The Warlock’s Curse

C.B. Oresky
The Wild Rose Press, Inc. (2022)
ISBN: 978-1509242887
Reviewed by Dawn Colclasure for Reader Views (12/2022)

Angelica and Clara are twins living in a home that is supposed to be of some historical note except for one thing: it’s falling apart! Seacrest is a glorious, mysterious and (literally) haunting mansion that the girl’s father inherited, but they soon discover their family is cursed! In the delightful and adventurous novel The Warlock’s Curse by C.B. Oresky, the twins must travel through dimensions to help their grandfather fight evil and get to the bottom of the curse that the villain has placed on their family!

It was the cover of this book that I was drawn to first. What a beautiful and amazing cover! And as the two girls looked like they were about to go on an amazing adventure I wanted to know what it was all about! Then I discovered that the two girls are twins. At first, I worried I would have trouble telling the twin characters apart, because in so many portrayals of twins I have seen in movies and TV, it’s usually about people getting the twins mixed up or confused by which twin was which. None of those tired stereotypes about twins here! And while the twins are identical, they have individual personalities and qualities.

Not only are there twins in The Warlock’s Curse, but each of them has a Siamese cat. Siamese cats are known for their mischief, and that’s exactly what they get into here! There is never a dull moment with the cats. I loved how the cats played major roles in this story. These two kitties are the ones that led the twins onto their adventure, and it is their boldness, bravery and hunger for adventure that will see them through this story. I also loved their unique names: Welthmeow and Arameow. There are actually a lot of unique names in this story, something else that I loved about this book.

When I was reading the chapters about how the girls were with a character called “The Master” I was concerned they seemed to be under some kind of “spell” when they were in his home. It was like they were victims of hero worship, even though they often questioned their adoration of him because, as far as they knew, “The Master” was responsible for a curse placed on their family. I really appreciated this sensible approach. Even though the twins are young, they both have good heads on their shoulders. They are young and immature at times, yes (as children are) and they squabble sometimes, but they both have a good dose of common sense. However, during this time, I was worried that their adulation of The Master would be their undoing. Still, despite the scary and haunting moments in this story, there are a lot of good, silly and happy moments.

One thing this author excels at is how well she performs descriptive writing, bringing the entire scene to life in my head, and I loved how the author described this particular character: “Her brown eyes were as ageless and deep as a silent spring, her curved lips a mute pink, her skin stone blue. Adorned with minuscule spheres of light that sparkled like jewels, her slick brown, blue-edged hair floated behind her, waving in the water like sea grass.”

I also liked the part of the book where the twins train for fighting. Yes, there are fighting scenes in this book, but they are not violent. They are definitely fight and battle scenes appropriate for young readers. I especially liked how their trainer, Urtleby, often quoted The Art of War. The twins go through the motions of struggling with learning how to fight or to use weapons. They are tired and not as strong as the grown-ups wielding swords or other weapons, but they do not give up on their tasks. That is another quality about these characters that I liked. They are scared but they still press on. They find the courage to flee from villains and also to partake in battle. The characters are flawed and make mistakes, but they manage to redeem themselves and press onward in their journey.

The only thing I didn’t like about the story was that it sends the message that “money is the answer to all your problems.” It’s like money creates happiness and money makes everything better. Money is all you need for a better life! Granted, the adventure the twins go through transforms then into brave, confident and daring individuals, but coupled with being filthy rich, one can’t help but see how that could be a message that “money makes you a better person.” At the beginning of the story, the twins’ poor, overworked parents are miserable. They fight and their mother is mean to them. They even have to deal with bullies. It still bothered me that they didn’t appreciate having clothes to wear, a roof over their heads, and food to eat. I realize that this sort of attitude is similar to what many young readers probably have about their own struggles in life (and could therefore probably relate to the twins’ misery), but I still think they should have at least shown some appreciation and even gratitude for having something compared to nothing.

Overall, this was a fun and delightful story to read. There is never a dull moment in The Warlock’s Curse; it’s a story filled with mystery, wonder, excitement, adventure and, most of all, hope. I’m sure it’s a book that many readers, both young and old, would enjoy reading. It’s the kind of story that has a lasting impact and makes you want to know what further adventures await the characters at the end.

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