Friday, January 15, 2021

Book Review | Root Magic by Eden Royce

 Root Magic is a middle grade horror/fantasy by Eden Royce.

From debut writer Eden Royce comes a wondrous historical ghost story set in South Carolina in the 1960s—an unforgettable tale of courage, friendship, and Black Girl Magic.

It’s 1963, and things are changing for Jezebel Turner. Her beloved grandmother has just passed away. The local police deputy won’t stop harassing her family. With school integration arriving in South Carolina, Jez and her twin brother, Jay, are about to begin the school year with a bunch of new kids. But the biggest change comes when Jez and Jay turn eleven—and their uncle, Doc, tells them he’s going train them in rootwork.

Jez and Jay have always been fascinated by the African American folk magic that has been the legacy of her family for generations—especially the curious potions and powders Doc and Gran would make for the people on their island. But Jez soon finds out that her family’s true power goes far beyond small charms and elixirs...and not a moment too soon. Because when evil both natural and supernatural comes to show itself in town, it’s going to take every bit of the magic she has inside her to see her through.

Debut author Eden Royce arrives with a wondrous story of love, bravery, friendship, and family, filled to the brim with magic great and small.

My ultimate hope for this book is that teachers and librarians who are looking for books for their spooky-loving readers will add this book to their shelves.

There's so much history and Gullah culture in Root Magic. Set in South Carolina in 1963, it follows Jezebel, her twin brother Jay, and their family just after the passing of their grandmother. The time has come for Jezebel and Jay to learn about rootwork and discover what they are capable of.

Can we also talk about the disturbing content in middle grade horror, please? People have such misconceptions about MG and YA, and I'm telling you - MG is where the disturbing stuff is at lately!

Root Magic touched on my spookiest fear as a girl. This book would have simultaneously terrified me and captured my heart. Then it went places I didn't know I needed to fear!

Root Magic did feel like a debut novel, but there was so much depth to it. I loved the characters, the family, the friendships, the emotions, the horrors. It checked all of my middle grade boxes. I'm planning to read a lot of middle grade horror this year, and I'm anxious to see if any of them will be able to top Root Magic.

4.5/5 stars


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  1. TBH I wouldn't normally consider MG books but you have me very curious indeed with this one. Sounds excellent.
    Lynn :D

  2. I'm so curious now! MG horror that actually spooked you? I've got to try this!

  3. This book is on my most-anticipated list! I loved spooky stuff when I was a kid. I’m glad you enjoyed it.

    Aj @ Read All The Things!

  4. I always loved spooky reads as a kid. Still do actually. This one is already on my TBR list. :)

  5. I didn't start reading scary books until I was 16 but I loved finding them in the school library after that. This sounds good.

  6. This does look spooky! Who knew about MG horror???

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