Wayward Witch by Zoraida Córdova
Genre: Portal Fantasy
Age category: Young Adult
Release Date: September 1, 2020
Wayward Witch is the final book in the Brooklyn Brujas trilogy by Zoraida Córdova. Each of three stories focuses on a different Mortiz sister. Having not read the first two, but intrigued by the description of the third, I was a little nervous about picking it up. Wayward Witch, however, did a brilliant job of standing on its own. I never felt lost or confused about the world, and I was able to step right into it. If I had any complaint, in fact, it would actually be that the book felt a little heavy on the lore of mythos of Adas. If you’ve followed the first two books, I’m sure all these little details will fill in gaps and answer questions you might have had on your mind. For me, as a new reader, they more or less washed over me, but I certainly can’t fault the book for me being the newbie here.
In Wayward Witch, Rose’s powers are a bit unique and even troubling to her. But when she’s pulled through a portal to the realm of the fairies (“Adas,” a play on the Spanish word for fairy), she must master her powers to save this world from a consuming dark rot that’s spreading over the land. She also has to sort out a rocky relationship with her father, who seemed to have lost his memories but she now suspects remembers more than she thought.
A few positives stood out right away for me. First off, I love the way the book takes the tired trope of a portal story in which the protagonist must save some magical settting and puts a little twist on it. The fairies aren’t exactly thrilled that Rose is in their world, and many are downright infuriated by the fact that they need her help. They’re certainly not above threatening and blackmailing her to get it, either. I also loved the fact that Rose sidestepped some of the Mary Sue tendencies that protagonists in this type of book often have–she has strengths to rely on but also flaws she needs to confront, not the least of which is a small streak of hypocrisy when judging her father’s actions.
I will say, if you don’t connect with Rose and her group early on, you’re probably going to feel like the book drags its metaphorical feet a bit. The journey to discover the origin of the rot is a long one, and a good part of the story is dedicated to developing the relationships within the group as they travel. But the end reveal was a satisfying one and worth the wait getting to.
Rating: 4 out of 5
You can find Wayward Witch on Goodreads
You can also buy Wayward Witch (Brooklyn Brujas) on Amazon. (Affiliate link)