Witch

Witch

Witch
Finbar Hawkins

Head of Zeus

ISBN 9781838935610

Set in the 17th century, a breathtaking debut, and a potential prize-winner, about the power of women, witchcraft, fury, revenge and the ties that bind us. After witnessing the brutal murder of her mother by witch-hunters, Evey vows to avenge her and track down the killers. Fury burns in her bright and strong. But she has promised her mother that she will keep Dill, her little sister, safe. As the lust for blood and retribution rises to fever pitch, will Evey keep true to the bonds of sisterhood and to the magick that is her destiny?

Librarian's Book choice

Witch is set during the era of the Commonwealth, when Oliver Cromwell's strict Puritan government ruled the country. In superstitious fear, it was common for people to seek out and execute 'witches', often women guilty of nothing more mystical than being female.

Witch, however, accepts the premise of magic from the start. It opens with a dramatic scene in which sisters Evey and Dill witness the violent death of their mother at the hands of a gang of Witchfinders. Evey has long since turned her back on the magical powers shared by her mother and young Dill. She is determined to seek revenge for her mother's murder and sets out to find the men responsible. But magic is never far away.

The book is written in language which sounds authentic to the period, helping to create a historical atmosphere. But the writing also subtly leaks magic into the story throughout and the idea of supernatural bonds between all living things is inherent. It reminded me of The Lost Words by Robert Macfarlane - the possibility of summoning a wild creature just by noticing it.

As well as being a great piece of historical fiction, a dramatic quest novel and a spooky fantasy read, Witch explores the difference between justice and revenge, attitudes towards women and the nature of sisterhood.

It is also worth spending some time with the gorgeous cover art, by Edward Bettison. At first glance, the silhouetted figure, with the fire in the foreground, and orange accents looks merely atmospheric, but a closer inspection reveals hidden details which reflect the nature of the magic - and the magic in nature - found in the story.

The descriptions of the people, their homes, and details of their everyday lives, together with the clever language, provide an immersive experience for students of the Stuart period. Those studying religion or feminist themes will also find this a rewarding read.

Witch is suitable for able readers in Y7 or up. Some of the violent scenes might upset sensitive students.

384 pages / Ages 12+ / Reviewed by Kimberley Lawson, school librarian


Reviews

Witch5/5

Witch

Finbar Hawkins

Review

Witch is set during the era of the Commonwealth, when Oliver Cromwell's strict Puritan government ruled the country. In superstitious fear, it was common for people to seek out and execute 'witches', often women guilty of nothing more mystical than being female.

Witch, however, accepts the premise of magic from the start. It opens with a dramatic scene in which sisters Evey and Dill witness the violent death of their mother at the hands of a gang of Witchfinders. Evey has long since turned her back on the magical powers shared by her mother and young Dill. She is determined to seek revenge for her mother's murder and sets out to find the men responsible. But magic is never far away.

The book is written in language which sounds authentic to the period, helping to create a historical atmosphere. But the writing also subtly leaks magic into the story throughout and the idea of supernatural bonds between all living things is inherent. It reminded me of The Lost Words by Robert Macfarlane - the possibility of summoning a wild creature just by noticing it.

As well as being a great piece of historical fiction, a dramatic quest novel and a spooky fantasy read, Witch explores the difference between justice and revenge, attitudes towards women and the nature of sisterhood.

It is also worth spending some time with the gorgeous cover art, by Edward Bettison. At first glance, the silhouetted figure, with the fire in the foreground, and orange accents looks merely atmospheric, but a closer inspection reveals hidden details which reflect the nature of the magic - and the magic in nature - found in the story.

The descriptions of the people, their homes, and details of their everyday lives, together with the clever language, provide an immersive experience for students of the Stuart period. Those studying religion or feminist themes will also find this a rewarding read.

Witch is suitable for able readers in Y7 or up. Some of the violent scenes might upset sensitive students.

384 pages / Ages 12+ / Reviewed by Kimberley Lawson, school librarian

Reviewed by: Kimberley Lawson