Publication Date: April 7, 2020
The Book is a tale of friendship, family, honor and respect for the old ways. It’s also a battle of good and evil. I received the book as an ARC from NetGalley after requesting it.
The story follows a family descendent of the Bishop Family of witches from the Salem Witch Trials. Although the story is fiction it is based on facts. The family line had been broken in two. One line of the family practiced the old ways as herb medicine women who harness their power for the good and the other line of the family practices their craft for themselves and although able to do go they choose to use the dark side for lack of a better word. Annis must learn her craft in order to save herself.
I found the book to be a bit slow to start and I will admit that at points I was very tempted to put it down. It picked up at some point around the midpoint of the book and I found myself not being able to put it down at that point. I took me almost a month to get to the midpoint of the book and then I read the the rest of the book in one day.
The book was well researched. Louisa Morgan gives enough detail to make the craft sound believable and achievable with bits of “that’s not possible” mixed in. Although with a magical book I expect to need to suspend my beliefs for a moment at times. I appreciate that some of the spells seemed to have been very well researched and the incantations that were spoken seemed very real as well as the explanation as to why witches speak their spells and why very often the spells rhyme.
Words have strength and spoken words have the greatest weight
I thought the main characters seemed had depth. I was able to feel sympathy for the Villan (Frances) even though at the same time I was hating her for being so calculating and selfish. I really enjoyed reading about Harriet and even the Strega from the old herb store was believable and I really liked her. I wished that she had had a bigger part in the story. Perhaps another book???? (hint)
What I thought was lacking:
I did not like the way Morgan wrote the two ladies’ maids. I found them to have no depth and no interest. I thought that more could have been said about them. Even Harriet’s house keeper was a bit just thrown in there. She could have had a bigger part.
I hated reading about the trip to the asylum. Maybe that could have been dealt with differently. I was not expecting that much horror.
I found the ending to be a bit abrupt as if something was missing and there was no little bow tying the whole thing up together.
James, the love interest was soft and blah. He had no mind of his own and it felt like he was in the book only to be a poppet in the hands of the women. I did not like the way he was written and I can’t imagine Annis marrying him. She is a strong woman and I get the feeling that she would walk all over him.
Putting it all together:
I enjoyed the book. It was entertaining to read and it was researched well. Some areas of the craft were still a bit off but they were very minor. I rated the book 3 stars on Goodreads.