Kitaya has four hundred and forty three mothers.
She lives inside a forever-changing messy yard protected by a massive wall. She’s home-schooled and when her mothers take her on a field trip, it’s usually across the galaxy to learn how stars are born. She calls her home the Calamora Fort. Her friend, Joshua, calls it prison. What the jungle tribes call it depends on whether the frontier gods allow them to see it.
When the Witches begin erasing Joshua’s memories, Kitaya knows they mean to send him away. At thirteen her magic isn’t strong enough to defy the tribe of self-styled gods, but there’s an option: steal Joshua’s dormant body and run. She’s determined to reach the human party moving through the jungle and is so focused on her goal ahead that she forgets to look behind. By the time she does, death and destruction are not just close but have caught up.
Deep in the forest magic flows shaping the worlds, buildings and all things material.
Kitaya and Joshua are orphans rescued by the Witches of Calamora when the Allied settlement is raised by privateers. Thirteen years later Kitaya is well on her way to becoming the strongest witch ever seen, while Joshua is magically mute, as well as being the only male in the community.
A slip in the time stream abruptly changes the community of witches and threatens to end their rule forever.
I did enjoy this book, the witches were not the usual pointy hat variety and their magic was out of the ordinary as well. Shape changing, teleporting, mind reading–all these were part of their abilities. I felt it sad that the burgeoning love between Kitaya and Joshua was frowned on by the witches but felt the frustration of Kitaya was excellently portrayed in her thoughts.
It was a shame that I kept losing the thread when a wrong word, usually wrong tense, popped into the story. It broke my concentration and detracted from the story.
Although mainly from Kitaya’s point of view, there are several other characters who have their say. I really liked the child prodigy medic Karin who arrived with the returning Allied forces. She brought a light humor into what could have become another battle scene which wouldn’t have really fitted with the magical aspect.
On the whole this book is a good read and ends with an unspoken promise of more books to come.