The Witch and the Vampire / Francesca Flores / Book Review

All of Ava's hopes rest in the trees. For two years, she has been locked in her tower bedroom, held captive by her mother. She can see the town below, full of people who don't miss her, and the forest beyond--the forest where the vampire queen resides. The forest where her freedom is, should she ever escape her mother's captivity. It has been two years since her mother turned her: two years of drinking stolen blood while her mother siphon's her witch magic away. But Ava has a plan.

Two years ago, Ava and Kaye were best friends. But then a group of vampires broke free of the forest, wreaking havoc on the town. Ava disappeared that night, the same night that Kaye's mother died in the attack. Nobody knows where Ava went except for Kaye. Because Kaye has seen her. Kaye knows that Ava never left at all. Ava is at home where she has always been, and she's a vampire. An enemy right under their noses. An enemy that Kaye has sworn to eradicate, upon her mother's soul. 


When will 2023 offer me some good fantasy? Not yet, apparently. I wanted to love this. I didn't. 


  • Tangled Touches: This book is Rapunzel-inspired, so of course it will bear similarity to Disney's Tangled. But the similarities go beyond that. The wicked-witch-slash-captor-mother here also siphons power from her daughter, just like in that iconic Disney film, and the similarities don't end there. The Tangled vibes are obvious. And I think that's a good thing. If you're a Tangled fan, you might just want to take a peek at this witchy vampire tale. 
  • Not-So-Hidden: Our Rapunzel in her tower isn't quite so hidden as her counterparts tend to be. And I like that. I thought, heading into the early chapters, that a lot of that beginning tension would revolve around Kaye discovering Ava--or somebody else discovering Ava, maybe. But Kaye already knows. She's already seen, and she's been watching. And I love that. I love that this book revolves around not discovering a hidden vampire but instead centers on a vengeful witch who has her eyes on the vampire that has been under her nose all this time. 
  • Consuming Forest: I've read a lot of spooky forest stories. I've read a lot of spooky forests in the last few months alone. But this one really takes the cake. It is ultra creepy. Something is wrong. Something is rotten. Something is hungry. Ultimately, this is one of the most goosebump-inducing forests I've read in a while--vampires not even included. 


  • Veggie Vamp: I'm sorry. I just don't like it. It was fine in Twilight, but Twilight was a long time ago, at least as publishing goes. "Vegetarian" vampires had their time. They still have their place. But I'm over it. I really want some good, vicious bloodsuckers back in my fiction, and that just wasn't the case here. Ava wants to be a good person. She doesn't want to hurt anybody. And I'm tired of it. This book doesn't improve upon the "vegetarian vampire" subgenre. In fact, it might make the overall picture worse. 
  • Magic Vamp: I guess a vampire who can also do magic adds an interesting element to this world... but it doesn't play out that well. Turning a witch in her prime helps her keep her power when she's a vampire, but this isn't common knowledge. And yet, everybody seems to know and recognize what Ava is right away? Nobody is supposed to know about this loophole, and everybody does. Also, it does feel very much like a loophole, a loophole purely intended to make Ava a cooler vampire. Add to this my hatred of "young" vampires or "young" witches being more powerful than their aged counterparts, and I just wasn't here for it. 
  • No Chemistry: Look at that cover! There's supposedly a significant romantic subplot here, and yet... There's no chemistry between Ava and Kaye. They don't play well together. And they also don't play well separately. In fact, none of the characters are particularly well-rounded, and for a group that all have complicated histories with each other, there isn't any banter. There isn't any chemistry, romantic or otherwise. I would like to say that this book has some of the flattest characters I've read in a while, but it's actually just in keeping with this year's fantasy, unfortunately. Disappointed all around. 



Fans of the magical misfits of Kaylie Smith's A Ruinous Fate will enjoy this new quest through a cursed forest. Those who loved Janella Angeles's Where Dreams Descend will like this cold, dark realm of magic and monsters. 


Publisher: Wednesday Books
Date: March 21, 2023
Series: N/A
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Note: I was provided with an ARC by the publisher through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions here are my own.


  1. Oh that's a shame it didn't play out as you expected! I was quite excited to read this book too!

  2. I also wish there were more vicious vampires instead of nice ones


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