Advance Review: A World Of Wonder And Discovery Awaits In ‘Witchlight’

by James Ferguson

Sanja’s life was rather dull. She had to occupy her family’s booth at the market while her father and brothers went around to other stalls, explored, and did all the fun stuff. That changed when a witch named Lelek literally swept her away after a brief encounter. What starts out as a sort of kidnapping turns into a loving friendship and more as the two venture through the land on a quest.
While the beginning of their relationship is a bit odd, what follows is absolutely charming. The two are wary of others, especially Lelek, but you can see those barriers come down with the more time they spend together. They let someone else in for the first time and it’s a beautiful thing.
Creator Jessi Zabarsky’s setup for this is a little weird, but you just kind of go with it. We don’t get an explanation as to why witches are in every town or the hierarchy of this society, nor is it needed. The focus is on the characters. That’s what drives the story and what pulls you in. I have to see if Sanja and Lelek finally realize they are so much better together than apart and that’s what drove me to read this whole book in a single sitting.

Zabarsky’s artwork matches up to that feeling perfectly. There are often panels that focus on specific details, like a quick furtive glance or a casual touch that add so much more meaning to the story and this budding relationship. There’s a flow to the artwork that can explain a great deal without having to say it outright. A great example of this is Lelek’s magic potion. We’re not told how it works, but we can see how she uses it and what it can do with the imagery.
Magic is clearly very special in Witchlight. That is emphasized by the way the colors change whenever it is in use. There’s a vibrant energy unleashed whenever someone taps into a magical ability that is completely unlike the rest of the book. It highlights the special quality of magic and how rare, yet important it is in this world.

Witchlight is a charming adventure full of heart and wonder. It’s about finding yourself and where you fit in a vast world where anything can happen. The place you belong – and who you belong with – might not be where you started and that’s totally okay. This is a special book that is sure to resonate with not just the young adult audience, but with older folks as well.
Witchlight from Random House Graphic is set for release on April 14th, 2020 at your local comic shop, bookstores, and Amazon.

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