Thursday, September 1, 2011

The White Witch of Spiton and the Serpent of Anata by Tracey Rolfe

The White Witch of Spiton and the Serpent of Anata by Tracey Rolfe

Jake Boy Publishing: 2007.

When I first began reading this book, I had a difficult time trying to figure out what age the intended audience was supposed to be – actually I didn’t figure it out until I found a postcard that states “The White Witch of Spiton Children’s Books” – still I’m not sure which age group of children they expect this book to appeal to – between the length and subject matter, it seems to be a bit of a clash.

The characters are extremely one dimensional and instead of writing about “real” witches with “real” powers, we are given another Harry Potter want to be type of story except this one isn’t even near as good.

The timeline is even fishy as it doesn’t seem the characters have enough time to complete their different tasks, when suddenly their counterparts are off on another task or adventure, time seems to go by too quickly.

The characters also come across as confusing with some of the language they use, their motivations and their actions, yet at the same time they are also often predictable.

Unfortunately, this book seemed to be another attempt at creating a world of wizards and witches that falls short of its goal. It would be nice to see stories regarding real witches – not people riding vacuum cleaners across the globe.

This is also one of those books that brings color into play (as shown immediately by the title), making it a tad bit on the skewed side – of course we all know “white” is “good” and nothing but – yes – that would be a ton of sarcasm.

Unless you’ve got nothing better to do and you’re strapped into a chair and are forced to read this book, there really isn’t a whole lot of point to bothering with it. You won’t be missing much and I can’t see this being a strong pull for children of any age either. Unfortunately, I can’t like everything that comes across my desk, and this one just doesn’t make the cut.


  1. I think you have been very harsh about this book, I found it extreemly interesting right from the start.I was so hooked I couldn't put the book down. I've also read this book to my children ages 9yrs & 10yrs and they enjoyed it too. I think Tracey Rolfe is very talented. I even went out and bought her other two books. I would highly recommend this magical series to everyone ..... well done tracey!!!

    By Dani (Lancashire UK)

  2. What about this book exactly did you find interesting? The characters are never properly introduced to the reader, they suddenly just show up and we don't even know who they are or what is going on with them. Actually when I first started reading it I thought that maybe it was supposed to be the second or third book of a series, but even if it had been, some background on the characters would have been essential.

    Also considering the only thing I could find on the publisher is that they have published these books, I have to assume that they are self published and didn't make it through a professional editing process or publisher.

    Yes there are some decent self published works out there, but this story and the characters are just too weak to stand on their own. The plot isn't terrible, she has the right idea there, but the rest - especially character development, needs some work.