What it’s about: There are two sources of dark magic feared in Kara Westfall’s village: the Thickety, a dangerous forest which lies not far from the town, and the nefarious witches who are rumored to all be dead, but some claim still live. Kara’s mother was condemned for reported witchcraft seven years ago, and although Kara herself has never displayed the same skills, people whisper that she can cast spells, too.
Witchcraft is the last place Kara would ever turn, but then she’s lured into the Thickety by a one-eyed bird which leads her to a grimoire--a magical book which she believes belonged to her mother. She knows she must destroy it, but with it, she learns she can cast spells, and its power begins to pull at her, turning her actions strangely. As she becomes deeper enmeshed in a web of secrets threading through the village, Kara must uncover the truth of what happened seven years ago--or become the witch the villagers have always feared she’ll become. Read our full review here!
Why we chose it: The Thickety: A Path Begins is a fully imagined, engrossing fantasy novel. The plot is full of twists and questions, unpredictable in the best sort of way. White’s world is unique, multilayered and well-developed. Kara’s inner strengths and struggles drive this book and intertwine with other elements of this novel, helping it become fast-paced, sympathetic, and dimensional. We’ve selected A Path Begins as one of our Books of the Year because it expertly fulfills all my hopes as a reader--a detailed setting, a complex plot, and a determined protagonist which together make this story a standout.