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Poppy is discovering a purpose for her powers in Africa, but she is haunted by a vision of her own death. Taken in by a boy and his great-grandmother, a healer, they vow to keep her safe-even if that ultimately means holding her captive. But Poppy never stops longing for Leo and, when she feels his magic begin to spark, she will do anything to be reunited with him.
Desperate to regain Poppy’s trust and bring her home, Charlock embarks on a plan to reunite Leo with his mother. What Charlock doesn’t foresee are the string of consequences that she sets into motion that leave Ember all alone and prey to manipulation, the clan open to attack from other witches, Sorrel vulnerable to Raven’s ghost, Betony determined to protect her son from his father’s fate, and which leave both Leo and Poppy in terrible danger.
As a bird, there had been little thought, just instinct. No yesterdays and no tomorrows. No prophecies from the past. No visions of the future. Just the present. And it was liberating—existing in the moment, this second and only this. Poppy Hawkweed had transformed into a swallow to seek freedom and, up there, in the endless skies, she had found it.
Her tiny wings had carried her thousands of miles, so much farther than her human legs had ever taken her. No map—just the setting sun and the night stars and the earth's pull. No company—the other swallows had left in the autumn while the weather was still mild. Without her magic, speeding her on, protecting her, she would have failed. She was certain of that. First the bitter cold of winter, then the blistering heat of the desert to contend with, as well as the constant threat of hungry predators and thunderous storms. Poppy was amazed that, each year, so many birds survived. Their migration felt far more marvelous than anything she might conjure.
The farther she'd flown, the more the endeavor had taken over all her mind and body. The world was vast and she a mere puny ball of feathers, knocked by gusts and tossed by gales and yet still flying on. So many people below—chaffs or witches, she could not tell. They looked the same from up high. So many forests, rivers, mountains, fields, so many homes to stop and live in. But Poppy had kept on going to where the other swallows had finished their journey some weeks before.
Here, in Africa, beyond the smudge of cities and smatterings of smaller towns stretched a seemingly boundless area of sloping hills and plains where animals, large and small, roamed wild. This land was unscarred by fences or electricity towers, roads or railroad tracks. There was hardly any trace of man at all. Zebras were bending their necks to sun-bleached grass. Beyond them, a vast herd of wildebeest ran, dust rising from their hooves like smoke. And, in the distance, a river curved like a reel of ribbon dropped from above.
Weak with exhaustion, Poppy began her descent. For a moment she felt she might tumble. I can't die now, she thought. I've come so far. And I don't know who I am yet. Then a breeze, warm and welcoming, came to usher her in, carrying her downward to meet this new earth.
The African insects tasted rich and spicy, and Poppy feasted on them. Then she slept, and in her dreams she became human again, with ridiculously long limbs and stubby nails, and strangely bare skin with no feathers to adorn it. Poppy writhed with the pain of this transformation, her nerve endings screaming out their protest at the assault as every vein and sinew was twisted, ripped, and elongated out of all proportion.
As her body squirmed, her mind turned with it, back to the past, back to the memories she had flown miles to forget. She was Poppy Hooper again, the baby who'd been swapped for another, the child who had grown up in the wrong home with the wrong mother, the girl who'd never fit in. Then, in her delirium, she saw Ember, sweet Ember, who had grown up in her place, in the coven in the forest, part of the Northern clan. The sky above Ember turned black, the earth froze to white, and there stood their aunt, their enemy. Raven Hawkweed had cast the spell to swap them. Her pointed face became a beak, above it beady eyes.
Poppy cried out in her sleep and Raven's body crumpled to the snow, a corpse that couldn't hurt them anymore. Into the forest Poppy drifted, through the trees, until the ground sloped sharply downward to a dell. There was Ember smiling at her, welcoming her in. At her side was Leo, his eyes dark with desire, his skin like gold. He didn't know that he had witch blood in his veins. He didn't know that Poppy loved him back. She had left him with Ember, to have a better life, away from witchcraft, away from her.
