REVIEW: The Hawkweed Prophecy

by Irean Brignull

Pages: 425 paperback
Publisher: Hatchette Children's Group
Publication Date: 16th June 2016
ISBN: 9781408341704
Received From: Hatchette Children's Group


The babies were born as the clock struck twelve. A bat fell from the air mid-flight. A silver salmon floated dead to the surface of the river. Snails withered in their shells, moths turned to dust on the night breeze and an owl ate its young. The spell had been cast. 
Poppy Hooper has managed to deceive her father into believing that there is nothing mysterious or unnatural about her. He ignores the cats that find her wherever she goes, the spiders that weave beautiful lacy patterns for her, even her eyes - one blue, one green with an extra black dot orbiting the pupil. 
Ember Hawkweed is a pitiful excuse for a witch. When the other girls in her coven brew vile potions, Ember makes soap and perfume. Fair and pretty, Ember is more like a chaff than a witch. One of the Hawkweeds will be queen of the witches - but everyone knows it won't be Ember. 
When the two girls meet, Poppy discovers her powers, and finds out the truth. Bound by their unlikely friendship and the boy they both love, the girls try and find their place in the world. But the time of the prophecy draws nearer - and the witches won't give up the throne without a fight.


If I'm being completely honest when I got this book I had no idea what it was about. Maybe it's because I was MIA from the blogging world when it came out but I hadn't even heard of it until it landed on my doorstep. The first thing I noticed about this book was the cover, instantly I was super excited because it is so beautifully designed I couldn't help but want to read it and as soon as I had read the blurb I was hooked. 

The Hawkweed Prophecy is a book about two girls from two very different ways of life. Poppy Hooper hasn't had the easiest of lives, moving from school to school because she always managed to get herself into trouble and peculiar things follow her around like a shadow. Then there is Ember, a witch like no other, her abilities are minimal at best and she finds herself drawn to things other witches in her coven dismiss. Both girls have one thing in common though, they both feel like outsiders in their world. However, when their lives collide they strike an unlikely bond, teaching each other about the worlds they are from and finding themselves drawn to each others ways of life. Throughout the book they both discover where they truly belong, but with the witches way of life at risk and Poppy's family reaching breaking point will they be able to find peace without starting a war. 

As much as the blurb hooked me once I started reading I was in two minds about this book as it took me a little while to get into. The story itself is captivating and unique but I struggled a little to connect with our main characters. It wasn't until about half way through that I started to feel like I knew them, which in hand made the story come alive for me. The Hawkweed Prophecy has a real emphasis on friendship and how sometimes it isn't all smooth sailing, some friendships you have to fight for. There is a strong coming of age feel to the book with a magical twist that I found really intriguing. 

If you follow my reviews then you'll know the reason I normally fall in love with books is because I can connect with the characters but with this book that wasn't why I enjoyed it. In fact I really struggled to like Poppy as a character for a while as I found her quite selfish in the beginning but it was Irena's way with words that kept me hooked. Her way of telling a story is descriptive and engaging, I could easily imagine being in the forest with these girls and that was what had me coming back for more. 

As a whole I did really enjoy this book. There was a real weight on family and friendship that was both endearing and heart breaking at times. There was magic and betrayal, first loves and prophecies. This book had a little something in there for everyone and I would definitely recommend reading it, especially as the second book, The Hawkweed Legacy, is out the 1st of June! 

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