Once a Witch
wasn't groundbreaking or original material if you've read any fantasy novels at all but it was diverting enough.
If you've grown up in the shadow of a bossy, perfect older sister then you'll appreciate how this novel captured that feeling of inadequacy perfectly. Not as well as Margaret Mahy's The Tricksters
however. That book explored the family dynamic profoundly in why parents treat kids differently and how it effects the unit. I wanted to slap that sister so much.
Tamsin accepts her role in the family by saving them. But why they treated her like that was too deep seated for how it was explained. Her dad treated her like she was an idiot.
I would not have been as forgiving as Tamsin was to her family. I have a hard time accepting the entire community went along with the decision to lie on her because the matriarch [her grandmother] said so as the book didn't develop the relationships enough. No one but Gabriel saw her as worthy because she didn't have powers then that community has problems.
I got why Tamsin felt like an outsider but unlike in White Cat
by Holly Black everything ends cleanly.
That series delved more into the community and their unhealthy family dynamic.
This book doesn't hold up to scrutiny.
In a nutshell this book is a junior high version of the Black Swan Rising & Watchtower
novels by Lee Carroll.