Poppy's body curled into a ball. The witches said she was a queen, but she didn't know how to be one. And she wasn't a chaff anymore. Nor a daughter, or a girlfriend, or a friend. Who am I? thundered the question in her head.
When Poppy awoke, she saw a boy squatting down on the red earth. He was staring at her, the whites of his eyes and his teeth shining like stars from the night of his skin. She tried to speak, but no voice emerged. The boy reached out and she flinched away from him, but it was the feathers scattered around her that he was after. He grabbed a handful and ran. Poppy watched him disappear through the yellow grasses into the haze where the light shimmered in the heat. It was only after he was gone that she realized she was naked. Too tired to care, she closed her eyes and hoped that rest might ease her aching bones.
"Dumela." The word rumbled low in Poppy's ears. "Dumela." It came again.
Something prodded her gently in her side. She lifted her lids just a fraction to glance at it. A dark, gnarled stick, held by a withered, crooked hand. She raised her eyes further. Above her stood a tiny woman with a white nest of hair upon a head kept aloft by a neck coiled with wooden beads. The woman smiled so wide that it filled her whole face.
"Dumela," she said. Poppy blinked, and the woman translated for her in stilted English. "He-llo."
Next to her the boy, her visitor from earlier, nodded in greeting. "You are bird girl, yes?" encouraged the boy. "You are shaman?"
"I… I don't know."
"Witch?" asked the old lady, the smile remaining just as broad.
Poppy blinked. She didn't want to answer this. She didn't want to think of it.
Luckily, the boy spoke again. "You must come with us."
He handed Poppy a piece of cloth and her cheeks burned as she once again realized her nakedness. Awkward and slow in her cumbersomely human form, Poppy got to her knees and tried to dress herself. It was then that she noticed the stone wrapped tightly to her ankle. So long had it been tied there, through all weather, across whole continents, that she no longer felt its touch. The stone had become a part of her, just as Leo had.
"It's the heart stone," he had told her, and for a moment, Poppy let herself remember how his voice had turned soft and shy and how his cheeks had flushed as he watched for her reaction to his gift.
Poppy pulled the tunic down to cover herself.
"Thank you," she muttered to the boy without looking at him.
"You must come with us," the boy repeated. "We must keep you safe."
"From whom?" she asked instantly, her eyes scanning the landscape.
In the distance, she saw a herd of zebras grazing and a group of giraffes nibbling at treetops. There was not another human being in sight.
"You are witch." The woman smiled, holding out her hand, helping Poppy to her feet. "We wait many days for you." Then she handed Poppy her stick, and Poppy leaned on it gratefully. "You feel better soon."
Their dwelling was circular, like a clay anthill rounding out of the earth itself. On the top was a small chimney; beneath it, in the center of the room, a fire. For Poppy, it was like sitting in an oven, her flesh slowly baking. The sweat dribbled from her hair down the sides of her cheeks like warm rain and ran in sticky rivulets from under her arms. The boy gave her cup after cup of an acrid tea to drink. The liquid flowed in and out of her. The air was smoky and she was desperate to make a dash for the door and the freshness of outside, but the ache in her muscles and joints was easing and the old lady simply kept nodding for her to drink some more.
It was only in the evening, when the sun was sinking, that Poppy was allowed out. As she got up, she realized with a sudden surge of joy that she no longer felt any pain from her transformation. She was as light on her feet as the impalas springing through the bush beyond. The boy brought her an earthenware bowl of stew. Poppy ate ravenously, unaware until now of quite how hungry she was.
"Slowly," the boy told her, gesturing with his hand, and Poppy began to chew each mouthful, savoring the flavors.
"What's your name?" she asked him between bites.
"Teko," he told her.
"I'm Poppy." She scraped the last of the gravy from her bowl, then put it down next to her. Ants, bigger than any she'd seen before, immediately started scaling the sides.
"Your grandmother—is she… what did you call it… a shaman?"
Teko gestured with his hands. "Hmnn, she is more medicine-maker. And she is my mother's grandmother."
Poppy felt her eyes widen. "Your great-grandmother?"
