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The Thickety

A Path Begins

White, J. A.

(Book - 2014)
Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
The Thickety
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"When twelve-year-old Kara discovers her mother's grimoire in the dangerous forest, she must decide if she'll use it, even though such magic is forbidden"-- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York, NY :, Katherine Tegen Books, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers,, [2014]
Edition: First edition
Copyright Date: ©2014
ISBN: 0062257242
9780062257246
Branch Call Number: j WHITE 2014
Characteristics: 488 pages :,illustrations ;,19 cm
Additional Contributors: Offermann, Andrea Illustrator
Alternate Title: Path begins

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A dark, forbidden forest. Vicious beasts. Deadly plants. An evil spellbook. Secrets. Mysteries. Witches, both good and bad . . . Welcome to the world of the Thickety.


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Oct 24, 2014
  • JCLChrisK rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

"Then the bird showed her a color she had never seen before. Somewhere between black and green but neither of them, the color of pestilence and extinction and nightmares better left forgotten, a color that had been exiled from the world long ago.

"It was the color of evil."

Oh, this book is a dark one. Terrifying, frustrating, tense, exhilarating, and slightly, bitterly delicious.

It begins with a five-year-old girl being kidnapped in the middle of the night and taken in front of a gathering of the people of her village, where their religious leader publicly executes her mother as a witch and almost does the same with the girl as guilty by blood.

That, obviously, is the defining moment of Kara's life. Seven years later she remains the village pariah, her father an apathetic wreck and her brother, who was born six weeks premature that night, still sickly. Their lives are not happy ones, stuck as they are between their oppressive, rigid, puritanical society and the ominously evil, invasive, addictive magic that might or might not have lured her mother to commit atrocities. Kara just wants to love and be loved, to live a simple, happy life, but her situation may never allow it; for Kara may, despite her best intentions and previous reprieve, be destined to follow the same path her mother took.

I'll repeat the blurb from author Angie Sage on the book's back cover: "The Thickety may give you nightmares, but it is a gripping story with a great heroine."

I would have given it 5 stars but for the epilogue, which, while in fact feeling like a logical, organic, and genuine turn of events for the characters and their motivations, nevertheless feels a bit too much like a manipulation that exists purely for the sake of creating the need for a second book. So, only 4.5 stars.

Oct 21, 2014
  • Ms_Gaye rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Dark fantasy for grades 5-8. First of a trilogy. Official book trailer on author's website: http://jawhitebooks.com/

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The Thickety by J.A. White: Book trailer

When Kara Westfall was six years old, her mother was convicted of the worst of all crimes: witchcraft. Years later, Kara and her little brother, Taff, are still shunned by the people of their village, who believe that nothing is more evil than magic . . . except, perhaps, the mysterious forest that covers nearly the entire island. It has many names, this place. Sometimes it is called the Dark Wood, or Sordyr's Realm. But mostly it's called the Thickety. The villagers live in fear of the Thickety and the terrible creatures that live there. But when an unusual bird lures Kara into the forbidden forest, she discovers a strange book with unspeakable powers. A book that might have belonged to her mother. And that is just the beginning of the story.

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