THE WITCH QUEEN by Jan Siegel

THE WITCH QUEEN

KIRKUS REVIEW

A happy ending, following a torrid romance, a creepy contest between dueling witches, two (count ’em!) deals with the Devil (or a reasonable facsimile thereof), an encounter with God (or an even more reasonable facsimile) and a few more campy, smart-alecky high fantasy send-ups to Siegel's fantasy trilogy featuring Fern Capel, a single, British public relations executive who quite literally moonlights as a witch. You just can't keep a bad witch down. When she was a mere teenager, Fern thought she had incinerated Morgus, the evil, sorcerous half-sister of legendary King Arthur, in the series opener, Prospero's Children (2000). Fern didn't notice that the crusty Morgus had plunged herself an Underworld river, conferring upon her some of invulnerabilities associated with the Greek warrior Achilles. Having thwarted another attempt for evil to enter our mundane world in The Dragon Charmer (2001), Fern, who is somewhat absorbed in her agency's launch of Woof!, a new magazine about celebrity pets, is summoned by the goblin Skuldunder to meet goblin Queen Mabb. Mabb warns Fern that not only is Morgus vamping about the human world with a supermodel's body, she has done terrible things to human beings who have something to do with an evil magic tree growing in the basement of Wrokeby, a crumbling English country house. Fern is then contacted by the handsome Lucas Walgrim, whose father owns Wrokeby. Is the catatonic state Lucas's sister is in somehow similar to one that Fern experienced years ago? Siegel's by-now characteristic mix of Gothic fantasy and Bridget Jones–esque singles satire/farce survives the occasional patch of romance novel prose (“after a while, she no longer knew where her body ended and his began”), concluding with Fern in love and all major plot threads neatly tied up.

Though reviving an old villain is a sure sign of series plot fatigue, Fern's adventures are too much fun to end here. Let us pray for a fourth.

Pub Date: Aug. 1st, 2002
ISBN: 0-345-43903-1
Page count: 352pp
Publisher: Del Rey/Ballantine
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1st, 2002




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