Marsheila Rockwell pulls together some far-flung sorceresses and forges them into a potent team in Sisters of Sorcery: A Marvel Untold Novel. Clea, Sorceress Supreme of the Dark Dimension, Margali of the Winding Way, a former Sorceress Supreme, Holly, a young apprentice of Agatha’s, and Elizabeth Twoyoungmen, aka the Talisman, enter an uneasy alliance to fight a threat that’s too big for any one of them alone. Together they traverse multiple dimensions and fight deadly enemies, learning to trust each other and becoming true sisters along the way.
[Note: While I am reviewing this novel independently and honestly, it should be noted that it has been provided to me by Aconyte for the purpose of this review. Warning: My review of Sisters of Sorcery contains some spoilers!]
A dark power and an evil plan
Sisters of Sorcery opens on the sunny beach of a private island where Hellcat and Ardina are relaxing after saving the world. But they’re superheroes so the relaxation doesn’t last. Within moments the beach is swarmed with demons and mindless ones. Hellcat dives into the action tearing up the demons. But the minions’ true objective isn’t fighting, it’s kidnapping Ardina.
Ardina is a living embodiment of the Cosmic Power, and Umar, the oppressor of the Dark Dimension, wants that power for her own. She plans on using Ardina like a battery to supplement her own considerable power. Umar is sure this will make her strong enough to finally destroy her daughter Clea’s rebel forces and conquer the Dark Dimension once and for all. And she has no intentions of stopping there. With Ardina powering her, she plans on taking all the dimensions as her own.
Looking for allies in Sisters of Sorcery
When Clea learns what her mother has done she feels doubly responsible. Not only is her mother the one trying to take over the world but Clea is the one who created Ardina. Clea is determined to save Ardina and stop Umar but she realizes she isn’t strong enough by herself now that her mother has Ardina.
She reaches out to the Scarlet Witch for help but Wanda is busy and Agatha answers the call. Agatha is currently a ghost without much power but luckily for Clea she still has connections. The two teleport off to enlist more help.
First, they gather up Margali of the Winding Way. She was once the Sorceress Supreme of Earth and still has plenty of power. Unfortunately, she is not a team player. Margali is proud, fierce, and harsh, even towards allies. She is also somewhat selfish. At first, she doesn’t want to join the group but Clea makes her see that Umar won’t stop at the Dark Dimension and her self-preservation has her reluctantly joining.
Next comes Holly. She is a current apprentice of Agatha’s and practices her own special flavor of witchcraft. She is very young, very eager, and very naive. Clea is uncertain about having such an untested witch come along but Agatha insists and Holly herself is extremely excited to join the group, no matter the difficulties. In the end, Clea agrees and they head off to find their fourth, Elizabeth Twoyoungmen, the Talismen.
Last but not least (indeed she is integral to the mission), is Elizabeth. Like Margali, she has no real interest in joining the group. In fact, she has no real interest in being the Talisman or using her power at all. But Clea needs her help and after some emotional blackmail, Clea adds another reluctant ally.
Learning to be a team
Clea is the de facto leader of the group, but only because it’s her mission the others have joined. None of them have a lot of experience working as a team, especially a team of equals. At first, they butt up against each other constantly and it looks as if they’ll be doomed before they even get started. But as they travel farther and have more skirmishes they slowly learn to work together.
Elizabeth is the one who brings the concept of sisterhood to the group. She shares how her people call everyone brother/sister or cousin because we are all related as people. The sentiment was appealing, and they realized that they were all sisters in sorcery and could trust one another.
Fighting Umar pushes their fledgling sisterhood to the limits. Will they prevail or will the stress prove too much for their fragile new bonds? The answer will determine not just their fate but the fate of the entire multiverse.
Clea and her “sisters in sorcery”
Rockwell takes four strong and very independent personalities and manages to shape them into a powerhouse team. Rockwell does this in the best possible way, through respect. As the sorceresses face different challenges they each get to showcase their abilities, and also their weaknesses.
Often when writing female heroes authors shy away from giving them weaknesses. I think the fear is that if a woman isn’t perfect she’ll be considered incompetent. But women, even heroes, are human(ish) and need to be seen as that. How else are we less-than-superhero status women ever supposed to feel adequate? But I’ve gotten off-track.
The point is that when these women see each other at both their strongest and their weakest, they realize the total sum of their worths and respect each other because of it. Without that respect, the team would fall apart because you cannot have such strong personalities working together functionally without respect and trust. It was the perfect way to bind these women together in sisterhood and I loved it!
The word is “strong”
Sisters of Sorcery has a strong story and strong characters to carry it. There is plenty of Marvel’s trademark humor sprinkled in (looking at you Holly) to keep the heavy subject of interdimensional subjugation from becoming too much. I loved this book.
I hate to do the whole “strong female” line, but I am eagerly awaiting the day when strong, well-written female characters are so common that they can just be called “strong leads”. But if you are looking for strong female characters this book is perfect for you.
If you just want a good story, this book is also for you. If women scare you, then you might want to skip this one because there are literally like three male characters and they are very minor. Sisters of Sorcery is all about women kicking butt and being amazing. Sisters everywhere, enjoy!
My Rating: 8/10
Sisters in Sorcery: A Marvel Untold Novel by Marsheila Rockwell is available now from Aconyte Books. Have you read the novel? What are your thoughts on it? Let us know on social media. If you haven’t already, check out my other latest review, Almost There: A Twisted Tale!