Moon, Russell. Witch Boy: Blood War. Harper, 2002. ISBN 978-0064407977 144 pp. $
The trilogy got off to a slow start with Witch Boy in which Marcus, a newbie at sorcery, goes through a pubescent-like confusion at the changes he is experiencing, only to discover his father is an evil witch whom he must confront. Somehow I missed volume two, Dark Prince, and feel as out of the loop as I did with the first book in the series, where the reader feels just as clueless as poor Marcus as he tries to figure out what happened to his beloved girlfriend Jules.
In Blood War, the coven has gone too far, taking not only Marcus’s girlfriend and his dog, but his mother. On the quest to rescue her, Marcus does indeed meet his father, who inspires him to make careful choices about his own life.
Darker than Harry Potter, realistic teen language and bloody violence abound. No need to worry about keeping this one out of the hands of middle schoolers, most will not be willing to trudge through the slow paced story or decipher the mythology and symbolism in spite of the attractive cover art. At the conclusion Marcus cannot regain what he has lost, so the plot suggests that at best first love is painful and at worst, sex kills.
May have some appeal for goth teens. If you buy one, get them all for continuity while reminding yourself that one has to admire Chris Lynch (Russell Moon) for trying something new.