Once a Witch by Carolyn MacCullough
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Once a Witch introduces a vivid and enchanting story that tells the tale of Tamsin Greene and her eccentric and rather large family of Talented witches. This book is beautifully written with characters so deeply forged that they felt like friends.
Tamsin Greene is a character that has felt outside of her family of extremely Talented witches most of her life. On the day of her birth, her grandmother prophesied that she would be "...one of the most powerful we have ever seen in this family. She will be a beacon for us all." A witches Talent becomes apparent no later than eight years old; Tamsin's Talent never developed which left her feeling a disappointment to her family. She isolated herself from her family after that fateful birthday and convinced her parents to send her to the city to a boarding school so she could `feel normal'. This works for a while until she meets a strange professor from NYU while working at her grandmother's bookstore. The professor, a very nervous and strange man, lurks a bit at the counter before he finally asks his real reason for being there..... he needs something `found'. This means that a witches Talent is needed and Tamsin, wanting to prove to her family that she can, indeed, be useful despite not having a Talent allows the professor to think she is her older sister, Rowena. What happens after that starts Tamsin on a whirlwind journey to the past which changes the future and unknowingly endangers her family and friends. Throughout the book Tamsin learns that the things aren't always what they seem and we get to see her character grow through adversary and love (among other things).
Once a Witch really captures the reader's imagination without boring details to weigh it down. There is a touch of sweet romance, nail biting suspense and mystery, mind-bending time-travel and some fun history thrown in.
I love the fact that the end was satisfying yet leaves room for a sequel; I'm not ready to say good bye to Tamsin and Gabriel or any of the Greene's! I look forward to reading more about this fascinating family from this fascinating author.
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