Book Title: The Yogi Witch
Author: Zorian Cross
Publisher: HarperCollins India
Number of Pages: 352
Date Published: Jun. 20, 2023
Price: INR 308
“The Yogi Witch” by Zorian Cross welcomes the readers into an enthralling world where magic, mysticism, and love converge in a captivating narrative. The story follows the life of Jai Gill, a young yoga teacher living a dual identity in the bustling city of Delhi. By day, he leads a seemingly ordinary life teaching yoga. Still, by night, he embraces his true self as a witch, utilizing his inherited magical abilities to safeguard his community from demons and dark forces.
Jai’s character is a compelling fusion of spirituality, sensitivity, and strength, rendering him relatable and endearing to readers. The story delves into his upbringing by three powerful witches—his grandmother and two aunts—and explores his journey to unravel his family’s magical legacy while confronting demons and embarking on revenge and forgiveness. As a handsome new neighbor enters his life, Jai’s course takes an unforeseen turn, propelling him to explore his magical prowess to save a life and seek revenge.
Despite a slightly confusing prologue for those unfamiliar with mythology, the book is skillfully written and effectively weaves diverse historical and religious narratives. It sheds light on the shared aspects among religions and emphasizes the divisive nature of the ego. The narrative maintains suspense, making readers eager to continue while delving into the challenges of introverted college life. The story beautifully underscores the importance of strong family relationships in personal growth and healing from trauma. It subtly advocates for a positive approach to adversity, emphasizes the dark nature of manipulative “love spells,” and portrays the transformation of bullies.
Cross adeptly entwines elements of urban fantasy, LGBTQ+ themes, and the timeless strength of familial connections. Through Jai’s experiences, the novel delves into the challenges and triumphs of the LGBTQ+ community, shedding light on societal norms and prejudices that persist even in the modern era. This exploration becomes a testament to the resilience and strength of queer individuals.
The book masterfully integrates a myriad of themes, from adventure and action to romance and self-discovery, ensuring its broad appeal. The narrative fluidly blends elements of mythology and reality, immersing readers in a vivid portrayal of the city’s vibrant streets while delving into the mystical facets of Jai’s magical world. The cover immediately captivates with a figure emanating formidable powers, engaged in combat with a shadowy entity in a brilliantly illuminated space. Cross’s prose is evocative and immersive, enlivening the rich cultural tapestry of India’s traditions and festivals and fostering a sense of familiarity and enchantment.
At its core, “The Yogi Witch” celebrates love, acceptance, and self-exploration. Jai’s journey is a poignant reminder that life’s spectrum encompasses many colors, each with distinct beauty and challenges. The novel is an ode to embracing one’s true identity with courage, regardless of the obstacles.
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While the book’s plot remains engaging and intriguing, there are instances where excessive details detract from the pacing. A prolonged description of Jai’s dance scene, his aunts’ participation, and an extended comparison of the Major Arcana and a Mario game may weigh down the narrative. The timeline occasionally becomes unclear, with abrupt shifts between scenes, compounded by tangential philosophical discussions contributing unnecessary complexity.
Despite these minor drawbacks, “The Yogi Witch” is a remarkable debut that leaves a lasting impression. Zorian Cross’s ability to seamlessly blend fantasy, LGBTQ+ representation, and a celebration of human resilience results in an enchanting read that promises to captivate and inspire is worth appreciating. The novel’s exploration of magic, love, and the diverse spectrum of the human experience make it an essential addition to any reader’s bookshelf.
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