"Yes, she is great." Teko smiled. "She is a hundred years old."
"Where's your mother?"
"She is in the city. My father, too. Where is yours?"
Poppy drew a circle in the dust with her toe. She tried hard not to picture Charlock's face and the worry that she knew would feature there. She quickly rubbed out the circle with toes streaked brown. "She's far. Across the seas."
"You have run away from home?" Teko asked.
Poppy stared into the setting sun, liking how it made everything blur. "I don't really have a home."
In the glimmering light, she saw the shape of Ember and missed her friend so badly that she had to take a breath to steady herself. Teko looked at her, then offered her a fruit she didn't recognize.
"You are here now," he said, and Poppy nodded, feeling the relief radiate out of her and mingle with the sun's rays.
"I'm here," she echoed, and the shape of Ember faded.
Poppy bit into the fruit and the juices ran down her arms.
"Mma says you are great too," Teko told her. "A great shaman. A queen."
Poppy felt the smile leave her face. "She said that?"
"She said we must look after you."
"Keep me safe?" Poppy remembered. Teko nodded. "Safe from whom?"
"We do not know. Mma can only feel the danger."
Poppy shrugged. "Well, I'm used to danger. And I'm not a queen. Not anymore."
A sour taste filled her mouth. The taste of a lie, she realized, and she took another bite of the fruit, hoping the sweetness might soften it.
The next morning, Poppy walked with Teko to fetch water from the lake. They passed a herd of antelope, their horns rising so elegantly from their pointed heads. She stopped to take in the view, relishing how utterly different it was from any of the towns she'd lived in, with their thousands of inhabitants, and from the darkness of the forest where the coven were.
"I love it here," she said, noting how unlike her it was to keep her feelings so unchecked.
"That's good," said Teko, his face lighting up with pleasure.
When they bent down at the water's edge, Teko showed her how to tilt the jugs to fill them. Farther in some elephants were wading and she could feel the weight of them in the ripple of the water against her hands.
"Leo," said Teko suddenly. "Does this mean lion?"
Poppy paused for a second, then carried on filling the jug. "It can," she replied.
"You spoke of this lion in your sleep."
"Did I?" Poppy winced. "I'm sorry."
Teko took the water jug from her and placed it next to his. "Come with me," he said, grabbing her hand so she couldn't refuse.
They walked for some time through grasses that came to their waists and then up a steep hillside. After a while Teko's hand became a comfort. There was none of the sensation or sparks she'd had with Leo, just warmth.
Suddenly Teko crouched, pulling Poppy down with him. Keeping low, they crawled up the lip of the hill until they reached the top. Poppy stared out in amazement across a valley that seemed to hold all of creation within it. There were too many different animals and birds to count. Teko pointed to a baobab tree. Beneath it, a huge lion, crowned with a sunflower mane, sat surveying his domain. The carcass of a zebra was laid out before him like an offering to a king. Poppy gasped, and Teko put a finger to his lips. The lion turned his head in their direction, his eyes searching, before he became bored and yawned lazily with a gaping jaw and giant tongue. Teko looked at Poppy and grinned.
"Leo," he said. And Poppy smiled back, the tears pricking behind her eyes.
"Thank you," she mouthed.
The lion dipped his head to his meal, and Teko tugged at Poppy's arm to leave, but she shook her head. Riveted, she watched the lion feed. If she really concentrated, she could hear its teeth crunching into bone, masticating muscle. Then she glimpsed the zebra's expressionless eye staring back at her, and into her mind another image stole. Another eye, green this time, with a black dot above the pupil. It was her own eye, blank and lifeless within her own pale face, her hair splayed out on a bed of blue. Not blue, bluebells, Poppy realized. And then the vision vanished. The face she had seen wasn't old and wrinkled. It was young. It was her face now.
"Poppy?" came Teko's voice. "We should go, yes?"
"Just a second," Poppy mumbled, unable to look at him.
She closed her eyes and took a deep breath. It was just an imagining, nothing more. A morbid, teenage notion. But she had experienced a vision once before—a glimpse into the future—and that had come true. Ember and Leo hand in hand. A couple. Even now it hurt to think of it. But this… surely this must be different?
"I'm sorry," Teko whispered, breaking the silence. "I thought you will like him."
"I did." Poppy turned to look at him. "I do." She tried to smile. "I don't know what came over me. It's silly."
"You were frightened," Teko told her innocently.
As she remembered the danger that he and Mma had warned of, her body started shaking and nothing could stop it. Not the walk back, not Mma's tea, not even sleep.
Poppy woke the next morning to Mma's ancient hand on her shoulder. She knew from Mma's expression that something had happened. She moved fast, hurrying outside. There, golden against the reds of the sunrise, were the cats. Lions, cheetahs, leopards, and caracals, padding back and forth, their heavy paws soft upon the dusty dirt, come in their prides—come to visit her. Cats, she thought, like the ones she'd left back home. The same shaped head, soft fur, triangular nose, and whiskers. The same striking eyes and padded paws and nails. Only, these creatures were so much greater and more magnificent. Poppy felt like dropping to her knees at such an awesome sight. Instead, she nodded slowly, formally, in acknowledgment. All at once, her trembling stopped. She felt the magic flutter within her, then fly through her body and out through her fingers and toes. She turned to Teko and Mma.
"Witch." She smiled proudly and held up her hands to show them the power sparkling from them.
"You are a queen," Teko whispered.
"I'm just me," she said, but for the first time the word "queen" didn't scare her.
"Still we must protect you," Mma cautioned, glancing at Teko.
Poppy shook her head. "There's no need. I can look after myself. I always have."
Charlock had felt Poppy's departure like the pricking of a needle on her fingertip. When she held up her hand, a drop of blood sat there, red for danger. She wiped it on her skirt before any of the sisters could see. Quietly she slipped away to search for her daughter, past the caravans, through the vegetable patches, out between the gray stone boulders, and into the vastness of the forest.
Scouring the gaps between the trees, Charlock headed for the dell where Poppy used to meet with Ember. She knew this was a special place for Poppy and hoped that she had gone to seek some comfort there. Since returning to the coven and leaving Leo with Ember, Poppy had withdrawn from her.
"You lied," she'd accused. "You knew Leo was a witch, but you made me believe I couldn't love him." Charlock had not been able to deny it. She argued that she'd been acting out of love, to protect Poppy and secure the throne for her. But Poppy would not be persuaded. "Not love," she corrected. "Ambition"—as though the two were irreconcilable.
Charlock had thought that Poppy just needed time—to adjust, to understand. She never once imagined she would run away.
Quickly, not caring whether she fell, Charlock clambered down the hill that dipped so steeply in the forest floor. She could see why Ember and Poppy loved it here. It felt like an enchanted place. A strange union of two different worlds, with old, unwanted furniture and machines becoming home to so many plants and creatures. But Charlock had no time to appreciate the curious sight of a robin sheltering on a velvet chair or mice hibernating inside a cracked and broken oven. Her eyes could only see what was missing from the scene—her child. Sinking to her knees, Charlock began to conjure a spell. There was little prospect of it working. Poppy was a queen, and if she didn't want finding, even magic might fail to locate her. But Charlock had to try.
She ripped a piece of material from her sleeve and doused it with oil from a vial that she took from her pocket. Then she gathered some sticks and hastily arranged them in a stack. Grabbing two stones, she struck one hard against the other, letting the spark ignite the cloth. With the fire lit, she put her finger inside her mouth and scratched the soft flesh there, then spat the blood onto the flames. Immediately, there was a crackle, and a twist of greenish smoke appeared. Closing her eyes, Charlock uttered a spell:
Blood burn, smoke rise
Bracken, fern, smoke flies
From the soil, to the skies
Smoke coil, be mine eyes.
The smoke spiraled upward, lifting into the air and traveling up and over the trees. The waiting was a kind of torture. Charlock tried to keep her mind focused on a sign, anything that might prove to be a clue to Poppy's location, but there was nothing but the bitter chill of the winter air and the cold dampness spreading from the earth to her knees. Then, all of a sudden but with an unmistakable force, came a wind, stinging and tangy with salt. Charlock leapt to her feet and ran.
