Review: Witchlings by Claribel Ortega

Witchlings by Claribel Ortega

Witchlings (Witchlings #1)
Claribel Ortega
Scholastic Press
Published April 5, 2022

Amazon | Bookshop | Goodreads

About Witchlings

A magical adventure for fans of AMARI AND THE NIGHT BROTHERS and NEVERMOOR, about three witchlings who must work together to do the impossible if they have any hope of earning their full powers.

Every year, in the magical town of Ravenskill, Witchlings who participate in the Black Moon Ceremony are placed into covens and come into their powers as full-fledged witches.

And twelve-year-old Seven Salazar can’t wait to be placed in the most powerful coven with her best friend! But on the night of the ceremony, in front of the entire town, Seven isn’t placed in one of the five covens. She’s a Spare!

Spare covens have fewer witches, are less powerful, and are looked down on by everyone. Even worse, when Seven and the other two Spares perform the magic circle to seal their coven and cement themselves as sisters, it doesn’t work! They’re stuck as Witchlings—and will never be able to perform powerful magic.

Seven invokes her only option: the impossible task. The three Spares will be assigned an impossible task: If they work together and succeed at it, their coven will be sealed and they’ll gain their full powers. If they fail… Well, the last coven to make the attempt ended up being turned into toads. Forever.

But maybe friendship can be the most powerful magic of all…

With action-packed adventure, a coven of quirky witchlings, Claribel A. Ortega’s signature humor and girl-power vibes, this middle grade Latine witch story is truly a modern classic.

Witchlings on Goodreads

My Review

It’s funny to me that this book is compared to AMARI AND THE NIGHT BROTHERS– the comparison makes perfect sense, it’s just that I read them both at the same time. I definitely see the connection, though they aren’t the same story at all.

WITCHLINGS has been on my reading list for a while. In fact, I have a hard copy of GHOST SQUAD that I still haven’t read yet. I’ve heard so many great things about Claribel Ortega’s books that I have really wanted to catch up. When I saw that Rockstar Book Tours had open spots on their tour for THE GOLDEN FROG GAMES (Witchlings #2), I jumped at the chance to participate… which meant I needed to read this book first!

I loved so many things about this book. It’s got a perfect ramp-up of stakes. It’s got a really fun and intriguing story world. I loved the way that familiar words were just a bit different. For instance, instead of Bingo, characters say, Flingo. There are a lot of things about toads, including a really imaginative and silly toad race. In the midst of all that, Seven and her friends are on a quest to subdue a dangerous monster called a Nightbeast. I felt like the story added new information and increased tension at exactly the right places.

I’m super excited to read the second book in the series. I think fans of AMARI AND THE NIGHT BROTHERS by B. B. Alston and SHADOW MAGIC by Joshua Khan will like this series.

Witchlings on Bookshop

Content Notes

Recommended for Ages 8 to 12.

Seven is Latine.

Profanity/Crude Language Content

Romance/Sexual Content

Spiritual Content
Most characters are witches, with magical power. There are magical beasts as well.

Violent Content
Situations of peril. Some brief battle scenes.

Drug Content

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 WITCHLINGS in exchange for my honest review.

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About Kasey

Reads things. Writes things. Fluent in sarcasm. Willful optimist. Cat companion, chocolate connoisseur, coffee drinker. There are some who call me Mom.

2 Responses to Review: Witchlings by Claribel Ortega

  1. Sounds a fun read! And I really enjoyed Amari! Thanks for the recommendation!

    • Kasey says:

      Yes! I just finished reading Amari and the Night Brothers a couple weeks ago myself. I am really excited to continue that series. I will be reviewing the next book in the Witchlings series on Thursday if you’re interested in seeing more. 🙂