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Exclusive: Scholastic casts a spell for first-look at Sabrina prequel novel

By Josh Weiss
Kiernan Shipka Chilling Adventures of Sabrina

Chilling Adventures of Sabrina instantly charmed itself with audiences when Season 1 hit Netflix back in late October. And while we'll have to wait a few months for more magical adventures with Kiernan Shipka's teenage witch, the series is fast becoming a cultural phenomenon. 

For example, Scholastic loved the show so much, they instantly knew that they wanted in on the action and commissioned a prequel novel, Season of the Witch, from author Sarah Rees Brennan (Tell the Wind and Fire). Surprisingly, no spells were needed for SYFY WIRE to obtain the exclusive reveal of the book's cover.

"We are publishing the successful Riverdale [books based on The CW] show from Archie Comics, so when we heard that the same showrunners and producers were creating Sabrina, we jumped on it right away. We just loved everything they’re doing with the show. We love the whole girl power angle and so we’re just very excited and this is the perfect genre for us," Debra Dorfman, VP/Publisher of Licensed Publishing at Scholastic, tells SYFY WIRE.

Here's the cover, which gives us some pretty serious Children of the Corn flashbacks:

Chilling Adventures of Sabrina novel Season of the Witch

Set in the summer before the events of Season 1, Season of the Witch finds Sabrina unsure of Harvey Kinkle's feelings for her. To find out, she casts an enchantment on him (a suggestion from cousin Ambrose), a move that goes terribly awry once a wood spirit gets involved. Since the plot takes place before her 16th birthday, Brennan will also explore Sabrina's sadness over leaving the mortal world behind forever.

While Dorfman is pretty mum on more specific plot details (the book is still being edited), she says that readers will receive a bunch of worldbuilding that the show just doesn't have time for. One thing she's most excited for is more background information on Ambrose, who is played by Chance Perdomo on the show.

"They’re definitely gonna get a lot of extra story development, a lot of behind-the-scenes, a lot of insights. It’s like lore that they would not get from just watching the TV show. When you make a TV show, there’s only so much you can do, you have a limited [amount] of time. With the book, we could take a deep dive into the character and just expand the storyline." 

The official solicit info for the novel describes it as "YA Novel #1," a deliberate move that signals the coming of more publications based on the popular fantasy series.

"We are going to have at least, we hope, three novels," Dorfman continues. "They’ll be different formats, we’re doing handbooks and guidebooks and characters studies and fun potions and we’ll see. We’re just exploring that right now."

Season of the Witch goes on sale Tuesday, July 9 — you can preorder a copy on Amazon here. Before then, Season 2 of Chilling Adventures of Sabrina will premiere on Netflix Friday, April 5.