Holy Announcement, Batman!
As you all know, The Near Witch was one of my favorite books of last year. You can find the review here. If you haven’t read it yet, the paperback comes out today. You’ll want to go get that now… I’ll wait. *stares at watch for thirty seconds* Everyone back? Awesome, because to celebrate the release of the paperback of The Near Witch, “The Ash-Born Boy” is finally up at Disney*Hyperion.
What is “The Ash-Born Boy”, you ask? It’s a free story that Victoria wrote as a thank you to her readers and to answer one question: “Who was Cole before he came to Near?” You can find it here and you’ll want to go read it. It’s written in the same evocative prose as The Near Witch and it gives you back story on Cole. You know, the back story that you wanted the whole time you were reading The Near Witch, but instead you sat on your hands and watched all the things unfold. Yeah, that back story.
Here’s the awesome thing, even if you haven’t read The Near Witch you can still read The Ash-Born Boy. There aren’t any spoilers. If anything it’ll just make Cole’s character in The Near Witch that much more compelling. If you want to wait to read The Near Witch first, however, the story will stay up at Disney*Hyperion’s website, and if it ever comes down, Victoria will carve out a space for it on her own site. It will always be available somewhere, and it will always be free.
You guys, I’ve read the story and I love it. It’s not every day that an author gives readers a gift, particularly not one this richly woven. I can’t recommend the story enough. It will make you smile and will tug on your heart-stings. Victoria uses the same chiaroscuro brush strokes to bring her characters to life and the action is stomach clenching. As far as the usual platypus rating for this book, it’s 5 ink bottles easily.
Help Victoria celebrate today and go get the paperback of The Near Witch because it has more goodies in it. You’ll find the first chapter of Victoria’s next book, The Archived, in the back. I can’t tell you how excited I am for this book. I’ve had it on my Goodreads to-read shelf since I finished The Near Witch and I. Can’t. Wait.