Firstly I wish to thank Tracy Fenton of Compulsive Readers for inviting me on the Blog Tour of The Once and Future Witches by Alix E Harrow.
ABOUT THE BOOK
‘The Once and Future Witches is a gorgeous and thrilling paean to the ferocious power of women’ Laini Taylor, New York Times bestselling author of Strange the Dreamer
In 1893, there’s no such thing as witches. There used to be, in the wild, dark days before the burnings began, but now witching is nothing but tidy charms and nursery rhymes. If the modern woman wants any measure of power, she must find it at the ballot box.
But when the three Eastwood sisters join the suffragists of New Salem, they begin to pursue the forgotten ways that might turn the women’s movement into the witch’s movement. Stalked by shadows and sickness, hunted by forces who will not suffer a witch to vote – and perhaps not even to live – the sisters must delve into the oldest magics, draw new alliances, and heal the bond between them if they want to survive.
There’s no such thing as witches. But there will be.
This is a huge story in every sense of the word. At over 500 pages it has that slow burn feel about it but the text had me transfixed on the characters and my apprehension grew in each chapter with the story building to an outstanding breathtaking conclusion. Emotional, exhilarating and thrilling.
The story is set in 1893 and revolves around the three Eastwood sisters, Agnes Amaranth, Beatrice Belladonna and James Juniper as they come together after being estranged for many years. Their mother had died, after the birth of Juniper and her two older siblings left home and abusive father as soon as they could. Years later, Juniper is on the run for a crime she has committed and the three of them all end up in New Salem. They find themselves being drawn together and attempt to bring all the women’s causes that are being separately fought together and band them with the ladies suffragists of New Salem. With some, it is like trying to mix oil with water.
It had been a long time since the word ‘witch’ was bantered around and the last trials and burnings were just tales now. The sisters were intent in stirring up a bit of a frenzy among the women of New Salem with the ladies who were used to keeping their family secrets well hidden in fables and rhymes that had been passed down from mother to daughter.
The style of writing is pure perfection to the era it is set in with the author creating very visual places that are full of wonder and solid characters that I felt could do anything as long as I believed in them. The last few chapters were ones that I had to kept reminding myself to breathe. What a climactic ending it is. I loved how the author wove together historical events with her own magic and made this into an alternative but what if this had happened twist. Highly recommended!
I wish to thank the publisher and NetGalley for a copy of this book which I have reviewed honestly.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
I’ve been a student and a teacher, a farm-worker and a cashier, an ice-cream-scooper and a 9-to-5 office-dweller. I’ve lived in tents and cars, cramped city apartments and lonely cabins, and spent a summer in a really sweet ’79 VW Vanagon. I have library cards in at least five states.
Now I’m a full-time writer living in with my husband and two semi-feral kids in Berea, Kentucky. It is, I’m very sure, the best of all possible worlds.