In the young adult fantasy series Wicked special edition books, published exclusively for Barnes and Noble, you get two books for the very reasonable price of one. The first, Wicked, includes the novels Witch, first published in 2002, and Curse, published in 2003. Wicked 2 includes Legacy and Spellbound, both published in 2003.
The Wicked series is about Holly, Nicole, and Amanda as each girl discovers their witch family heritage. Through the books you see their loves, struggles with the forces of good and evil, and watch as they transform into powerful witches.
In Witch you meet Holly Cathers, a normal high school student who is on white water-rafting vacation with her parents and best friend. When these three are killed in an accident, Holly goes to live with her Dad’s sister. Holly has never heard anything of her aunt, her parents never speaking of that side of the family tree.
Holly moves from her family home in San Francisco to her aunt’s home in Seattle, where she meets her cousins Nicole and Amanda. Holly soon realizes that her beautiful Aunt Marie-Claire and willful cousin Nicole are the stars of the family, with her Uncle Richard and cousin Amanda in the supporting roles. But with Holly’s arrival everything begins to balance out.
The three girls soon learn a little of their family history. The old Cathers family name was Cahors, an ancient witching family, but it was changed when the last of the line fled to America. Soon they are practicing magic, at first small blessings, but quickly moving on to defensive spells.
Meanwhile. Michael Deveraux, a prominent warlock, is planning the downfall of the young Cathers witches. For centuries the two families have been locked in a blood feud. Michael is determined to end it with the death of every Cathers witch.
Michael has pushed his son Eli into dating Nicole to get closer to the family. His other son, Jer, has refused to become involved in the evil that his brother and father have made their lives. He soon realizes that the Cathers’ women are in trouble and forms a rebel coven to try and protect them.
When Holly and Jer finally meet they discover that they have a connection that is beyond time. But the question is whether it will save them or kill them. Holly, Nicole, and Amanda form their own coven since they are unsure if Jer is really on their side.
Witch moves you along quickly, hitting all the high points, and rushing you toward the big battle at the end. Once there I was a little disappointed that it didn’t carry the emotional impact I wanted. But since we all know this isn’t the end I turned the page and started the next book.
Curse picks up exactly one year after the death of Holly’s parents and best friend. In that short period of time Holly’s life has changed completely. She is now the Coven Mother of her small group, wearing the heavy burden as best she can but starting to crack with the stress.
Nicole has fled the country, scared of the power that has been awakened and weakened by the death of her mother. Holly and Amanda, while still powerful, are destabilized by her absence as well as devastated by her desertion.
The Cathers still have not defeated the Deveraux and neither side has given up the battle. Michael is still determined to wipe the earth clean of them while Holly is just desperate to survive his ever present malice.
Holly also learns more of the Cahors family history. Her ancestor Isabeau was married to Jer’s ancestor Jean and the two ghosts are using their living relatives to get closer to each other. Since the two families are so magically powerful when they are joined their magic surpasses all others. Isabeau and Jean’s marriage centuries before ended badly and now both ghosts are pushing their descendants toward the end they wished for themselves.
Holly is struggling to keep control of herself as Isabeau pushes her forward. With her small coven in constant danger, death always waiting around the next corner, she makes a sacrifice that darkens her soul and sets her on a path she might not be able to leave.
Nicole meanwhile is in Europe being chased by the minions of Michael Deveraux when she meets a small white coven made up of male witches. They practice white magic mixing it with Catholicism and realize immediately the horrible danger she is in. Without questions they ask her to join their coven and the accept the protection it offers. Thankfully Nicole does and they begin to run together.
But the darkness is not far behind. Michael has gone to the Supreme Coven of warlocks based in London and offered them his allegiance. Soon they have caught up with Nicole, capturing her and bringing her back as a bride of the coven leader’s son to London.
Back in Seattle a witch from the Mother Coven, those who appose the Supreme Coven, has shown up with the offer of help. Holly is bitter that they have waited for so long to make that offer. Already she has lost two coven members to Michael and is preparing for another huge battle.
This battle was much better. Holly calls all of her ancestors together to fight the ancestors that Michael has called. But to do so she must give up a little more of herself, she must harden her heart, and accept more of the dark which she is fighting so hard to defeat.
Overall the writing was fair. There could have been more detail. I felt like some of the high points and danger were glossed over, emotions barely hinted at in both Witch and Curse. That might have been because this book is geared towards a younger crowd. But both books move forward quickly in a fairly engrossing story with a few twists thrown in to keep you guessing.Powered by Sidelines