When Kara Westfall was five years old the people in her town accused her mother of being a witch and hanged her. "Mothers hands had been bound together and hooked over a thick branch; her feet dangled fifteen feet from the ground. She was blindfolded and gagged." There is another peg in another tree and that night that peg is intended for Kara. Is she to be hanged as a witch at the age of five?
Left to care for her baby brother, Taff, Kara struggles in the years that follow. She and Taff are shunned by the village people who fear their magic. Kara is bullied by Grace, the apple of the village's eye, with her crippled leg. Grace is certain it was Kara's mother who cursed her and she takes all of her fury out on Kara when backs are turned away.
Kara is a kind and good person caring for her brother and owning an ability to heal hurt animals. In spite of the misery and rejection that are her daily bread, she is choosing the higher path.
Then one day a bird tricks Kara into the Thickety by stealing her necklace. This forest that is growing and reaching wider and deeper to encompass the village holds a magical surprise. Deep in this dark and evil world, Kara finds a grimoire, a book of spells, that may have belonged to her mother. But the pages of the book are blank.
Was her mother's magic evil? What magic does Kara hold? When you find power in your own hands, will you use it for evil? Will you know how to control it and guide it only for good purposes? Can Kara hold onto her own magic?
Kara struggles with her magical abilities and her desires. Armed with her book of spells she is faced with choices. Up until now she believed she had no magical powers. In her village magical powers mean death.
The dark master of the Thickety calls to her and certainly after all the torment she's experienced she naturally holds some rage and feelings of great injustice. Will evil right the wrongs? Will Kara hold onto the goodness and the healing abilities she owns? As Grace chooses the dark side, will her power prove the mightier?
This is a dark story appropriate for older readers.
978-0062257246 489 pages Ages 12 and up
Recommended by: Barb Langridge, abookandahug.com
Also in this series: The Thickety: Whispering Trees, #2;The Thickety: Well of Witches, #3;The Thickety: The Last Spell, #4