Review: The Once and Future Witches by Alix E. Harrow

49504061._sy475_I had heard nothing but goodness about this book, and I loved The Ten Thousand Doors of January, so when given opportunity to read this one early, I leapt at it. 

So, thanks to the author, as well as Orbit via NetGalley for the review copy.

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.

I am terrified and I am terrible. I am fearful and I am something to be feared.

The Once and Future Witches is the story of the Eastwood sisters, Agnes, Juniper, and Bella, who are all brought together one day in New Salem, despite being apart for seven years. Witching was commonplace long ago, but in 1893, it’s nothing but nursery rhymes and bits and bobs. The sisters join the women’s suffrage movement, which before long turns into a kind of witches’ movement, as they and the other women of New Salem fight to bring back the old words and ways.

I loved this book from start to finish, honestly. The only thing that prevented me from reading the entire thing in one sitting was real life getting all up in my reading time. But, I found that drawing it out into several days of reading gave the experience a certain something, like I was savoring it. This doesn’t always happen for me. I consume books as quickly as I can, usually. When it does happen, it is *chef’s kiss*. 

This is a book about sisterhood, and about womanhood. It is angry, and I was here for it. These are three women who have spent much of their lives being beaten down and punished, and they’ve reached the point where they’re just not going to sit down and let it happen anymore. The women we meet at the beginning of this book, and the women they are at the end of the book are radically different. I didn’t love the characters at the beginning, but by the end I loved each of them.

The prose was lovely, and I liked the pacing. There wasn’t always something super exciting going on, but even during the slower parts of the story, I didn’t find my interest waning or my attention wandering. I have all kinds of little quotes and tidbits highlighted. It was all around a really great read. 5/5 stars!


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