Rose Mortiz has always been a fixer, but lately she’s been feeling lost. She has brand-new powers she doesn’t understand, and her family is still trying to figure out how to function in the wake of her amnesiac father’s return home. Then, on the night of her Deathday party, Rose discovers her father’s memory loss has been a lie.
As she rushes to his side, the two are ambushed and pulled through a portal to the land of Adas, a fairy realm hidden in the Caribbean Sea. There, Rose is forced to work with a group of others to save Adas. Soon, she begins to discover the scope of her powers, the troubling truth about her father’s past, and the sacrifices he made to save her sisters.
But if Rose wants to return home so she can repair her broken family, she must figure out how to heal Adas first.
I don’t know if I’m supposed to pick favorites between the Mortiz sisters, but I will admit Rose may be my favorite among them, thanks to this book. Wayward Witch is both expansive and conclusive in its scope – by taking Rose’s story out into a faerie realm, but also speaking to the experiences of the three sisters and bringing together things from the whole series. It starts at about 6 months since the end of Bruja Born, and the Mortiz family is now settled in a new house, thanks to the Hunters, and Rose is having her Death Day party. Things are still not quite settled, though, emotionally, as the return of their father has them a bit out of balance, with so many things unsaid and hidden, and her father not opening up about his time in Adas, the faerie realm. Rose, wanting to use the collective magic of her party, tries a truth spell, but it has unintended consequences. Next thing she knows, she and her father are kidnapped and taken to Adas, where she is being recruited as a soldier for the king of Adas, who wants a deadly rot on his lands vanquished.
Rose, now knowing that her powers are to pull other powers, not just being a Seer, is reluctant to get involved in the problems of another land. But with her father as a hostage, and the threat of the problem of Adas spilling over into her world, she agrees to become a part of the team of exceptional brujexs who are going to investigate. A large part of the book is their journey to the heart of the land, and Adas being a faerie realm, there is much to explore as a reader. Between Rose’s training and their struggles to get past the areas affected, the story also brings up how Rose’s older sister’s journeys have shaped her own worldview, how their mistakes leading to large consequences has made her a bit afraid to embrace her own potential, and how the similarities between her powers and a dreaded deos in this realm has her even more afraid of it. Their dynamic as a family is also explored to some extent, with the recent changes and how they are coping with it, as well Rose’s relationship with her father.
I cannot go into much detail about the Adas storyline, because spoilers, but I can say this much – I loved how unpredictable it was and what decisions were made with respect to some character arcs. It did feel like the journey was stretched out so much, when the most interesting things happend at the end of it, but the magic of exploring Adas kept it from being too slow. Overall, it gives a nice conclusion, drawing together their stories in Rose’s arc and giving a new beginning to the Mortiz family. Sad to say goodbye (but really hoping for a spin-off novella at least for [redacted] in the future pretty please) but can’t deny it was a good and satisfactory conclusion!
Is it diverse? Latina and fat main character; non-binary secondary character
Received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review from Sourcebooks Fire, via Edelweiss.
Previous books in the Brooklyn Brujas series
Released on September 2, 2020