Wow, just wow. What an amazing story this was! This book was a little over 600 pages which made me nervous. I don’t like a lot of unnecessary background information or events that aren’t important in the plot just to fill up pages. Since this is the first book in the series, I was really worried about these issues being present. However, I was worried for nothing. If anything, I wish there was a little more background information! I love all of the different races in the book and wanted more knowledge about each one. Every interaction was important to the story and not once did I feel bored. The story totally consumed me and I just needed to take all of it in. The progression of the story was perfect with no event seeming out of place. There was a lot of world building but it was done magnificently. I could imagine this world that Forest built and the tension between the races. Each detail helped portray the scenes that flowed through the book creating easy transitions.
There were so many characters in this book. Sometimes this can lead to a downfall as there are too many characters to remember. However, each character in this book was unique in their own way that I could easily distinguish them apart. I am only going to focus on Elloren though, as she is our main character. I adored her. Even though she is considered weak due to only being a Mage 1 and not having access to magic, she was strong in so many other ways. Growing up with her uncle had caused her and her brothers to have a different outlook on life as a Gardnerian. While some of the prejudices of the other races does seem to taint Elloren’s outlook, she quickly grows out of them. Her personal growth in this book was outstanding. All of it was so believable while creating a likeable character in the process. Throughout the whole book, I rooted for Elloren to overcome her hardships to grow into the unstoppable woman she became.
Overall, The Black Witch by Laurie Forest was an absolutely stunning book. I was overwhelmed with how good the story and world building was for the first book of this series. Everything had a purpose and no detail was unimportant. Each character played an important role in creating Elloren Gardener into the woman she became at the end of the book. While it took some time for Elloren view the world differently, she was always an easy character to follow. I highly recommend this book for fantasy and magic lovers who enjoy a deeply rich world.