Title: Bewitched: Being a History of Affection, Enchantment, and Housecleaning
Series: Sea Goblins: Book Two
Author: Juniper Butterworth
Length: 179 Pages
Rating: 4 Stars
At a Glance: Juniper Butterworth’s incessantly enchanting imagination and loveable goblins are the driving force in this series. And Baby, as always, is the scene-stealer in the most adorable of possible ways.
Reviewed By: Lisa
Blurb: After their ship wrecked below the goblin village, not all the crew of the pirate vessel the Golden Apple have taken to life on land. The ship’s navigator, Haven, mother of a rare goblin baby, reluctantly trades the hazards of sea life for a new set of threats to her small daughter: mischievous goats, broken dishes, and unwise choice of vegetables while pickling. But a new peril looms. In a moment of unexpected magic, the curse that brought their ship to ground transfers itself to her child, and no one knows what damage it might do.
The village’s mysterious sea-witch claims that she is the only one who can break the spell, and Haven and her daughter find themselves guests in the witch’s strange house on a tiny island. As the witch summons the other powerful magic-workers of the sea for their advice, Haven tries to make order in the chaotic dwelling, discovering many strange magics as she does. But these two strange, prickly goblins have far more in common than they realize. Can either of them let go of old habits long enough to explore a new love?
Review: With Heron and (the “conversationally intense”) Tellop secured in their relationship, Juniper Butterworth gives Haven, Heron’s twin sister, her moment in the spotlight in Bewitched: Being a History of Affection, Enchantment, and Housecleaning. Baby once again instigates all the shenanigans in the story when the curse that wrecked the Golden Apple latches on to her for seemingly no other reason than she has a penchant for mischief, which always leads to delightful fun and adventure. At least for readers. For her mother? Well, it leads to more fatigue as well as an injury that leaves Haven a mostly bedridden observer of all things magical and mayhem-like, much to my entertainment.
Baby (so known until she names herself) is “stolen” by the sea-witch. Haven’s anger and fear and thirst for vengeance are quite justified; although, the sea-witch does mean well. She’s going to break the curse, but she goes about it in the most wrong way possible, which leads Haven into panicking and giving chase, which leads to the sea-witch’s house and a broken femur, making this a forced proximity story in the most unintentional of ways. The sea-witch loves her privacy, she doesn’t want more goblins under her roof, but she goes with the flow out of great concern for Baby. And maybe more than a passing interest in Baby’s mother.
Failure to find the cure for the curse leaves the sea-witch flummoxed and grasping at any and all help possible. This, plus the sea-witch’s own drama, makes for a fantastical twist that includes a sentient turnip (you have to be there, trust me). Not to mention the sea-witch’s house being quite the hero in its own right. And Baby, as always, is the scene-stealer in the most adorable of possible ways. But it’s the affection that grows between the grumpy Haven and gentle, if messy, sea-witch that makes this story complete.
For those looking for Asexual representation, Bewitched couldn’t be lovelier. These goblins don’t only love each other, they like each other, and their romance is complementary in the most important ways. If you haven’t read Shipwrecked, I don’t recommend starting the series here. Get to know the world and the characters who inhabit it. It will make for a better grasp of Juniper Butterworth’s incessantly enchanting imagination and loveable goblins.
You can buy Bewitched here: