A review by kaybethbookish
The Once and Future Witches, by Alix E. Harrow


Thank you for Netgalley for the ARC copy of this book. All opinions are my own and completely honest. .

Stories featuring bickering/distant families isn’t exactly new or rare, but it is unusual to find one where all of the main characters have not been speaking and are borderline hostile towards one another. Even as they spend the book repairing their bonds and unravelling the secrets that pulled them apart to begin with, there’s still an undertone of distrust and uncertainty between them, a fragility to the healing that could break with the slightest misstep.

Our three heroines are backed by a diverse range of supporting characters, from animal familiars, to a crime boss who can't help but fall hopelessly in love with the bold-as-brass Agnes when she comes sweeping into his life unannounced. Foes who aren't foes, and friends who aren't friends, mixed in with twists and turns I wasn't expecting.

I loved the way magic worked, with spells being incorporated into common nursery rhymes and fairytale characters being real and manifesting in surprising ways. Everything about this story was enchanting and I was hooked from the first page until the very last word.

In Harrow's previous book, The Ten Thousand Doors of January, I grew frustrated with the over-use of metaphors and smilies, but in this story she has toned it way back and focused more on the characters and telling things as they are, which creates a much stronger piece of work with a stronger atmosphere.

This is one of my favourite reads of the year and I can't wait to get a physical copy when the book is released!