The Yogi Witch: Bloodlines and Legacies
Author: Zorian Cross
Genre: Literary Fiction
Published by HarperCollinsIn
MRP: Rs. 399/-
Book Review in association with @blogchatter and @harpercollinsin
Zorian Cross' new book Yogi Witch: Bloodlines and Legacies is a thrilling coming-of-age story that explores the intersection of magic, mysticism, and queerness in modern-day India. The book follows Jai, a sixteen-year-old boy being raised by his grandmother Adele and aunts Meg and Claudine after losing both his parents. Unbeknownst to him, Jai comes from a long line of witches, and he soon discovers that he has magical abilities as well.
From the very first page, Cross pulls us into Jai's world with vivid descriptions of life in Delhi—from the polluted skies to the overcrowded streets. The city comes alive not just with its sights and sounds, but also its unseen mystical forces that Jai is learning to tap into. We get a glimpse into Jai's unconventional upbringing when Cross reveals that his grandmother and aunts are secretly witches who have passed on their supernatural gifts to him. Despite facing bullying and trauma growing up, Jai finds comfort in their fierce love.
The book takes an exciting turn when the wealthy Rajani family moves in next door. Jai develops an immediate attraction to their brooding and rebellious son Vir, and the two begin a passionate, clandestine romance. Their chemistry is palpable, jumping off the page during their stolen moments together. However, their burgeoning relationship is threatened when Jai learns that Vir's family belongs to an ancient and sinister secret society called the Cabal.
As Jai learns more about his own lineage and magical abilities, he discovers a dark secret—his estranged great-grandfather was an occultist who sold his soul to the Cabal in exchange for demonic powers. Now Jai must decide whether to embrace his own magical birthright to fight against the Cabal or suppress his powers to protect his loved ones.
Cross has crafted a compelling paranormal romance that also serves as an insightful exploration of queerness in India. Through Jai's journey, we get a nuanced look at the complexities of coming out and embracing one's identity in a country where homosexuality remains taboo. Jai's relationships with his accepting family and the charismatic Vir add touching emotional layers to the story.
The book strikes a good balance between dramatic action sequences and quieter character-driven moments. Cross brings the supernatural elements to life with vivid, visceral details during rituals, spellcasting, and magical battles. These scenes pop with pulsating energy. At the same time, we get poignant insights into what drives each character, which keeps the stakes high even during slower sections.
Cross' ornate writing style perfectly suits the mystical atmosphere. While lengthy descriptive passages sometimes slow the pacing, they do wonders for immersing us in Jai's enchanted world. Crisp dialogue and witty humor provide levity between tense scenes. The book tackles heavy subject matter like assault, homophobia, and mental illness with nuance and sensitivity.
Yogi Witch puts an engrossing new spin on the young adult paranormal genre. Cross has crafted a captivating tale that hooks you in with its daring queer love story and beguiling magic. Though it deals with darkness, the book shines with its inspiring messages about hope, inner strength, and embracing one's true self. I highly recommend it for fans of mystical fiction looking to get lost in an enthralling journey of self-discovery.
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