Audience: middle grades
Publisher: February 10th 2015 by Simon & Schuster
Genre: fantasy; fairy tale
Source: copy in exchange for honest review by publisher
Misplaced magic is trouble.
The day had started so well. But now here was Rudi, racing home to intercept a thief. All because of a foolish bargain made by a nine-year-old girl.
Trouble has returned to Brixen, and once again, Rudi is the one who must make things right. Can he undo the disaster caused when an unsuspecting stranger brings a foreign witch's magic into the Brixen Witch's province?
Fans of fairy tale re-imaginings rejoice! This book will have everything you're looking for: new characters, familiar plots, and plenty of twists.
At its heart, Rudi finds himself in a grand adventure trying to save his village from 'bad' magic. He's also saddled with watching out for a younger girl that may prove herself to be rather useful.
There is definitely a good bit of familiarity with the story since it has a Fe-Fi-Foing giant and a beanstalk. That might be where the similarities end, however. The settings are unique and very well developed. Jack and Rudi have very little in common, with Rudi being much more likeable. The Brixen Witch herself is a mystery. I'd really like to read The Brixen Witch (Pied Pier retelling) to know more about this witch and the town of Brixen.
While One Witch at a Time can be read as a stand alone, I do think it would make since to read The Brixen Witch first. I can tell there is a bit of history missing for those that only read the companion novel. Since I fall into that category, I was glad to know I wasn't completely lost. The author does a smashing job of building back story without weighing the new tale down.
One Witch at a Time was a fast read full of adventure. It would appeal to younger readers the most, but they should enjoy it as much as any adult that loves a good retelling.