Review: Witch, Cat, and Cobb by J.K. Pendragon
I received a free copy of "Witch, Cat, and Cobb" from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Witch, Cat, and Cob is set in a fantasy world of elves and kingdoms which seems rather ordinarily heterosexual, with marriages of that type being the norm, but there is mention of the occasional marriage between people of the same sex. The story starts off with a Princess very determined to not end up in a heterosexual marriage.
We learn very early on that there are many secrets being kept among the cast of characters, and that some of those secrets involve mysterious events from before the Princess was born. She finds herself in the center of a conflict between her cat, whom she finds out is not a regular cat, and a beautiful witch who lives in the forest.
As each character confronts their past, and what they are running away from, they realize that they have responsibilities to more than just their own self-interest. All of the characters went through growth and development, and the ending felt as though all of the characters were at a satisfying conclusion to their growth.
The pacing of the story was a little rocky at the start, I felt that the introduction was rather abrupt, with not enough context given at first. The introduction of all the characters seemed a little rushed, and I wish I could have had a little more time to get to know each character on their own at the start. Likewise, the ending, while satisfying, left me wanting more in a way that didn't feel good. It felt rushed, and I wanted to linger in those moments a little longer.
The elephant in the room is the diversity in this book. If you do not want spoilers, please read no further. Otherwise, I felt this story handled queer representation really well. The way magic is used to handle transitions and the acceptance of those people as people and worthy of love was admirable. This is a story that speaks to me on a lot of levels, but the recognition of a cis woman and a trans woman in a relationship with each other was beautiful and respectful. I appreciated that there was no gratutitous tragedy involved for the sake of tragedy. Everyone got their happy ending, and nothing bad happened to the characters just because they were queer in some way.
Overall, read this if you want a happy fantasy story about queer characters! Don't read this if you hate happy endings.