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WITCHLIGHT by Jessi Zabarsky


by Jessi Zabarsky ; illustrated by Jessi Zabarsky

Pub Date: April 14th, 2020
ISBN: 978-0-593-11999-0
Publisher: Random House

A girl and a witch go on a quest to reunite the witch with her missing powers.

Lelek is a witch who travels through the land cheating townsfolk to survive. Sanja witnesses her conflict with a disgruntled customer and the magical fight that ensues. Lelek, after seeing how expertly Sanja wields a sword, kidnaps Sanja so that she can learn from her how to fight. Sanja insists that Lelek stop cheating people. The girls decide to move from town to town challenging witches to battles and charging spectators for tickets as they seek to restore Lelek’s missing magic. Along the way, they make friends and enemies, fall in love, and learn to trust. As Sanja’s past catches up to them, the girls’ journey takes a turn for the worse, and Sanja must save Lelek’s life. Zabarsky’s (contributor: Tim'rous Beastie, 2017) illustrations give texture to the abundant, fantastical natural setting. A mix of bright pastels and dark panels set the tone for this eccentric story. Dream sequences and flashbacks provide in-depth insights into Sanja and Lelek, furthering their characterizations and their relationship to one another. The minimal text will occasionally force readers to pay close attention to the visual cues and the meandering plot. Lelek is brown skinned and Sanja is white and fat; secondary characters are diverse in skin tone.

A charmingly illustrated story with a strolling pace.

(Graphic fantasy. 12-18)