Phenomena Willow is a young witch apprentice who loves nothing more than wizard romance novels and eye of newt spice lattes in the autumn. Mena lives with her auntie, Grizabella, in the Pembroke Forest—the haven she has resided all her life that’s sheltered her from the rest of the world. Mena dreams of escaping the dull life in her cottage and attending the magical school of Nightdream Academy, a place where sorcerers and sorceresses learn how to utilize dream arts out of their very imagination, but her auntie has never told her where it was.
One day, an old foe of her aunt, the nefarious Anguish the Blood Siren arrives at her auntie’s cottage, sending young Mena out into the world on a search for the school her auntie once attended. When she discovers the location of Nightdream Academy in the most unusual place and circumstance, this basic witch discovers a whole new world of magic and romance, a place where her dreams…and nightmares come true.
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Phenomena the Basic Witch and the Dream Castle is a fun, light-hearted, and whimsical children's fantasy adventure that feels like a combination of Harry Potter and a slice-of-life anime. It follows Mena, a curious yet clumsy girl who ends up attending classes at a magic school while learning about her lineage and destiny, and her inevitable clash with the evil witch Anguish.
This series' greatest strength is its humor. It's often laugh-out-loud funny, stuffed to the gills with puns and slapstick scenes. The comedy is carried by a cast of quirky and charming characters, ranging from a campy and flamboyant headmaster to a skeleton girl that wouldn't be out of place in a Tim Burton film.
While there are plenty of twists and turns, the story is mostly a light, frothy, relaxing romp through the school and fantasy world. It sometimes lacks tension and suspense, but in this era of darkness and gloomy cynicism, that can be a real breath of fresh air. Those looking for something that reminds them of the earnest innocence of classic Saturday morning children's cartoons will find a lot to love here.
Dive on in, laugh, and cry along with Mena and her fantastical adventures!
Phenomena the Basic Witch and the Dream Castle is a very well written story about a young girls hilarious adventures to and in a magical school which vaguely reminds me of Hogwarts. There's a ridiculous amount of puns and other light hearted humor to be found throughout the story. There's many story elements that are brought up in the future, often with a twist, which is quite rewarding for anyone paying attention to details.
Would highly recommend for anyone interested in a short and light comedy, and you bet I'd read any sequels.
This is a lovely well-written story of a young witch finding her way to a magical school. It nicely subverts expectations and is fast-paced and funny. The three witches cracked me up.
Mena's journey has many bumps and a few twists but remains mostly light. I loved it and hope there's a sequel. Oh and Janus is a fun character.