has arrived claiming that Melistra broke a treaty that they have to not use magic against the Orkadian's.  Hugo encounters a young Orkadian boy, Robert Barconian who asks for help in recovering a family heirloom.  And Melistra appears to be gathering elements for a dark spell maybe to harness Odin's power and take control of the coven.  Things have really started to heat up.  

The Rubicus Prophecy has the friends traveling deep into the catacombs beneath the Academy and encountering draugar's or the living dead.  I'm really liking the components of this one.  The scary catacomb, the potential of building up to a huge battle in book three, the broadening of Abagail's friends to include Robert and all the new surprises and revelations.  The black and white illustrations by Jonathan Stroh are just gorgeous, the play of dark shadows and pieces of light that appear in each illustration.  I'm really looking forward to reading Witch Wars next. 

** Thank you to SparkPress for the review copy**

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