The Once and Future Witches

Alix E. Harrow

fiction fantasy historical
adventurous dark emotional medium-paced

528 pages | first published 2020

In 1893, there's no such thing as witches. There used to be, in the wild, dark days before the burnings began, but now witching is nothing but tidy charms and nursery rhymes. If the modern woman wants any measure of power, she must find it at the ballot box.

But when the Eastwood sisters--James Juniper, Agnes Amaranth, and Beatrice Belladonna--join the suffragists of New Salem, they begin to pursue the forgotten words and ways that might turn the women's movement into the witch's movement. Stalked by shadows and sickness, hunted by forces who will not suffer a witch to vote-and perhaps not even to live-the sisters will need to delve into the oldest magics, draw new alliances, and heal the bond between them if they want to survive.

There's no such thing as witches. But there will be.

What the community thinks

summary of 468 ratings (see reviews)

Content warnings

Expand filter menu View warnings


adventurous 78%
emotional 65%
dark 55%
hopeful 43%
inspiring 37%
mysterious 34%
tense 26%
challenging 11%
sad 11%
funny 8%
reflective 8%
informative 2%
lighthearted 1%


medium 66%
slow 25%
fast 8%

Strong character development?

Yes: 88% | It's complicated: 6% | No: 3% | N/A: 1%

Loveable characters?

Yes: 73% | It's complicated: 18% | No: 7% | N/A: 0%

Diverse cast of characters?

Yes: 87% | It's complicated: 8% | No: 2% | N/A: 0%

Flaws of characters centre-stage?

Yes: 82% | It's complicated: 9% | No: 5% | N/A: 1%

Average rating