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The Teenage Witches Are Growing Up

THE FEAST MAKERS (Erewhon, 412 pp., $18.95), by H.A. Clarke, concludes a trilogy that began with “The Scapegracers,” a brutal and vivid evocation of the bonds between queer teenagers and the magic they can make together.

A witch is anyone with a “specter,” a lump of magic light that reflects the color of one’s soul. Witchfinders can steal these, condemning specterless witches to a slow and painful death. In the first book,Sideways Pike forms the Scapegracers coven with three others, but loses a specter. In the second novel, “Scratch Daughters,” the Scapegracers liberate dozens of stolen specters, including Sideways’s, from a Witchfinder hoard.

“The Feast Makers”follows the Scapegracers into a wider witch society, as many covens show up to search the recovered specters for those that belonged to their members.

Sideways also faces a dilemma: Madeline Kline, a former crush who stole Sideways’s specter to replace her own lost magic, has been condemned to death by her coven and is seeking help from the Scapegracers, who have a reputation for aiding others on principle. As they navigate intrawitch politics, Daisy, Yates, Jing and Sideways are courted by different covens that suit their individual temperaments and ambitions, but at the cost of their unity.

If you loved the first two volumes of this series, the third will not disappoint; it’s as fierce and funny as its predecessors, which I’ve loudly praised. Even if it’s a little more chaotic and slapdash, it’s still a worthy conclusion to an exciting series.

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