Updated: Nov 18, 2020
Publisher/date: Redhook (April 7, 2020)
Genre: Historical Fantasy Fiction
Rating: T (there is mild violence and witchery, but nothing of a graphic nature.)
"She might not be a witch-indeed, she was not sure precisely what a witch was-but she was not nothing."
In Gilded Age New York, a centuries-long clash between two branches of the same magical family ignites when a young witch must choose between morality and ambition, as her predecessors before her have.
In 1692, Bridget Bishop was hanged as a witch. Two hundred years later, her legacy lives on in the scions of two very different lines: one dedicated to using their powers to heal and help women in need; the other, determined to grasp power for themselves by whatever means necessary.
This clash will play out in the fate of Annis, a young woman in Gilded Age New York who finds herself a pawn in the family struggle for supremacy. She'll need to claim her own power to save herself-and resist succumbing to the darkness that threatens to overcome them all.
Let me start out by saying that historical novels, despite my adoration of Austen and Bronte, are not my particular forte. Give me the future, or an entirely different fantasy world any day of the week. But this book was like Austen decided to write a witchy book. And I loved it!
First - the plot. I was hanging on every word. Just enough suspense and hope to keep the story moving, while still doing an absolute bang-up job of building some truly amazing and interesting characters. I adored our heroin. I admired her aunt/teacher. I hated, but also felt sorry for, the villain. And the love interest? Absolutely perfect and fun.
Basically Annis doesn't know she's a witch, or that her step mother is one too, and has been trying to spell, ensorcel, and manipulate her way as far up the social ladder as possible. And Annis, as a young girl with fortune in want of a husband, is just another pawn in her climb.
Do you like Jane Austen? Do you like witchy books in the more realistic style (not wands and apperating but more the Salem style potions and spells?) If you answered yes, pick up this book, I promise you'll love it! I only find myself wishing there were a sequel.
4 stars, I'll be looking for more by Louisa Morgan.