Shoric Publishing (2018)
Reviewed by Susan Violante for Reader Views (1/19)
“Scarlet Reign: Malice of the Dark Witch” by R.D. Crist is the story of Natalie, a fourteen-year-old girl taken in by her Aunt Ava after her mother’s untimely death. All she had left from her mother was a mysterious ring which held her mother’s secret. Natalie didn’t know that her mother and her aunt were witches. She didn’t know that she was also a witch! But as her unknown father and warlock, Saul tries to kidnap her and hurt her Aunt Ava in the process, Natalie’s previous life evaporates unraveling a new life under her real identity. She finally settles in an all-girls orphanage, but life is not easy there as she is fresh meat for bullies. Natalie soon realizes that not only will she need to grow up quickly to survive her situation…she will also need to decipher her power (or lack of it) as a witch, to be able to fulfill her destiny.
What an exciting book to read! I loved the characters as they all were likeable, unique and genuine. The dialogues also felt authentic to the characters personalities, and the situations they were in. Crist did an awesome job moving the story forward through dialogue and action. The descriptions were spot on allowing me to imagine everything visually and the narration was captivating as well.
In general, “Scarlet Reign: Malice of the Dark Witch” is a very well written young adult fantasy. However, I do feel that there were some dots left unconnected in the end. Even though this is the first of a series, I feel the plot needed to come to full circle, and while for the most part it did, I kept wondering about Saul after I finished the book. A small scene with him at the end would have been the perfect cliffhanger, bringing the plot full circle. Just my opinion though, and that said, I really enjoyed the book and recommend it to young adult readers and fantasy fans!
“Scarlet Reign: Malice of the Dark Witch” by R.D. Crist is a well-written, action-packed, page-turning fantasy for young adults that will leave readers asking for more. I definitely recommend it – awesome first book!