The Witches of Dark Root (Daughters of Dark Root, #1)The Witches of Dark Root by April Aasheim
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Maggie Maddock has always struggled with growing up in Dark Root, Oregon. There are the usual struggles that normally accompany being a young woman in a small town, but in addition there are the struggles of dealing with her increasingly erratic mother who insists Maggie is the key to the success of the family legacy. A legacy that involves alleged witchcraft passed down from the city founders. With plenty of pressure and few answers, and watching her sisters driven away one by one, Maggie decides to leave as well. It’s not until years later and a call from home regarding her ailing mother that Maggie is enticed to leave her current personal drama to face her past. Back in Dark Root, she is reunited with her sisters and meets a new cast of characters to her life, some bent on harm. Maggie discovers her alleged witchy heritage is not so alleged after all, and it is up to her to revitalize Dark Root’s Halloween festival as a stronghold against darkness.

At its heart, Witches of Dark Root is more about family and finding one’s place in the world than about magic and witches, though there is plenty of that. There are comparisons to “Charmed” and “Practical Magic” with all their humor and fun, but there are also Stephen King moments of the “Thing Under the Bed” variety.

My only complaint, and it’s a small one, is that this introductory story to the Dark Root series ended with sparkler rather than a sky booming firework as if it were just a another chapter ending. Which may very well be the case, as there are many more books in the series to come. Indeed, with a rich and numerous cast of characters and the number of volumes, Dark Root could easily make a good TV series. I’m picturing an opening credit sequence set to Fleetwood Mac’s “Gold Dust Woman.”

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