I figured that with “spooky season” already afoot, another witch-related book would be in everyone’s wheelhouse right about now. Europe Comics has been on a roll with a handful of somewhat “Halloween-inspired” books this past month, which has been pretty cool. I like how they have grouped these together, and hope they do others for upcoming holidays that we share with them. Today’s review is for a short book about the life of a small witch, who despite being thrown into what I would consider a great tragedy, finds a way to really be herself and embrace her destiny as a great magic user.
“A baby girl born with purple hair is promptly handed over to a convent by her horrified father, who fears she bears the sign of the witch. And indeed, little Evelyn seems to have strange powers and to attract supernatural manifestations as she grows up among the nuns, who patiently put up with it as best they can. But after one scary “trick” too many, she is entrusted to the care of a hat-maker, who whisks her off to London, where she will learn about much more than making hats! For as Evelyn and her talking cat Benedict will soon find out, Master Neil has a few tricks up his sleeve, too, and his hat shop might not be exactly what it seems…”
Despite the obvious art style that would lead one to think this is a kid’s book, it has some pretty heavy themes like forced orphanhood, suicide, and questioning of one’s own religion that sort of took me aback. Granted, living in America, I’m used to watered-down baby-ish children’s material like Dora the Explorer and Paw Patrol, so maybe I’ve become soft with how I view such material. Having it be a bit more “edgy” definitely makes it feel more substantial, as most kid’s material is basically just fluffy nonsense most of the time. I mean, my favorite movie as a kid was Conan the Destroyer, so I think 2021 kids can handle this.
While this story isn’t anything earth-shatteringly new in any way whatsoever, if you are jonesing for something akin to a Harry Potter story with a more pastel color palate, this might just be the book for you. I enjoyed the storyline for all of it’s surprising depth, and can’t wait to see what happens in future installments. I’m sure Evelyn’s past as a descendant of a supremely powerful witch which will come into play, as well as her birth from a noble family no matter how much her villainous father wants that to be brushed under the rug. I can’t wait to see who the “bag guy” is and how the heroes overcome it. I will definitely keep reading.
For more information on this book, including purchase links, click HERE
NOTE: I received a free preliminary, and likely unedited copy of this book from Netgalley for the purposes of providing an honest, unbiased review of the material. Thank you to all involved.