Mostly cast as the villain, often without rhyme or reason as to why, witches have always seemed so mysterious. They are the opposite of damsels in distress, Sleeping Beautys, Cinderellas, Snow Whites. They are mistresses of their own fortunes. They have the power to change lives – their own and others’. They have magic.

Our Author Takeover this month is dedicated to everyone headed to university/college this autumn/fall! It comes from Brit authors Lucy and Tom, whose novel "Freshers" is all about that first transitional year. In particular, the benefits of fandom and clubs for finding your people.

Our Author Takeover for July comes from Aisha Bushby, a debut author and Potterhead whose short story "Marionette Girl" is published next month in "A Change Is Gonna Come" from Stripes. #ChangeBook is an anthology of stories and poetry from BAME writers on the theme of change.

Our May Author Takeover is by Cat Clarke, whose latest YA novel, "Girlhood", is a darkly compulsive story about love, death, and growing up under the shadow of grief. Set in a boarding school in Scotland, the familiar halls are the perfect place for "Potter" fans to escape to in this compulsive, addictive read. Yet there are some sinister secrets that threaten to tear friendships apart.

Our April Author Takeover features Aliette de Bodard talking about something the "Potter" fandom knows all about: warring Houses. Join Aliette as she discusses her own House wars and the continuation of the beautiful "Dominion of the Fallen" series.

Our new Author Takeover comes from New York Times–bestselling author of "The Lunar Chronicles" Marissa Meyer, with her new novel, "Heartless". The "Potter" fandom knows all about characters with a predetermined fate, and we're well used to the idea of the Chosen One. In Marissa's "Heartless", we have a vision of Wonderland like none you've seen before.

When Mary Adams sees Millais’ depiction of the tragic Ophelia, a whole new world opens up for her. Determined to find out more about the beautiful girl in the painting, she hears the story of Lizzie Siddal – a girl from a modest background, not unlike her own, who has found fame and fortune against the odds. Mary sets out to become a Pre-Raphaelite muse, too, and reinvents herself as Persephone Lavelle.

The first of our March Author Takeovers comes from Gemma Fowler. Her new novel, "Moonlight", is an edge-of-your-seat sci-fi thriller with a contemporary voice. Gemma would be pleased as punch to find herself on the highest tower of Hogwarts. Her soul is still and always will be 13 years old, and her characters embrace teenage rebellion and refusal to blindly comply with authority, much like our Golden Trio.

Our final February Author Takeover comes from Lisa Williamson, whose second novel, "All About Mia", is out now from David Fickling Books. In this standalone after her first book, "The Art of Being Normal", Lisa now turns to look at family dynamics and the structure of sibling personality types.

Just imagine: what would your year look like if you read only marginalized authors? What would the world look like if we all did the same? And how many books do you read each year, anyway? If it’s more than 30, I challenge you to pick up every one of these. I know you can do it!

Book Review: The Door in the Hedge by Robin McKinley
Book Reviews / July 5, 2005

The Newbery-Medal winning author of many novel-length books of fantasy, for youth and adults, as well as “fairy tale novelizations” like Spindle’s End, has struck again with this collection of four fairy tales elaborated with warmth, sensitivity, and compelling characters, and interesting new twists. In “The Stolen Princess,” we learn what happens in the last kingdom before the borders of Fairyland (or Faerie Land), where newbor…

Book Review: Magic Kingdom For Sale–Sold!
Book Reviews / June 22, 2005

The author of the acclaimed fantasy novels Running with the Demon and A Knight of the Word, as well as the best-selling Shannara series, is one of the authors most often recommended by your feedback. I have been hesitant to follow this recommendation, for two main reasons. First, it sounds like he’s already popular enough without my help. And second, he has written a lot of thickish books and, believe it or not, I’m a slow reade…

Book Review: The Princess and Curdie by George MacDonald
Book Reviews / June 22, 2005

The sequel to The Princess and the Goblin begins with a taste of the sort of disappointment that, in real-life stories, often follows the “happily ever after” ending. Curdie, the miner’s son, no longer has the Princess Irene to protect or the goblins and their bizarre creatures to fight against. He doesn'’t whistle or sing any more, he no longer spends much time looking at beautiful animals and plants, he is not such a good son …

Book Review: The Golden Key by George MacDonald
Book Reviews / June 22, 2005

A boy named Mossy hears tell of a golden key that can be found at the end of the rainbow. One evening at sunset, he crosses into fairyland and finds that key—only to become involved in a much longer quest, to find the lock that it opens. A girl named Tangle runs away from her sad home and is adopted by a fairy grandmother, who is served by feathered fish that swim through the air. Years pass in moments, characters age backwards …

Book Review: H.M.S. Surprise by Patrick O’Brian
Book Reviews / June 16, 2005

I am occasionally criticized for focusing my readings (and writings) too narrowly, and not posting enough reviews of adult novels. Well, here’s an adult novel for you, definitely. There is so much historical research behind these books, they should be required reading for history majors. Like a veritable Sybill Trelawney, O’Brian “channels” the style of speaking, the political situation, the social attitudes, and the intricate d…

Book Review: Post Captain by Patrick O’Brian
Book Reviews / June 3, 2005

This is the second book in the series that began with Master and Commander. It continues to follow the, at times, strained friendship between a brash young Royal Navy officer named Jack Aubrey and the physician, ship’s surgeon, naturalist, and sometime spy named Stephen Maturin

Book Review: The Wonderful Adventures of Nils by Selma Lagerlöf
Book Reviews / May 27, 2005

In 1909, Selma Lagerlöf became the first woman to win the Nobel Prize for Literature. Three years earlier, she wrote this delicious book that weaves true lessons of the history, geography, and wildlife of Sweden into folk tale or fairy tale episodes. It is sometimes exciting, suspenseful, and scary. Other times it is witty or silly. And now and then, it is so wistful and even tragic that it will fill your eyes with tears. This b…