My plan was to shout about this last month as part of the witchy Halloween take over but life had other ideas so I am happy to share my delayed review for Once and Future Witches by Alix. E Harrow.
Book Review: Once and future witches by Alix E. Harrow
Title: Once and future witches
Author: Alix E. Harrow
Publisher: Little Brown Book Group
Genre: Sci-fi and fantasy
Release date: 15th October 2020
‘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.
Praise for The Once and Future Witches:
‘A brilliant dazzle of a book . . . I devoured it in enormous gulps, and utterly loved it’ Kat Howard, author of The Unkindness of Ghosts
‘Compelling, exhilarating and magical – a must read’ Booklist (starred review)
‘Delightful . . . a tale of women’s battle for equality, of fairy tales twisted into wonderfully witchy spells, of magics both large and small, and history re-imagined’ Louisa Morgan, author of A Secret History of Witches
‘A love letter to folklore and the rebellious women of history’ Publishers Weekly
‘A breathtaking book – brilliant and raw and dark and complicated’ Sarah Gailey, author of Magic for Liars
This novel blew me away and I’m in awe of the prose, vivid storytelling and unusual, powerful characters. The three Eastwood sisters drew me into their story like the witchcraft they practise and they refused to let me go. Forget sleep, chores and reality, I had to read as long as I could. It is a book for a lazy, indulgent weekends where you have no distractions.
Blending the suffragette movement with women fighting for the vote with a movement to release witching from its shackles so women are empowered is clever, powerful and urges the reader to read more. The characters of the Eastwood sisters are so well developed they leap of the page and the descriptions of location make the story form a movie in the mind. The twists and turns along with the love, anger and hate the sisters encounter as they find their way to Avalon make this book unforgettable.
The conclusion is unexpected but is perfect.
Would I recommend?
Yes, yes, yes. This is my favourite book of the year for its powerful storytelling, unique characters, vivid imagery and theme. If you love books that are different, witchy or highlight the strength of women when challenged this is a must. It would make a fantastic series, but like all things, nothing can beat the insight you gain from the written word; it left me wanting more.
I am grateful to Little Brown Books for the advanced copy so I could give my honest, unbiased opinion. This is one of those books I would have missed if it had not been brought to my attention and the world would have been a little bit greyer without.
Have you read it? I would love to know what you thought, comment below.
Take care and happy reading!