I’m not sure why I picked up this book. Someone might have recommended it. It could have been on special offer. It could easily have been the cover. Whatever the reason, I’m glad I did. It’s stunning.
The prose is beautiful. The story is poignant, tragic and powerful. There is a darkness to it which is made so much more unnerving because a lot of the terror happens ‘off screen’. The protagonists have clear and distinct personalities with flaws and wants. (You know, like real people.) The technical aspects of the writing (brackets, hyphens, asides and so on) add to the story rather than clutter it up. The story is clever but does not ram that cerebral aspect down your throat. The wisdom is not heavy handed.
“That’s all magic is, really: the space between what you have and what you need.”
There is humour. There is hate. There is love. And, of course, there is a witch burning, though that may not turn out how you expect.
In short, the book is stunning.
I feel that a review needs some kind of ‘but…’ to give it credibility. I have no buts to give. The book had me from the dedication to the last page.
I’ll read it again. Soon. At the moment, though, part of me is worried that The Once and Future Witches won’t live up to my remembered expectations. Memories can be treacherous things. But for those of you who have the will, this book has ‘the words and the ways’.
And they are magical.