Book Reviews

Review: The Hawkweed Prophecy by Irena Brignull


The Hawkweed Prophecy by Irena Brignull 3/5

13451099_1200272576690824_694634852_nThe babies were born as the clock struck twelve. A bat fell from the air mid-flight. A silver salmon floated dead to the surface of the river. Snails withered in their shells, moths turned to dust on the night breeze and an owl ate its young. The spell had been cast.

Poppy Hooper has managed to deceive her father into believing that there is nothing mysterious or unnatural about her. He ignores the cats that find her wherever she goes, the spiders that weave beautiful lacy patterns for her, even her eyes – one blue, one green with an extra black dot orbiting the pupil.

Ember Hawkweed is a pitiful excuse for a witch. When the other girls in her coven brew vile potions, Ember makes soap and perfume. Fair and pretty, Ember is more like a chaff than a witch. One of the Hawkweeds will be queen of the witches – but everyone knows it won’t be Ember.

When the two girls meet, Poppy discovers her powers, and finds out the truth. Bound by their unlikely friendship and the boy they both love, the girls try and find their place in the world. But the time of the prophecy draws nearer – and the witches won’t give up the throne without a fight.

Thanks go to Hachette Children’s Group and Netgalley for giving me a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.

The Hawkweed Prophecy is due for release on June 16th 2016.


Poppy and Ember are very different girls, but alike in their loneliness and feeling of isolation within the worlds they grew up in. There is a big secret as to how they happen upon each other, and why they are uncomfortable in their own skins, and that is the basis of the story. This is definitely a teen book that doesn’t quite transend the age range like some great YA/ teen books can do, but Brignull captures teen angst and indentity issues whilst interweaving a tale of witches, spells, and Queens.

Sometimes, the narrative felt a little rushed, and what should have been huge developments are sprung upon the reader. Other times, what I felt to be unimportant aspects were stretched out thin.  Leo’s relationship with both girls was awkward, and there were developments between him and Ember that, as a reader, we discover before the narrative even delves into the story. I can appreciate that Poppy ‘just knows these things’ due to a huge change in her circumstance, but it felt like a lightening bolt to me.

I enjoyed the dysfunctional relationships between the girls and their parents, and the underlying competition between the Hawkweed sisters- Raven especially. The huge secret that Raven has kept for years to benefit her own child, that has now come back to haunt her, was an interesting concept. I did guess the outcome very early on, but it didn’t put me off reading. Perhaps the prologue was a little too revealing.

A good book for young teens that touches on issues of teen angst, family troubles, identity issues, jealousy, relationships, and loneliness, mixed with a hearty dose of believable fantasy.

The opinions expressed here are those of K.J.Chapman and no other parties.

All books reviewed on this blog have been read by K.J.Chapman

K.J.Chapman has not been paid for this review.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s