I have something a little different today. These days, I don’t often participate in official blog tours, but when I saw that Rockstar Book Tours had open spots on their Witchlings tour, I couldn’t resist. This is a series I’ve been meaning to get into, and it made the perfect excuse for me to catch up on the first book, which I missed, and jump into the second one. Here are my thoughts, plus links to an interview by the author and a giveaway.
The Golden Frog Games (Witchlings #2)
Published May 2, 2023
Amazon | Bookshop | Goodreads
About The Golden Frog Games
Seven Salazar is a Spare.
And now, she’s the most famous Spare in the Twelve Towns, along with Valley Pepperhorn and Thorn Laroux, her two best friends.
After being named the new town Uncle, she’s undergoing intense training to learn how to use her abilities to communicate with animals. But Seven has a secret: the only creatures’ voices she hears clearly are those of monstruos. Something is terribly wrong with Seven’s magic.
Meanwhile, it’s the Golden Frog Games, a week of magical competitions among the Champions of the twelve towns, and Thorn is competing in fashion design!
But when Thorn’s competitors start to get turned to stone, suspicion lands on Thorn and the other Witchlings. Despite their fame, there are still many in the town who think that only the Spares would sink so low to win.
Can Seven overcome the problems with her magic and find out who is stonifying the competitors . . . before Thorn becomes next victim?
This is such a cute series! I loved getting to revisit Ravenskill to follow Seven, Thorn, and Valley through another adventure. The Golden Frog Games sounded like such a cool series of events, too. I liked the descriptions of the ceremonies and challenges.
One of my favorite things was Seven’s relationship with the raccoons. The way they took care of one another was so sweet. Their names and naming conventions cracked me up.
I think this book did a great job at giving us characters who felt like they’d leveled up since WITCHLINGS, but that still felt like middle grade characters. I could see ways in which Seven and her friends had grown since the first book, but they still felt like twelve-year-olds, too.
Though it’s got a lot of lighthearted moments and scenes, the story explores some more serious ideas, too. As a Spare, Seven and her friends experience fierce prejudice and blame when something near them goes wrong. Seven learns about how Spares are treated in other communities, and what it means to them to have a Spare chosen as a town Uncle, like Seven, or entering the Golden Frog Games, like Thorn.
All in all, I would easily recommend this series to readers looking for fantasy, magical mystery, and the power of friendship.
Recommended for Ages 8 to 12.
Seven Salazar is Latine. Two girls are in a dating relationship.
Profanity/Crude Language Content
Two girls are dating. Seven goes to a formal event with a boy.
Characters are witches and have magic abilities. Seven can hear and speak with animals and monstruos (monsters).
Situations of peril. Someone is using dark magic to curse witches and turn them to stone. Magic battle scenes.
Note: This post contains affiliate links, which do not cost you anything to use, but which help support this blog. I received a free copy of THE GOLDEN FROG GAMES in exchange for my honest review.
About Claribel A. Ortega
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Claribel A. Ortega, New York Times bestselling author of Ghost Squad, Witchlings, and Frizzy (Pura Belpre Award-winner), is a former reporter who writes middle grade and young adult fantasy inspired by her Dominican heritage. When she’s not busy turning her obsession with eighties pop culture, magic, and video games into books, she’s cohosting her podcasts Write or Die and Bad Author Book Club and helping authors navigate publishing with her consulting business, GIFGRRL. Claribel has been featured on BuzzFeed, NPR, Good Morning America, and Deadline. You can find her on Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok at @Claribel_Ortega and on her website at claribelortega.com.
Claribel Talks About The Golden Frog Games
Enter the Giveaway for a Chance to Win a FREE Copy of The Golden Frog Gamesa Rafflecopter giveaway
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