I was lucky enough to request and be approved to read this on netgalley in exchange for an honest review. All views and opinions are my own.
The Once and Future Witches by Alix E Harrow, art work by
This might end up being one of the shortest reviews I write as I just can’t seem to find the words for this book, but it is utterly, utterly spellbinding and I absolutely LOVED it.
Following three sisters (naturally), it is a tale of family and of loyalties, betrayals, suffering and survival, set in a time when women are second class citizens with no rights and no voice.
The sisters Eastwood are unexpectedly reunited following the death of their abusive father, but as they meet, magic stirs.
For this is also a tale of magic. Of wills and ways and words, of forgotten rhymes and passed down tales, of nature’s treasures and objects found, of old wives’ tales and whispers on the grapevine.
Juniper is a wonderful character, a determined and wilful force of nature. Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned seems like an apt description, although it tuns much deeper than that and her tenderness, fragility, youth and yearning are all expertly woven into her tale too.
Determined to see a change, or to be that change, what begins as her joining the suffragist movement quickly becomes much more as she riles against the injustice and mistreatment rife around her.
This is a story of sisterhood, of strong females and strong female bonds, of standing up for yourself and helping those around you do the same.
It is a tale of revenge, regret and powerful emotions; of hate, grief, love and fear.
It is a tale both historical and relevant, political and personal, magical and real.
It is a tale showing how fierce a fairytale can be.
Indeed, the way in which fairytales are used in the story is so clever and effective and, ultimately, so incredibly captivating.
Absolutely one of my favourite reads this year. I had it on netgalley but bought the hardback halfway through, as soon as it was released and have ordered Alix’s first book ‘The Ten Doors of January’ to be one of my first reads in the new year.
This is a story that spoke straight to my heart and my love of all things fairytale, witchy, folkloric and other.