Review of Root Magic, by Eden Royce, read by Imani Parks

Root Magic

by Eden Royce
read by Imani Parks

HarperAudio, 2021. 10 hours on 8 compact discs.
Review written February 18, 2022, from a library audiobook.
2022 Walter Award Honor Book

Root Magic is set on a South Carolina island in 1963 among people with Gullah Geechee heritage. Jez is facing big changes after the death of her Gran. She’s been moved ahead a year in school, so for the first time, she won’t be in a class with her twin brother, Jay. But after school, their uncle, Doc, has decided they’re finally old enough to begin learning Root Magic.

Root Magic has been passed down in their family, and Gran was powerful enough to leave Jez a doll with some amazing powers. Doc tells them that Root work is mainly about protection — but their family needs protection. Their Daddy has been missing for years, there are haints in the marsh, girls at school are mean, and a white police officer is known for harassing root workers.

This book had some big surprises as Jez begins to learn to use her power. She shows compassion and plants seeds that will help her in time of need.

I have to say that I wasn’t crazy about the way the narrator read this book, and I think I might have enjoyed it more in print. But I’m glad I kept listening. I grew up hearing stories about “witch doctors” in Africa, and this presentation of root work as family heritage done with love and compassion shook up some of those ideas. Though many of the things that happened were firmly in the realm of fantasy, I appreciated the honor the book gave to family, friendship, and tradition. And I enjoyed the surprising twists and turns in the plot.

Buy from

Disclosure: I am an Amazon Affiliate, and will earn a small percentage if you order a book on Amazon after clicking through from my site.

Disclaimer: I am a professional librarian, but the views expressed are solely my own, and in no way represent the official views of my employer or of any committee or group of which I am part.

What did you think of this book?

*Note* To try to catch up on posting reviews, I’m posting the oldest reviews I’ve written on my blog without making a page on my main website. They’re still good books.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *