Goodreads: Witch Wars
Series: Witch Wars #1
Publication Date: January 19, 2016
When Fran the Fabulous Fairy turns up in Tiga Whicabim’s shed to tell her she’s a witch, Tiga doesn’t believe her. Or at least not until Fran points out that TIGA WHICABIM is actually an anagram of I AM A BIG WITCH . . . and takes Tiga through the drainpipes to compete in a challenge to crown the next Top Witch of Ritzy City. No one expects a witch from ‘above the pipes’ to be a serious contender, but soon Tiga and her new best friend, Peggy Pigwiggle, are at the head of the pack! Does one of them have what it takes to win?
There will be spells. There will be shrunken heads. But most of all, there will be serious shoe envy. Perfect for fans of Sarah Mlynowski’s Whatever After series and filled with hilarious black-and-white illustrations, delectable dresses, and ridiculous riddles, Witch Wars is whimsical, magical fun!
Witch Wars is a quirky, imaginative book that will keep readers turning the pages to see what escapades protagonist Tiga gets up to next. The book is aimed at younger readers and has an appropriately silly sense of humor-it takes place in a city you can only reach by going down a sink drain, after all. However, as an older reader, I still thought it was tons of fun and enjoyed watching Tiga explore magical Ritzy City and discover what true friendship is all about.
The story follows nine-year-old Tiga as she is whisked to a magical city she has never heard of to compete in Witch Wars–not a small task for a girl who didn’t even know she was a witch. The book, then, is part fun reality show competition, part friendship story as Tiga pairs up with a witch who actually does know how to do potions and spells, and part mystery as Tiga journeys to find who she is and how she was nominated for the contest.
Witch Wars is not, as one might imagine, an actual war but more like a scavenger hunt where the participants must follow clues. Although the clues will not be ones that readers will be able to solve along with the characters (they require knowledge of Ritzy City), watching the competition unfold is hugely entertaining. The cast of characters is rich and varied. There are mean witches and nice ones, fairies with a penchant for the fabulous and fairies who just want to go take a nap. There is never a dull moment. Author Sibeal Pounder also has a great sense for the unexpected; the story will keep readers on their toes.
The one thing the story could probably use is more cats. Everyone keeps mentioning how witches love cats, but all the readers get is a passing allusion to an angry cat somewhere in the Witch Wars house. This is massively disappointing. If Tiga or one of her friends could get a cat familiar in the sequel, it would be just about everything I could ask for from the series. (Except maybe an explanation for why everyone in Ritzy City is female.)