The River Witch by Helena Rookwood | Probably 2% dialogue involved

Posted August 12, 2020 by Sophia
5 Comments

The River Witch by Helena Rookwood | Probably 2% dialogue involved

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The River Witch by Helena Rookwood | Probably 2% dialogue involvedThe River Witch by Helena Rookwood
The River Witch #1
Published by Self-Published on November 25, 2017
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Format: eBook
Source: Prime/Kindle Unlimited


The Kingdom of Faerie has been sleeping for centuries, through the ages of iron and metal and glass. But now technology has failed, the digital world is over and, finally, something has disturbed the fae from slumber…

Or should I say someone?

Tabitha didn’t mean to start it all. She didn’t know what it was that she interrupted when she stumbled across the ritual in the woods. But that night everyone felt something shift, when she unleashed a force so powerful that it echoed across worlds…

Now the little folk have begun wreaking havoc, something old and terrible has woken up in the river, and a mysterious thief has come looking for Tabitha.

Forced to leave her village in search of the fabled Iron City, home to the only humans who still have any memory of the fae, Tabitha’s only guide to this strange new world is A Compendium of Faerie, a book of fairytales left to her by her mother.

Will a simple book of stories be enough to defend Tabitha against this new world of magic?

The River Witch is the first in a new fairytale-inspired fantasy series set in post-technology Britain.


Anyone who’s spoken to me in late December 2018 (yes, yes, it’s 2020 and this review is up a year and some months later shhh) will know I’ve been having loads of awful reading luck, and I’m sorry to say The River Witch is a book that fell into that bad reading hole.

Like all books, I enter a book hoping that I will enjoy the book at the very least, if not adding it to my favorites. Helena Rookwood’s novel is an interesting premise with the faerie world colliding with the mortal world after Tabitha stumbles across a ritual. The River Witch sounds like adventure and magic with a little faerie mischief mixed in.

But despite the sounds of adventure, magic and mischief, The River Witch disappointed me greatly, and I called it quits at 33% through. While some of the aspects were interesting, there were more negatives than positives for me. Much of the first 8 chapters that I managed to get through is an info dump that is full of description. There’s maybe 2% of dialogue included on top of what feels like awkward writing. There’s the occasional action, but then we go back into description mode and eventually, I lost interest in The River Witch entirely.

Sophia has a GIF for nearly everything and is frequently in a Hogwarts House crisis. Unlike her personality in blog posts, she's a socially awkward recent college grad who majored in Communications. More of her bookish reviews can be found at The Arts STL.

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5 responses to “The River Witch by Helena Rookwood | Probably 2% dialogue involved

  1. Ugh. I understand that creating a new world from scratch is hard, and one probably needs to be a bit descriptive, but that shouldn’t cross into infodump territory. A pity, because even for someone like me who isn’t a huge fan of fantasy, the premise here sounded juicy.

    I hope you’ll be luckier with your next book(s) Soph!

    • Sophia

      Completely agree – the synopsis sounded super promising but yeah… it didn’t turn out too well. 😔