British writer Eva Ibbotson mixes fantasy and reality with a twist of humor to create an unusual world for the setting of Which Witch?. This novel intended for children is a romantic comedy about a powerful wizard’s reluctant search for a bride in accordance with a prophecy.
The idea of a competition for finding the most “black witch” as Arriman’s bride propels the story into motion, and the lovely character of Belladonna is a shining beacon among the other competitors. The reader is encouraged to cheer for Belladonna’s natural goodness and her success during the course of the competition. The author’s visualization of the correlation between magic, magical creatures, and ordinary society is fresh and surprising. Her sense of humor never fails to entertain and it is expressed well through her appropriate use of British colloquialism and slang. Her descriptions of the many magical beings participating in the story (e.g. witches, wizards, etc.) are thorough and creative. However, the reader may eventually determine that Which Witch? is a spoof on fantasy due to Ibbotson’s “unconventional” views on certain aspects of fantasy. Nevertheless, the storyline is charming, its characters are original, and the novel has its fair share of satire relating to the modern world.
Original review: Humor and fantasy are a winning combination in ‘Which Witch?’, Examiner.com