oracne - Victoria Janssen (oracne) wrote,
oracne - Victoria Janssen
oracne

STORMWITCH, Vaught

Stormwitch by Susan Vaught is set in 1969 Mississippi. The heroine, Ruba, is an orphan who's grown up in Haiti with her maternal grandmother; but her Grandmother Ba has died, and she's just had to move to the States to live with her paternal grandmother Jones, where she finds it hard to deal with racism and the lack of freedom that comes with segregation.

Ba taught Ruba to protect people from certain types of hurricanes, those inhabited by evil spirits. Ruba is sure the oncoming Hurricane Camille is one of these, but her grandmother Jones thinks that sort of magic is devilish and won't allow her to speak of it or collect herbs. Ruba struggles to assimilate her Haitian religion with the practices of the local church, a social and cultural center. At the same time, Ruba must decide if and how to use her magic against threats from the local Klan members and their children.

This is an excellent book--I don't recall seeing this setting being used before, especially not with Haiti and the history of the Dahomey put into the mix. Through Grandmother Jones, Ruba also learns the history of the Civil Rights movement; seen through her eyes and her grandmother's, it becomes not a series of infodumped history lessons but a matter of immediate importance that shapes and changes Ruba's ways of thinking and fighting.

I think this book will be out there for a good long while. I highly recommend it.
Tags: books, race matters, sf/f, ya
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