Saturday, April 10, 2021

DNF Review - The Once and Future Witches by Alix E. Harrow



Title: The Once and Future Witches

Author: Alix E. Harrow

Pages: 529

Publisher: Orbit

Release Date: 13th October 2020

Blurb from Goodreads:

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 Eastwood sisters--James Juniper, Agnes Amaranth, and Beatrice Belladonna--join the suffragists of New Salem, they begin to pursue the forgotten words and 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 will need to 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.



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My Review:

*I received an eARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. Thanks to Little, Brown Book Group UK and NetGalley*

- DNF @50% -

It's 1893 and it is not a good time to be a woman - they don't have the right to vote and their magic has been reduced to small, useful spells which are nothing like the powerful witching that was once around.

The Eastwood sisters have grown apart and are living different lives, but James Juniper, Agnes Amaranth and Beatrice Belladonna find themselves drawn back together and seeking the power of the old witching.

However, there are forces at work that intend to stop them.

Will the sisters triumph?

Having enjoyed the author's previous novel, I was excited to read this one, especially as the time period and the magic intrigued me. Unfortunately, I ended up being disappointed.

The sisters were fairly interesting protagonists and they were very different from one another. While Agnes was my favourite, I'm not left with overly strong feelings about any of the characters.

The setting of New Salem didn't feel very fleshed out to me and I would have liked some more information/detail about it.

My main issue with the book was that it was far too long. I don't mind character-focused books when I love the characters and enjoy the plot and setting, but in this case I found the storyline almost achingly slow and the other aspects of the book were not enough to save it. I read over two hundred pages of this book and it could quite easily have been cut in half given how little actually happened.

I liked that nursery rhymes were used as spells and the fairy tales that were included throughout the book.

I might have another go at reading this at some point, but on this occasion I couldn't bring myself to pick up the book to read more and decided to DNF it.

I can definitely see other people enjoying this book, but, unfortunately, this wasn't for me.

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