Reviews

The Once and Future Witches, by Alix E. Harrow

tasmanian_bibliophile's review against another edition

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5.0

‘That’s all magic is, really: the space between what you have and what you need.’

Once upon a time, there were three Eastwood sisters: Beatrice Belladonna, Agnes Amaranth, and James Juniper. They lived in New Salem in 1893 when witching existed in memories, when the only power that women could seek was through the right to vote. The sisters joined the suffragists, and they also searched for the keys to power than women once held through witching. Charms and nursery rhymes are a start, and they hold more power than most people know.

The sisters represent three female archetypes: the Maiden, the Mother, and the Crone. Each have different perspectives and different powers. During their search, the sisters find powerful allies and dangerous enemies and they also find ways to bridge the misunderstanding that exists between them. History holds knowledge, hope, and hurt, and many wish to maintain the status quo. To obtain the magic they need, Beatrice Belladonna, Agnes Amaranth, and James Juniper need to work together and with others. It will not be easy: there are deep divisions and suspicions within the community and witchcraft is seen as dangerous by many – especially by those men who stand to lose their absolute power.

Battle is joined and not all will survive.

‘The Salem College archives include several hundred trunks full of records relating to the witch-trials of the purges, and Beatrice Belladonna has read most of them. She knows that history digs a shallow grave, and that the past is always waiting to rise again.’

I picked up this novel after reading ‘The Ten Thousand Doors of January’. I loved the evocative storytelling and powerful imagery in both novels. A book to reread.

Jennifer Cameron-Smith

wiiking's review against another edition

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adventurous mysterious slow-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? No
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? It's complicated

2.0

jill_selwyn's review against another edition

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5.0

My original thoughts from when I was around 20% in were absolutely correct. This was so good. The representation. The way it was so carefully discussed. The historical events of the time. A book about witches, women's rights - voting, abortion, and being able to choose motherhood, the civil rights movement, sexuality, the impact of child abuse and parentification on those adults. Family dynamics. I hadn't even realized I had connected to Juniper the way I did until the epilogue. Yea, I cried for a couple seconds. It was good. I want more.

xhaiiro's review against another edition

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5.0

Amazing. Loved the wordplay and the circular storytelling. Loved the sisters and their story.

rysmi's review against another edition

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1.0

Audiobook- dnf at 7.5 hours in. The pace was just too slow, and the plot too bland. I expected more from the title alone and all the upvotes.

kkaylaj09's review against another edition

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4.0

A fun read focusing on women's empowerment through voting and magic. I found myself drawn into the three main characters and I loved the changing of perspectives throughout the book. Even though the book starts off rather slow, by the second part it picks up and I did not want to put it down. I became attached to all three sisters and loved where Harrow went with the story and overall ending of the book.

spoon55's review against another edition

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adventurous dark emotional hopeful inspiring reflective sad medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

5.0

rikki_lynn's review against another edition

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3.0

Good story but about 200 pages too long. It was well written, though a little repetitive. Too slow of a burn for me. Beautiful cover

rubyvee's review against another edition

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adventurous dark emotional hopeful mysterious fast-paced

frankthepegasus's review against another edition

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adventurous challenging dark emotional hopeful reflective sad tense slow-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? It's complicated

5.0