Why hadn't she thought to look there—on the battleground by the clifftops where Poppy had celebrated her victory against the clans? Her daughter wasn't fleeing inland but out to sea. Charlock sobbed with grief and frustration all the long way back through the forest to the cliffs. By the time she reached there, she was crippled with exhaustion and gasping for breath. But only when she spied the clothes, so neatly folded by the cliff edge, did she stop. Poppy had flown the coop. She had become a bird and Charlock could never catch her now. The power of transformation was one that belonged only to the most powerful of witches. Charlock's sister, Raven, possessed that skill and, not for the first time, Charlock cursed her luck at being the weaker sibling. Her eyes scanned the skies, her hands holding back the hair that was whipped around her face by the violent gusts of air.
"Come back!" she cried, over and over, out across the ocean, knowing Poppy's wings would have already carried her too far to hear. Crouching down, she touched the clothes reverently. This was all she had left of her girl. She longed to take them with her and sleep with them beside her, but she left them there… just in case… just in case Poppy returned to that spot and needed them.
Charlock began her slow retreat home and, with every painful step, agonized over how she would explain Poppy's disappearance to the coven. How could she tell them that their queen had left them? It was unthinkable. And if the other clans found out? Charlock's breath caught in her throat. Only days before, the clans had attacked to prevent Poppy, an unknown, untrained witch, from taking the throne. Lives had been lost on both sides. Without Poppy's magic, the Northern witches could not defend themselves if the other clans sought vengeance.
When Charlock returned to the camp, she went straight to her caravan and tried everything to locate her daughter, scouring every book for every spell, searching every divination and sign. Nothing worked, not a glimmer or an inkling. Her tears tasted bitter with regret and sour with self-pity, before finally turning sweet with sorrow. At that, Charlock wiped her eyes and contrived a story to tell the sisters. She rehearsed it several times, trying different intonations and gestures to invoke sincerity. It was the tale of a young girl, exhausted by battle, who needed time to recover and prepare, to be schooled in their ways, to hone her skills so that she could be a queen truly worthy of them. For a moment, Charlock was carried away by her rhetoric and found comfort in this narrative. Having believed her own lies, Charlock knew then that the coven would believe her too, so great was the want and the need of it.
For four months, Charlock told this story and stuck to it with all her might. With every passing week, the words felt weaker. The coven's patience was wearing thin. Disappointment had turned to anger, and now suspicion was creeping in. And other clans were demanding answers, too. The witches needed a queen, not just as a figurehead but for their survival. Like the bumblebees, thought Charlock, as she spotted her first of that spring. The queen was the peacekeeper, the most powerful and respected witch of all, who ensured that their ways would live on for generations to come. With so many different covens scattered across the lands, she was the one who kept them united. She could sense when magic was used unwisely, when danger from chaff detection was drawing near, when enmity between the clans was escalating. Without a queen, the covens could have easily become extinct centuries ago.
Charlock summoned the coven for a meeting. When the sisters arrived, she stepped onto a stool to address them. All had come, even the mothers with babies on their hips, even the old and infirm, filling the grassy plot at the center of their camp. But now that they were gathered, most were engrossed in conversation.
"Quiet!" Charlock called. "Please, it is time to listen."
Her voice was small despite her effort and became lost in the noise of their chatter.
"Quiet!" she demanded once more, with all the volume she could muster.
Still there were murmurs from the clan. With Raven, their silence would have been instant. No one would have dared flout her sister's authority. Charlock tried to summon the withering look that Raven had so successfully adopted, but she felt only as if she were squinting.
"Listen to me!" she cried. Her voice sounded hoarse with desperation, but thankfully they hushed. "Your queen has asked for more time."
The babble bubbled up again like a broth on the boil.
"How much more time?" exclaimed one of the witches; Charlock wasn't sure who.
