Kirkus Reviews QR Code


Dame Darcy's Illustrated Guide to Magic, Love, and Creativity

by Dame Darcy

Age Range: 12 - 18

Pub Date: Aug. 21st, 2012
ISBN: 978-0-8050-9379-7
Publisher: Henry Holt

An exploration of “witchcraft” shown through the mind-numbing pink fog of a teen-magazine lens.

Are you like totally a hot witch? "Dame Darcy" has rendered this term down to five main types: enchantress, bard, pagan priestess, mystic and seer. For each type, she lists various activities and/or advice that may hold appeal; for example, the enchantress (“loves romance and glamour!”) can learn such necessities as love spells and is offered comforting platitudes like “no one is going to lead you to true happiness except yourself,” a sentiment sure to result in an angst-y eye-roll. The pagan priestess (“loves handcrafting and nature!”) is given just the quickest overview of how to knit, something that Dame Darcy feels can be confidently explained in a mere four pages of illustration. Sprinkled throughout are Darcy’s minicomics of her own feminist imaginings of fairy tales; one finds Sleeping Beauty roused by her long-lost twin—and when the Prince offers them a gift, they counter, “Boy, you are going to have to do more than that to get with this!”  Though the female empowerment that the author attempts to promulgate is admirable, the rah-rah tone and lack of depth quickly negate any credibility. Replete with perky quizzes, tips on hair and makeup and simplistic handicrafts, this ends up feeling like a very long Seventeen article.

Not so hot. (additional readings) (Nonfiction. 12 & up)