The Witch, the Sword, and the Cursed Knight | Alexandria Rogers


Out now by Little Brown Books for Young Readers; 432 pages

Content Warnings: Mentions of death and loss of a loved one

About the Author: “After receiving her master’s degree at City, University of London for her non-fiction book on the romantic mythology of Paris, she acted, modeled, and wrote in Los Angeles. Eventually, she discovered she preferred drizzly days to eternal sunshine, and that she didn’t want anything to divert her time from writing. Now the Wisconsin native lives in Edinburgh with her husband and dog, in eternal search of excuses to visit Paris.” (Bio taken from author’s website.)

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“She was a queen of ruin, reigning over ash, and didn’t even seem to know.”

Ellie didn’t choose to be born a witch. In the hopes of separating herself from her witchling heritage and proving her worth in society, she applies to the Fairy Godmother Academy. But this plan to solve her lifelong struggle is crushed when she doesn’t get accepted, and instead is drafted to serve as a knight of King Arthur’s Round Table. There is only one way to get out of the draft: help a lost cause. Fortunately for Ellie, Caedmon is that lost cause. Though he too receives a draft letter to join the knights, Caedmon ignores it. However, his fate of becoming a knight can not be so easily ignored, and soon the two find themselves on a magical adventure to reforge the legendary sword of Excalibur. With darkness looming, both Ellie and Caedmon must accept who they really are if they wish to abolish the evil curse.

Arthurian legend, witches, and magic—say no more! This book had me hooked from the very first page. Both Ellie and Caedmon are wonderfully crafted characters; put them together and you have a phenomenal friendship. I think what stood out to me most about their friendship is that it isn’t instant. They are both a bit bitter in the beginning—Ellie for being rejected from the Academy and Caedmon for losing a close friend—and even though they are struggling to accept who they are and this adventure they have been put on, they help each other realize their inner strengths and learn to accept who they were meant to be. In addition to a beautiful friendship, the magic system of this world is terrific, the twist on a classic is unique, and the adventure is full of surprises. This magical adventure has something for everyone!

(Pine Reads review would like to thank NetGalley and Little Brown Books for Young Readers publishing for sending us an ARC in exchange for an honest review. Any quotes are taken from an advanced copy and may be subject to change upon final publication.)

PRR Writer and Editor, Taylor Quinn