"We must be patient. My daughter was not brought up as one of us. She is ignorant of our customs and our ways. She must prepare herself so she can govern wisely. Surely we can give her a few more weeks?" Charlock pleaded.
One of the young witches, Kyra, stood up. This girl was strong and brave but outspoken for her years. "The other clans are getting restless," she declared loudly. "They are demanding an audience with their queen. There are troubles in the west that need her attention. Yesterday I heard a report of a feud brewing there. Could the queen not show herself, or at least receive visitors?" Kyra immediately sat down again, as was the practice for a clan gathering.
"And what about us? We need our queen too!" called out another witch.
"Stand and show yourselves before you speak," reprimanded Sister Ada.
As the oldest of the clan, Sister Ada was respected by all, and Charlock was grateful for her help, although she sensed that even her sympathy was dwindling. The chastened witch rose slowly. It was Sister Frey, her head lowered, her cheeks flushed with both shame and anger, but she spoke more softly this time.
"The longer Sister Poppy stays away, the more vulnerable we become to an attack." Immediately a murmur rose up from the crowd, but Sister Frey pressed on.
"Many are still unhappy with having an outsider rule them. They call her 'the chaff queen.' An excuse is all they need to try and take the throne for one of their own."
Charlock saw the fear spread like a sickness across the coven. Sister Frey, now sagging back down like a sack, had only said what all of them had been thinking, but still it came as a shock and caused alarm.
"They would not dare attack," Charlock declared, hoping to transmit a confidence that she did not feel. And then she lied. "In any case, our queen would return as soon as she sensed any invasion." Charlock waited to see if anyone could tell her falsehood, but, truth or not, it was what they wanted to hear, so none objected. "We have the stone, do we not?" she said, pointing to a smooth, oval stone that lay in the center of the wide, ringed plane of a tree stump. Carved into its polished gray surface were the letters that appeared by magic as one queen died and the title passed to another. "Poppy Hawkweed—that is the name written there," Charlock reminded them. "No one can dispute that."
Sister Martha was the next to stand and speak. "But Poppy is not here, Charlock," she stated simply. "The new queen should have been the one to collect the stone from the old queen's coven, to bring it home, to put it in the center of the tree, to say the spell, to make her vows. Instead, she let her mother fetch it and it lies there waiting for her—just as we do."
"She will come home. And soon," promised Charlock. "And when she does the tree will grow back around the stone until it towers over all the others, with the queen's name at its heart." The sisters gazed at the stump, letting themselves imagine this glorious sight. Charlock grasped the moment while they were open to persuasion. "Please," she urged. "Many of you are mothers, so I know you understand. My daughter may be powerful but she is young. She will return soon. I promise."
Sister Morgan got slowly to her feet. Looking all around for the clan's unspoken approval, she then answered on their behalf. "We will wait, Charlock. But tell your child to hurry home. A barren throne is a fecund curse."
After the clan dispersed, Charlock caught up with Kyra and beckoned her to her caravan.
"How is my niece?" she asked. Out of all the clan, Kyra cared for Sorrel the most.
"She is still far from her old self. Since she awoke from her long sleep, she has become soft. And she is so… so joyful all the time," Kyra said, as if this were a failing. "I think the potion that harmed her has left its mark upon her mind."
"She still thinks it was the Eastern clan who poisoned her?"
Praise for The Hawkweed Legacy:
"The real unbreakable bond in these stories is that between mother and child. Interesting and well written..."
- "Readers will be eager to keep turning pages in this rousing sequel."—School Library Journal
- "I remain completely thrilled by this series. I feel like the best is still yet to come."—Read by Jess
"The language is both beautifully lyrical and smartly succinct, and the high-octane action is perfectly underpinned by elemental, archetypical concerns, among them love, loyalty, friendship, sacrifice and personal identity. This series surges adrenalin levels, and quickens the heart."
—Love Reading 4 Kids
"Brignull does an exceptional job developing this emotional core of the series... Readers looking for a poignant story about belonging will find this a rewarding reading experience... a beautifully written novel about magic and the ties that bind."
