My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Rise of the Darkwitch by Ziv Gray takes place on an alien world that is depicted so brilliantly I feel as if I’ve been there. People, religion, and politics are intertwined in a fascinating and believable society. The alien beings are mesmerizing from their neck scales to their tails yet retain a spark of human emotion that is relatable and endearing.
The story follows the personal journey of a sixteen-year-old girl from abused slave to feared godling. She has no idea what she’s capable of, and her burgeoning abilities surprise her as much as the reader.
I love this kind of underdog story. However, the ending prevents me from giving it full marks. I like books to have a satisfying, all-ends-tied-up conclusion even if they are part of a series. I expect there to be an overall series arc and beneath it individual book arcs. Rise of the Darkwitch doesn’t have that. It ends abruptly in the middle of a pivotal scene. I was left confused and rather annoyed.
But although the ending was not satisfying, the scenes leading to it were. I recommend Rise of the Darkwitch to science fiction fans who enjoy delving into alien cultures.