Review: Escape to Witch City

Title: Escape to Witch City
Author: E. Latimer
Genre: Middle Grade, Historical Fiction, Fantasy
Publisher: Tundra Books
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook, Hardcover
Release Date: August 3, 2021
Rating: ★★★★★


Goodreads Synopsis:

In a world ruled by fear of witches, some secrets are deadly. A thrilling new fantasy adventure set in historical London for fans of V.E. Schwab’s City of Ghosts and Serafina and the Black Cloak.

Emmaline Black has a secret. She can hear the rhythm of heartbeats. Not just her own, but others’ too. It’s a rhythm she’s learned to control, and that can only mean one thing… Emma’s a witch.

In a world where a sentence of witchcraft comes with dire consequences and all children who have reached the age of thirteen are tested to ensure they have no witch blood, Emma must attempt to stamp out her power before her own test comes. But the more she researches, the more she begins to suspect that her radically anti-witch aunt and mother are hiding something. The truth about their sister, her Aunt Lenore, who disappeared under mysterious circumstances years ago.

The day of the test comes, and Emma’s results not only pair her up with strange new friends, but set her on a course to challenge everything she’s ever been taught about magic, and reveal long-buried family secrets. It seems witches may not have been so easy to banish after all. Secret cities, untapped powers, missing family members — Emma is about to discover a whole new world.


Emmaline Black is the niece of Queen Alexandria. The Queen’s mission is to find and destroy all the witches. When Emma turns thirteen, she must be given a test to see if she has any witch blood. Emma is nervous about it, because she suspects she is a witch. She has the ability to hear heartbeats of people who are near her. Emma is also curious about her other aunt, who was a witch and was banished from the city. After Emma gets tested, she teams up with some new friends to find the truth about her family and the witches.

I love middle grade books about witches! This was book with a spooky, Victorian setting. Their society has a history of hunting witches, but Emma doesn’t know the true reason why. Her aunt, the Queen, hunted out witches to find the Witch City. Emma and her friends had to be sent there to find the secrets of the witches.

The witches in this story had unique powers. Emma had the ability to hear people’s heartbeats. Another character can persuade anyone to do anything, while another has the ability to control birds. These were powers that were quite useful to them but I haven’t encountered them in a story before. I really liked these original abilities.

Escape to Witch City is a fun middle grade witch story!

Thank you Penguin Random House Canada for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What to read next:

The Strange and Deadly Portraits of Bryony Gray by E. Latimer

City of Ghosts by Victoria Schwab

Have you read Escape to Witch City? What did you think of it?


Author: jilljemmett

Jill lives in Toronto, Canada. She has studied English, Creative Writing, and Publishing. Jill is the creator and content producer of Jill’s Book Blog, where she has published a blog post every day for the last four years, including 5-7 book reviews a week. She can usually be found with her nose in a book.

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