The Prince and the Witch is an enthralling tale of self discovery where author, L.A. Thompson offers a charming portrait of the magic of adolescence.
The Prince and the Witch, L.A. Thompson’s sophomore young adult fantasy novel, tells the story of Edward, a young prince whose curse renders him sickly unless he regularly drinks a magic elixir. Cursed at the age of five by his grandmother, Edward has hardly had a chance to venture past the gates of his family’s castle and explore the Kingdom of Arthura. But, when magic is banned by his family and his elixir begins to dwindle, Edward must set out on his first adventure to save not only himself, but his kingdom. Along the way, Edward meets a quirky young witch named Abbey, whose selflessness shows him that not everything he’s been told about witches is exactly as it seems. Together, the unlikely pair must work to overcome their differences and the many obstacles they encounter to reach the Venatys mountains before Edward’s 17th birthday and cure his illness.

L.A. Thompson is a master at creating intricate magical worlds that, at once, build their own exciting sense of place while setting up the perfect backdrop for the inner stories of her characters. Conveyed by vivid and playful descriptions that range from wispy and elaborate to direct and poignant, the portrait of the Kingdom of Arthuria that she paints is one that leaves a lasting impression sure to entice readers over and over again to return for any future instalments that she might write. We fall in love as much with the story of the place as we do with its rich, quirky characters. What’s more is that these two elements fit together with such grace, somehow standing on their own and working together to tell the perfect story. Adding to the book’s visual richness, Thompson’s understated way of describing action keeps readers engaged, waiting for whatever’s around the story’s next bend.

For all the things Thompson gets right, the story’s standout feature is the charm of its characters and, specifically, the dynamics between them. While the book’s protagonist, Edward, is an obviously lovable lead, his opposite Abbey stands out as delightfully clever, with an endearing and very modern sarcasm. The interactions between the two are sure to leave even older readers nostalgic for their own youth and for that long forgotten feeling of finding your people for the first time. This effect is emblematic of what makes The Prince and the Witch so enjoyable. There’s a certain elegance in the way that Thompson is able to distil such powerful themes about adolescence and weave them into magical stories that capture the heart of her characters’ inner experience. This is further supported by Thompson’s nuanced depiction of family, which doesn’t shy away from the messy bits — where love and honesty become complicated terms.

L.A. Thompson invites us into a new world with confidence and poise; The Prince and the Witch is a great read for fans of all ages.