Poppy and Ember soon become friends, and secretly share knowledge of their two worlds. Little do they know that destiny has brought them together: an ancient prophecy, and a life-changing betrayal. Growing closer, they begin to understand why they’ve never belonged and the reason they are now forever connected to each other.
Switched at birth by the scheming witch Raven Hawkweed, Poppy and Ember must come to terms with their true identities and fight for their own place in the world. Enter Leo, a homeless boy with a painful past who – befriending them both – tests their love and loyalty. Can Poppy and Ember’s friendship survive? And can it withstand the dark forces that are gathering?
THE HAWKWEED LEGACY By Irena Brignull
Hardcover, $18.00, August 15, 2017
Poppy is discovering a purpose for her powers in Africa, but she is haunted by a vision of her own death. Taken in by a boy and his great-grandmother, a healer, they vow to keep her safe-even if that ultimately means holding her captive. But Poppy never stops longing for Leo and, when she feels his magic begin to spark, she will do anything to be reunited with him.
Desperate to regain Poppy’s trust and bring her home, Charlock embarks on a plan to reunite Leo with his mother. What Charlock doesn’t foresee are the string of consequences that she sets into motion that leave Ember all alone and prey to manipulation, the clan open to attack from other witches, Sorrel vulnerable to Raven’s ghost, Betony determined to protect her son from his father’s fate, and which leave both Leo and Poppy in terrible danger.
Top 10 Fun Facts about the HAWKWEED books
- I wrote The Hawkweed Prophecy in my year off. At least that’s what it was supposed to be! I had no idea how long it would take to write a book. Screenplays might take forever to get made but I can finish a draft much more quickly.
- My office is often in my car. I wrote much of both the Hawkweed books whilst waiting for my kids to do their sports training. No wonder my back hurts!
- Poppy (the main character in the books) is named after my childhood cat. I don’t think she ever got used to being a pet. She was wild and wary and mysterious – much like Poppy Hawkweed.
- I grew up in the countryside and near us was a dell, a steep dip in the forest floor, that was filled with all sorts of junk that people dumped there. As kids, we thought the place was haunted. In The Hawkweed Prophecy, I used the dell as the place where Poppy and Ember first meet and where their friendship is forged. It felt like a half-way house between the natural world and the town.
- I’m scared of spiders. A bit pathetic of me, I know. So when I was writing the scene where the spiders crawl over Poppy’s face and sew a message for her in their webs, my hairs were standing on end.
- In the first Hawkweed book, Leo (a runaway, homeless boy) gives Poppy a heart stone that his adopted mother once gave him. This piece of rose quartz gains even more significance in The Hawkweed Legacy. At my launch party, my UK editor gave me my own heart stone which I keep by my bedside.
- When I heard that The Hawkweed Prophecy had sold in the US and Europe, I was in the French Alps. I literally felt on top of the world.
- I’ve recently sold the film and tv rights to the books so am keeping my fingers crossed that the Hawkweeds one day reach the screen.
- My favourite character to write was Betony from The Hawkweed Legacy. She is so spirited and feisty and feels everything so fully. She’s a survivor. We follow Betony in two different storylines – one set in the past when she’s only seventeen, full of hope and excitement and blissfully unaware of the troubles and dangers that lie ahead, and the other set in the present where she has to remember the girl she once was and come to terms with everything that’s happened to her.
- My favourite moment to write was near the end of The Hawkweed Legacy. It’s a very tense dramatic scene set in a zoo. Betony is confronting those who’ve come to harm her, and the wild, caged animals are crying out to try and help her. I found it quite gut-wrenching to write. Even though I knew how events would unfurl, I found myself praying that everything would work out.
PRAISE FOR THE HAWKWEED PROPHECY:
“Brignull develops story and characters slowly, long, luxurious sentences balancing the magic and the mundane expertly and building the world of the witches by showing how out of place Ember is in it. Tension
builds inexorably to the inevitable witch showdown, which brings small victories but not a happily-ever-after for all. The third-person narration switches focus from character to character as they make frustrating, heart-rending, totally believable choices. Fantasy and nonfantasy readers alike will appreciate this gritty and intriguing coming-of-age story.”
“Brignull…debuts with an instantly engrossing novel…It’s a fantasy with the air of a classic, yet one that’s also entirely contemporary in
its tight focus on identity, friendship, and romance. Ages 12-up.”—Publishers Weekly *Starred Review*
“Wildly delightful.”— Laini Taylor, author of The Daughter of Smoke & Bone trilogy
“Wise, weird, a touch evil and totally charming, Irena Brignull’s tale of magic in our time is as rich and complicated as sisterhood. From the first page, I felt drawn into a modern classic.”
— Anna Godbersen, author of The Luxe and Bright Young Things series
“Irena Brignull’s The Hawkweed Prophecy is a book of wicked, beautiful magic. Compulsively readable and delightfully gritty, one does not mess with these Hawkweed witches.
— Kendare Blake, author of Anna Dressed in Blood and Three Dark Crowns
“I loved this book! Irena has created such beautifully complete world–our world, and nestled within it, a simmering world of magic. The Hawkweed Prophecyhas everything: friendship, desire, delicious earthy magic, secrets and spells and at its centre, the wonderful young Poppy, on a journey of self-discovery. I so hope there is more to come!”
— Karen Foxlee, author of Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy and A Most Magical Girl
“The Hawkweed Prophecy was bewitching from the get-go. Irena Brignull does an amazing job weaving a tale of pure magic in this debut novel. She’ll have you on a roller coaster of emotions from the very first page. Get ready to be spellbound.”
— Paige McKenzie, author of the New York Times bestselling Haunting of Sunshine Girl series
“Brignull’s The Hawkweed Prophecy is a deft exploration of friendship, sacrifice and betrayal. I can’t decide who I love more, the sweet and trusting Ember or the spunky, dark Poppy. You can’t help but cheer for both girls, and ache when they are pitted against one another. I was completely absorbed in the sinister, complicated world of magic and witches. The coven is described so confidently and beautifully, it’s hard to emerge from the novel without wondering if these women are operating somewhere just below the surface of our world. Full of romance, heart and suspense, readers will find themselves staying up all night just to spend a little more time with Ember and Poppy.”— Madeleine Roux, author of the New York Times bestseller Asylum
I’m Irena Brignull, a screenwriter, novelist and mum. I live with my family in London but I was brought up outside the city in the beautiful Chiltern Hills. The other place that has my heart is Greece where many of my relatives are from.
I write screenplays too. My screenwriting credits include the Oscar nominated movie, The Boxtrolls, starring Ben Kingsley, Elle Fanning and Simon Pegg. (I was nominated for Best Screenplay for that one at the Annie Awards in 2014.) My adaptation of The Little Prince, directed by Mark Osborne and starring Jeff Bridges, Rachel McAdams, James Franco and Marion Cotillard, closed the 2015 Cannes Film Festival. I also adapted Skellig for Sky which starred Tim Roth, John Simm and Kelly MacDonald.
Before all this, I was a Script Executive at the BBC and then Head of Development at Dogstar Films where I was the script editor on Shakespeare in Love, Captain Corelli’s Mandolin, I Capture the Castle and Bravo Two Zero to name a few.
And before that, I studied English Literature at Oxford University.
I don’t have much spare time but, in it, I like to read books and watch movies. It’s kind of my job, I know. But one day I plan to take up lots more hobbies – horse-riding, tap-dancing, baking, juggling…?
Be sure to check out the other stops on the tour!
8/28:books are love – Q&A
8/31: Live To Read – Review
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