In honor of the winter solstice, we have an awesome blog tour stop for you: today, we're reviewing The Winter Witch by Paula Brackston!
This is a thoughtful, breathtaking book about a different time that will absolutely transport you, and is perfect for winter.
Hardcover, 340 pages
Published January 29th 2013 by Thomas Dunne Books
Format read: Physical ARC courtesy of publisher
Synopsis via Goodreads:
She has never spoken, and her silence as well as the magic she can't quite control make her a mystery. Concerned for her safety, her mother quickly arranges a marriage with Cai Bevan, the widower from the far hills who knows nothing of the rumours that swirl around her. After their wedding, Morgana is heartbroken at leaving, but she soon falls in love with Cai’s farm and the rugged mountains that surround it, while slowly Cai himself begins to win her heart.
It’s not long, however, before her strangeness begins to be remarked upon in her new village. A dark force is at work there—a person who will stop at nothing to turn the townspeople against Morgana, even at the expense of those closest to her. Forced to defend her home, her love, and herself from all comers, Morgana must learn to harness her power, or she will lose everything.
Leading the charge are authors like Paula Brackston, whose wonderful Winter Witch absolutely captivated me from the moment I started reading. I hadn't read any of her work prior to this book, but from the very first page on, it was like hearing the words of an old friend as she spun the magical tale of Morgana and Cai for me.
Morgana has been mute for her entire life, but not without a wild form of magic burgeoning inside of her. But in 1830, her differences have made her an object of scrutiny for the locals, so Morgana's mother arranges for a marriage with Cai Bevan - someone whose influence/presence will be able to protect her.
While Brackston makes it very clear through alternating POVs that Morgana goes into the marriage reluctantly, she beautifully details how Morgana and Cai begin to fall in love with each other, while also dealing with unexpected obstacles - including a different form of magic intruding into their lives in a very real way.
As I read, Brackston's words literally shone off the page for me. I read another review describing her writing as being "bold and confident", and I would absolutely have to agree. Not only did Brackston make me feel absolutely fall in love with both Morgana and Cai, she also had me feel strongly invested in their relationship, and wishing for the best possible ending for both of them.
I closed the book reluctantly - I was so invested in their world, I wanted to stay longer - but I'm happy that Brackston has written another book like The Witch's Daughter and The Midnight Witch for me to look forward to.
The Winter Witch isn't just a book about witches or the power of magic. It's also a book about relationships and trust, and how two strangers can come together, and become a full-fledged partnership.
I highly, highly recommend this book for both fans of historical fiction, and for fans of fantasy.
Disclaimer: I received an ARC of The Winter Witch from St. Martin's Press in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!
So we're giving away a set of these crystals:
About the author:
Paula has an MA in Creative Writing from Lancaster University, and is a Visiting Lecturer for the University of Wales, Newport. In 2007 Paula was short listed in the Creme de la Crime search for new writers. In 2010 her book 'Nutters' (writing as PJ Davy) was short listed for the Mind Book Award, and she was selected by the BBC under their New Welsh Writers scheme.
Paula lives in Wales with her partner and their two children.