A Long Day in Lychford by Paul Cornell

tyrshand's review against another edition

Go to review page


I really enjoyed the first novella. The second one was alright, though I worried that perhaps the series wasn't going to have that "magic" (haha) of the first book. This one sets those fears at ease. This may actually be my favorite of the lot. Perhaps it's because of the subject matter -- very timely in this current climate of more acceptable racism. I even had an incident with such yesterday, so this tale definitely fit the mood I was in.

However, this doesn't feel like an "issue book." There's something so smooth about the writing this time around. And though racism can't be magically fixed -- even in Lychford -- several iterations of it are naturally explored. And, as in real life, forgiveness and understanding can be found for the people who are predisposed to such. The rest can sod off. ;)

The character development for Judith and Autumn was excellent and appreciated. Lizzie is fine, but though she is certainly active in the story, character-wise she takes back stage. There's also a decent bit of action and tension and some fascinating world building.

simonlorden's review

Go to review page


oh no. I'm sad now. Judith is the best.

also, has it really been that long since Brexit? geez.

ninjamuse's review against another edition

Go to review page

dark medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? It's complicated


Expand filter menu Content Warnings

bbqrplanting's review against another edition

Go to review page

My least favorite of the series thus far.

gillothen's review

Go to review page


"why are unwary hikers being led over the magical borders by their smartphones' mapping software? And is the European question *really* important enough to kill for?"

But not really. A misleading blurb for a book that doesn't need anything but accuracy to stand on its own. I thoroughly enjoyed this, though it was an extremely quick read and left me wanting more. I totally empathised with the feelings of Autumn about the Brexit vote - a year on I still feel distressed, angry and betrayed, and the way in which the tasks of the witches were distributed was very telling. I don't feel there was a sense of resolution of that debate - how could there be? - but a strong sense the people and values are more complicated than most people recognise. The vile character doesn't have an easy redemption, either.

Paul Cornell is an amazing writing machine - another extremely enjoyable book to add to the canon.

kirkw1972's review against another edition

Go to review page


Review to follow closer to release day

sunflowerjess's review against another edition

Go to review page

adventurous mysterious tense fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Plot
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? No


I continue to really enjoy this series!

rachel_abby_reads's review

Go to review page


I may have been unimpressed with this one because it's the third in the series, which I didn't realize when I picked it up off the "new arrivals" shelf at the library.

Judith, Autumn and Lizzie are witches in the small English town of Lychford. Judith is old and crotchety (obviously the Crone), Autumn is ? The lone racial minority in a small town, apparently previously had a relationship with the prince of fairy and is an angry drunk; and Lizzie is the local C of E priest/parson/spiritual leader. (Maiden/Mother roles seem ambiguous here, though I would guess Autumn is the Maiden and Lizzie is the Mother, more from roles played in the group than actual biological definitions).

The Brexit vote has just taken place and the small town of Lychford is celebrating England's exit from the EU, which Autumn interprets as a rejection of her, her race, and all immigrants/refugees. She gets into a fight with a local senior and the next day, the constable comes calling. It turns out that she did some magical thing that popped the local senior (and a party of ravers and a lost lorry driver) into bubbles of reality in space and time. And really disgusted Judith, her mentor, in the process.

I have no history with these characters, which might have mattered since this is clearly book three. There's obviously some history (addressed in previous books? Only dimly hinted at, even by book three?) that has a harsh effect on the relationship between Judith and Autumn.

It ended quite abruptly with an obvious set up for two crises in book 4. I wasn't enough invested in the characters to go back or forward with them. If I want to read about the Maiden, Mother, Crone trilogy of witches, I'll stick with Terry Pratchett's witches of Discworld.

My biggest take away was a moment of self-examination. As I shook my head over what I called Autumn's inclination to offense on matters racial and political, I did wonder: what are my mental/identity hobby horses? Where am I sensitive and prone to offense? The next time I feel ruffled by some story/post/comment, I'd like to stop and ask myself why I'm ruffled, and if it's worth the effort, or if it's reasonable to let the moment pass without reacting to it.

murfman's review against another edition

Go to review page

adventurous dark hopeful mysterious fast-paced


primula_vulgaris's review

Go to review page


Finished it reluctantly