July 31, 2014 • Cee • Reviews

The Ash-Born Boy (The Near Witch #0.5) by Victoria Schwab
May 15, 2012
Disney Hyperion
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Before he came to Near… 
Before he met Lexi… 
Before they faced the witch… 
Who was the boy named Cole? 

Follow us to Dale, a city on a hill, where in a matter of days fire will devour everything. Meet the Lord and Lady, and their son, the boy destined to inherit all…until everything turns to ash. 

It’s time to learn the truth behind the stranger’s story.

First sentence:

The market coiled like a colored snake through the streets of Dale, patterned with the brown of the stalls, and the yellows and greens and reds of the things they sold.”

Guess who’s even more giddy to read The Near Witch? (Me! I mean me!)

The novella is beautiful written, and I’m just in awe. (Not surprised because Victoria Schwab is awesome!). This follows William Hart (aka Master Dale), who is the heir and part of the ruling family in the town of Dale dad. Will is seen as a callous teenager, which he really isn’t. He just wants to be a normal kid, but he can’t because his father is Robert (aka Lord Dale) and because he has powers that he has to keep under wraps (which acts up when he gets angry). He’s constantly punished and blamed for things he had no control over. This life—being the heir to Dale—isn’t what he wants. He has a very tragic life—one that breaks my heart.

As someone who has yet to read The Near Witch, I have these questions about Will:

  • This novella tells of the backstory of Cole (who was originally William Hart)? (I’m sure the answer will be yes.)
  • Who is Will’s real father?
  • Where does his powers come from?
  • What is the backstory of his ancestors? Of witches?
  • Why do people hate witches?
  • What else can Will do with his powers?
  • Where did the pendant come from? What kind of power does it hold?

I’m really excited to learn more about him and about witches in this world and to see him in action.




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