The Hexmistress’s Apprentice by David Van Doorn is a delightful and skillfully woven tale of Lily, a sixteen-year-old girl who is studying to become a hexmistress. A hexmistress is a type of witch who uses spells to protect her village and the villagers within it. Lily does not know her own psychic strength, and part of the mystery of the book is in discovering what she is capable of doing. Likewise, the antagonist is learning his capabilities, readying for the age-old battle of good versus evil.
I loved the tone of the book, a cross between The Hobbit’s Tale and The Golden Compass. The vision of an alternate England with its mix of witchcraft and Christianity was rich and engaging. However, toward the end of the book, the narrative switched to entries in a diary interspersed with action. This method of telling not showing took me right out of the story, diluting all suspense by relaying in retrospect what had happened.
Despite this, the Hexmistress’s Apprentice was an enjoyable read. I recommend the book to adult and young adults alike.
Author of The Colonial Scouts Adventures