The Very Secret Society of Irregular Witches | By Sangu Mandanna
Book Review | Contemporary Fantasy Romance
As one of the few witches in Britain, Mika Moon knows she has to hide her magic, keep her head down, and stay away from other witches so their powers don’t mingle and draw attention. And as an orphan who lost her parents at a young age and was raised by strangers, she’s used to being alone and she follows the rules…with one exception: an online account, where she posts videos pretending to be a witch. She thinks no one will take it seriously.
But someone does. An unexpected message arrives, begging her to travel to the remote and mysterious Nowhere House to teach three young witches how to control their magic. It breaks all of the rules, but Mika goes anyway, and is immediately tangled up in the lives and secrets of not only her three charges, but also an absent archaeologist, a retired actor, two long-suffering caretakers, and…Jamie. The handsome and prickly librarian of Nowhere House would do anything to protect the children, and as far as he’s concerned, a stranger like Mika is a threat. An irritatingly appealing threat.
As Mika begins to find her place at Nowhere House, the thought of belonging somewhere begins to feel like a real possibility. But magic isn’t the only danger in the world, and when a threat comes knocking at their door, Mika will need to decide whether to risk everything to protect a found family she didn’t know she was looking for….
Narrative and Plot
The story is told mostly from the protagonist Mika’s perspective. Mika is a witch who has survived her whole life by simply not putting down any roots. The cozy magical atmosphere in the book is inviting, and the themes discussed are quite relatable, even if we remove the magical elements from them. The idea of expressing ourselves without a care for the rest of the world seems terrifying to anyone, even if they don’t have any witchiness.
The plot is quite simple and entertaining. It is the quirky characters, and the whole found family aspect that tugs your heartstrings and makes want to lose yourself in this magical world.
Characters and Conflicts
Mika and Jamie are mostly the central characters. Mika has never been truly loved by anyone in her life. Hence her fear of putting up roots anywhere. Jamie, on the other hand, only cares about guarding his found family and the love they share with each other. How these two characters learn to let go of their fears and find happiness forms the majority of the story.
The three kids – Rosetta, Terracotta, and Altamira are adorable and cutely whimsical. The ensemble cast in itself completes the book. Even if their roles are small, there would be a gaping hole without any one of them.
The Very Secret Society of Irregular Witches is a cozy, magical, heartwarming book that I wouldn’t mind re-reading just for that sense of a warm hug in a book.