Witches of the North: Winter Journey by Nathaniel Oldrin is an intriguing fantasy that follows a twenty-three-year-old transman named Christopher Hawks, who finds himself in trouble after breaking the legendary sword of the kingdom of Northland. He is pursued by the elite Hunters and is joined by two witches, Winter and Ian, on a mission to challenge the current Queen. Winter’s behavior and impatience make Christopher think that there can be more to the mission than what he has thought until now.
Oldrin develops characters that are genuinely flawed and that arrest the attention and sympathy of readers. Christopher is unique, a transman who was discovered by a lost princess to be the holder of one of the Seven Stones of Jakkovost. He is a man with common brown hair that sometimes covers even more common brown eyes and who has “nothing to dazzle the world with apart from an exceptional level of sucking at Hunting.” But there is more to this character than meets the eye and readers will delight at watching as each layer peels off to reveal more strength and beauty in his character. The relationships between Christopher and Winter on the one hand, and Christopher and other companions on the other hand, are well-written. The language is fraught with idiomatic expressions and the author uses a unique style of writing to bring the magical world the characters navigate into life. The neologisms and the names of peculiar, magical places augment the level of mystery in this fantasy tale. Readers will discover the different kinds of witches in this book and the elements they control. Witches of the North: Winter Journey examines the power of choices, exploring themes like fate, self-discovery, and human connection. This hugely imaginative tale will entice readers with its lyrical and its sparkling dialogues. An adventure into a colorfully drawn magical world that will enrapt readers.