Eva Evergreen might be the daughter of one of the country’s most powerful witches, but she only has a pinch of magic. Even when she can invent a spur-of-the-moment spell, they nearly always go wrong, summoning cabbages instead of flowers and leaving her embarrassed and so exhausted that she dozes off immediately afterwards. Nevertheless, Eva’s never wanted anything more than to become a witch like her mother, and she’s determined to pass her Novice Witch quest, the first step in achieving that dream.
There’s only one problem. If she fails, she’ll lose her magic…forever.
Eva’s quest brings her to the seaside town of Auteri, where she’s instructed to help the inhabitants however possible. But nothing goes quite right. Her ‘semi-magical repair shop’ remains customer-less. The magic she does perform goes horribly awry. And then there’s the looming danger of the mysterious Culling, a disaster which strikes yearly which she must somehow barricade Auteri against.
Still, she’s also beginning to form friendships with some of Auteri’s inhabitants. And when disaster strikes, it’s up to her to protect the town she’s grown to love.
Eva Evergreen, Semi-Magical Witch is a fun, fresh fantasy novel full of distinct characters and intriguing worldbuilding. Eva is an interesting and motivated protagonist, and Julie Abe uses ideas of witches and spells in a cool way. I particularly liked Auteri itself—this town truly comes alive, with a layered network of characters and plenty of mysteries set up for the sequel. I recommend Eva Evergreen, Semi-Magical Witch to readers ages nine and up.