- "The connection between the two girls is just beautiful. Brignull has given us a gloriously refreshing homage to feminine strength... The twistiness to both of these books is intoxicating...deliciously dark and schemey."—Hana Banana Reads
"Irena's writing was magnificent and skilled... poignant... a beautiful tale of family, friendship and love in an original and modern fantastical setting."
—Never Judge a Book by Its Cover
Praise for The Hawkweed Prophecy:
- "Wildly delightful."—Laini Taylor, author of The Daughter of Smoke & Bone trilogy
"Wise, weird, a touch evil and totally charming, Irena Brignull's tale of magic in our time is as rich and complicated as sisterhood. From the first page, I felt drawn into a modern classic."
—Anna Godbersen, author of The Luxe, and Bright Young Things series
- "Brignull's The Hawkweed Prophecy is a deft exploration of friendship, sacrifice, and betrayal. I can't decide who I love more, the sweet and trusting Ember or the spunky, dark Poppy. You can't help but cheer for both girls, and ache when they are pitted against one another. I was completely absorbed in the sinister, complicated world of magic and witches. The coven is described so confidently and beautifully, it's hard to emerge from the novelw ithout wondering if these women are operating somewhere just below the surface of our world. Full of romance, heart, and suspense, readers will find themselves staying up all night just to spend a little more time with Ember and Poppy."—Madeleine Roux, author of the Asylum series
- "Irena Brignull's The Hawkweed Prophecy is a book of wicked, beautiful magic. Compulsively readable and delightfully gritty, one does not mess with these Hawkweed witches."—Kendare Blake, author of Anna Dressed in Blood, and Three Dark Crowns
- "I loved this book! Irena has created such a beautiful complete world-our world, and nestled within it, a simmering world of magic. The Hawkweed Prophecy has everything: friendship, desire, delicious earthy magic, secrets and spells, and at its centre, the wonderful young Poppy, on a journey of self-discovery."—Karen Foxlee, author of Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy, and A Most Magical Girl
- "The Hawkweed Prophecy was bewitching from the get-go. Irena Brignull does an amazing job weaving a tale of pure magic in this debut novel. She'll have you on a roller coaster of emotions from the very first page. Get ready to be spellbound."—Paige McKenzie, author of The Haunting of Sunshine Girl series
- "Brignull...debuts with an instantly engrossing novel...It's a fantasy with the air of a classic, yet one that's also entirely contemporary in its tight focus on identity, friendship, and romance. Ages 12-up."—Publisher's Weekly Starred Review
"Brignull develops story and characters slowly, long, luxurious sentences balancing the magic and the mundane expertly and building the world of the witches by showing how out of place Ember is in it. Tension builds inexorably to the inevitable witch showdown, which brings small victories but not a happily-ever-after for all. The third-person narration switches focus from character to character as they make frustrating, heart-rending, totally believable choices. Fantasy and nonfantasy readers alike will appreciate this gritty and intriguing coming-of-age story."
"From love, lies, loss and highs, The Hawkweed Prophecy delivers it all, and you won't see any of it coming."
—United by Pop
"The Hawkweed Prophecy is as beautiful inside as it is out... Irena Brignull's writing is seamless... The atmosphere is dark, haunting, chilling with a dash of sunshine and fairy tale magic."
—Never Judget A Book By Its Cover
"Irena Brignull's debut novel...is a lyrical, poignant novel that examines what it means to belong, to have power, and to be a woman."
- "Witchy, soulful, vibrant, mysterious."—Rachel Ashworth Writes
- "I was bespelled way before the end."—Utopia State of Mind
- "Action-packed from start to finish, this was the sequel that we needed."—Between the Pages
"I was entranced by the story of friendship and witchy sisterhood."
—The Bookish Beagle
- "Need a new series to love? The Hawkweed Legacy just released this week!"—Justine Magazine
- "This beguiling magical tale and its strong female leads, full of betrayal, sorcery, and friendship, is spellbinding."—South Wales Evening Post
- On Sale
- Aug 14, 2018
- Page Count
- 384 pages
- Hachette Books