Ask a Bookseller: 'Witches Steeped in Gold' is a Jamaican-inspired YA fantasy   

A book cover for 'Witches Steeped in Gold'
"Witches Steeped in Gold," by Ciannon Smart.
Courtesy of the publisher

Kalima Desuze of Café con Libros in Brooklyn, N.Y., was a self-described nonfiction reader until 2020, when she fell in love with the imaginative world-building of young adult fantasy. She recommends a Jamaican-inspired YA fantasy novel that just hit the shelves on April 20: “Witches Steeped in Gold” by debut author Ciannon Smart.

The story follows two teenage witches who are sworn enemies, both driven by vengeance. They need each other’s magic to defeat a common enemy, but they don’t trust each other, and Desuze says we readers aren't sure that we can trust them. Add to that a love story between one of the witches and the other’s best friend, and you have a page-turning plot.

“It’s fun, it’s talking about real issues, it’s feminist, and I’m loving it,” says Desuze.

Desuze, who is Afro Latina and has Jamaican family, says she’s excited to see this book steeped in Jamaican culture enter the world.

Your support matters.

You make MPR News possible. Individual donations are behind the clarity in coverage from our reporters across the state, stories that connect us, and conversations that provide perspectives. Help ensure MPR remains a resource that brings Minnesotans together.