A Path Begins

A Path Begins

Book - 2014 | First edition.
Average Rating:
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"When twelve-year-old Kara discovers her mother's grimoire in the dangerous forest, she must decide if she'll use it, even though such magic is forbidden"-- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York, NY : Katherine Tegen Books, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers, [2014]
Edition: First edition.
ISBN: 9780062257246
0062257242
Branch Call Number: J WHITE
Characteristics: 488 pages : illustrations ; 19 cm
Additional Contributors: Offermann, Andrea - Illustrator

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kirstd31 Jul 05, 2017

A dark and scary tale of witches and demons! Will Kara take the right path? I loved this story. I can't wait to read the next book in the series.

KCLS_RobinH Mar 15, 2016

Wow, what a great read! Reminiscent of Neil Gaiman, but with the cruelty of the Hunger Games, this tale pits the humanity of a teen witch against her fundamentalist island village's power structure. Picture M. Night Shyamalan's The Village with David Koresh leading it.

c
chandrav
Oct 02, 2015

A dark and scary fantasy with a wonderfully strong female protagonist.

QueenBoadicea Sep 13, 2015

“Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” Lord John-Dalberg Acton’s grim warning remains as true today as it was when he penned it in the late 19th century. “The Thickety: The Path Begins” lays out exactly how magical power can taint the most innocent hearts and befoul the best intentions.

The author manages something extraordinary here. While all of the reader’s attention remains focused mainly on the young girl Kara, who suffers the slings and arrows of superstitious townspeople, our interest persists in drifting over to the spiteful townsfolk. As the novel continues, we come to suspect that these people, with their disturbing blond sameness repeated everywhere, are the victims of too much inbreeding, a religious mania that doesn’t allow for change or growth and the steadfast refusal to permit anybody from the outside world to influence them. Laboring under the doctrine of a long-dead religious fanatic who waged a nearly one-man campaign to rid them of magic wielders, they aren’t allowed to think for themselves, question their faith or even long for anything beyond what they have. Even a casual wish is punished by the teacher with a harsh caning.

While Kara is encouraged to feel sympathy for these people who have never cared for her, we see just how difficult that inner struggle is—as is her need to fight the dark magic which acts as both a subtle lure and a fatal addiction for her, one that has killed every witch that has tried to use it for her own ends. The book contains its quiet power in every chapter, one that culminates in an epic struggle between two wounded girls, each longing for what the other possesses.

A dangerous and mysterious forest encroaches on the people of one small island. No explanation is given as to where the wood comes from, why foul creatures out of nightmare exist there and nowhere else in the world or why it continues to creep closer on the small town and its inhabitants every single year. It simply is and that is all.

The Thickety itself may contain the answer to the island people’s moral dilemma. Did it create them—or did they, on some primal level, create it? Questions no doubt to be addressed and answered in future volumes. Kara’s victory is not complete and has destroyed nearly everything she holds dear. This is one reader is a-buzz to learn how she deals with the new threat that has engulfed her.

f
FindingJane
Sep 13, 2015

“Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” Lord John-Dalberg Acton’s grim warning remains as true today as it was when he penned it in the late 19th century. “The Thickety: The Path Begins” lays out exactly how magical power can taint the most innocent hearts and befoul the best intentions.

The author manages something extraordinary here. While all of the reader’s attention remains focused mainly on the young girl Kara, who suffers the slings and arrows of superstitious townspeople, our interest persists in drifting over to the spiteful townsfolk. As the novel continues, we come to suspect that these people, with their disturbing blond sameness repeated everywhere, are the victims of too much inbreeding, a religious mania that doesn’t allow for change or growth and the steadfast refusal to permit anybody from the outside world to influence them. Laboring under the doctrine of a long-dead religious fanatic who waged a nearly one-man campaign to rid them of magic wielders, they aren’t allowed to think for themselves, question their faith or even long for anything beyond what they have. Even a casual wish is punished by the teacher with a harsh caning.

While Kara is encouraged to feel sympathy for these people who have never cared for her, we see just how difficult that inner struggle is—as is her need to fight the dark magic which acts as both a subtle lure and a fatal addiction for her, one that has killed every witch that has tried to use it for her own ends. The book contains its quiet power in every chapter, one that culminates in an epic struggle between two wounded girls, each longing for what the other possesses.

A dangerous and mysterious forest encroaches on the people of one small island. No explanation is given as to where the wood comes from, why foul creatures out of nightmare exist there and nowhere else in the world or why it continues to creep closer on the small town and its inhabitants every single year. It simply is and that is all.

The Thickety itself may contain the answer to the island people’s moral dilemma. Did it create them—or did they, on some primal level, create it? Questions no doubt to be addressed and answered in future volumes. Kara’s victory is not complete and has destroyed nearly everything she holds dear. This is one reader is a-buzz to learn how she deals with the new threat that has engulfed her.

o
orange_elk_15
Sep 04, 2015

Dark and scary but pretty good

JCLChrisK Oct 24, 2014

"Then the bird showed her a color she had never seen before. Somewhere between black and green but neither of them, the color of pestilence and extinction and nightmares better left forgotten, a color that had been exiled from the world long ago.

"It was the color of evil."

Oh, this book is a dark one. Terrifying, frustrating, tense, exhilarating, and slightly, bitterly delicious.

It begins with a five-year-old girl being kidnapped in the middle of the night and taken in front of a gathering of the people of her village, where their religious leader publicly executes her mother as a witch and almost does the same with the girl as guilty by blood.

That, obviously, is the defining moment of Kara's life. Seven years later she remains the village pariah, her father an apathetic wreck and her brother, who was born six weeks premature that night, still sickly. Their lives are not happy ones, stuck as they are between their oppressive, rigid, puritanical society and the ominously evil, invasive, addictive magic that might or might not have lured her mother to commit atrocities. Kara just wants to love and be loved, to live a simple, happy life, but her situation may never allow it; for Kara may, despite her best intentions and previous reprieve, be destined to follow the same path her mother took.

I'll repeat the blurb from author Angie Sage on the book's back cover: "The Thickety may give you nightmares, but it is a gripping story with a great heroine."

I would have given it 5 stars but for the epilogue, which, while in fact feeling like a logical, organic, and genuine turn of events for the characters and their motivations, nevertheless feels a bit too much like a manipulation that exists purely for the sake of creating the need for a second book. So, only 4.5 stars.

Ms_Gaye Oct 21, 2014

Dark fantasy for grades 5-8. First of a trilogy. Official book trailer on author's website: http://jawhitebooks.com/

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