Monday, 4 January 2016

The Witch's Daughter

The Witch’s Daughter by Paula Brackston (Shadow Chronicles Book 2)
Published by Corsair
5th December 2013
Paperback Edition

In the spring of 1628, young Bess Hawksmith watches her mother's body swing limp from the Hanging Tree. She knows that only one man can save her from the same fate - Gideon Masters, the Warlock. She knows, too, that his help comes at a steep price.

In present-day England, Elizabeth has built a quiet life for herself. She has spent the centuries in solitude, moving from place to place, surviving plagues, wars and the heartbreak that comes with immortality. Her loneliness comes to an abrupt end when she is befriended by a teenage girl called Tegan. Against her better judgment, Elizabeth opens her heart to Tegan and begins teaching her the ways of the Hedge Witch.

But Gideon is hunting her still. He will stop at nothing, determined even after centuries to claim her soul. And now, Bess is not fighting to save herself alone: now, she must protect the girl she has grown to love like a daughter.

This is the first of the Shadow Chronicles books written by Paula Brackston.  The most recent, The Silver Witch you can find reviewed here.  Paula’s books are always set in different time frames, that of the current day, and a chosen period of time set firmly in the past.  The Witch’s Daughter actually sweeps through history, as our main character Bess, is over 300 years old, so the book moves through the post-Tudor period, right up until that of the First World War.  Bess is a witch, but one that has chosen to remain hidden and keep her skills underwraps so that Gideon, her nemesis from the 1600s cannot find her, for try as she might, she cannot seem to escape from his clutches, and of his desire to bind them together forever.

Starting a new life in Wales, Elizabeth, as she now calls herself, meets Tegan, a lonely and inquisitive teenage girl.  Tegan is left mostly to her own devices and begins to call on Elizabeth with increasing frequency.  Elizabeth finds herself becoming attached to Tegan and a friendship begins to blossom between them. Soon Elizabeth finds herself wanting to tell Tegan the truth about who she really is, and the past that she has kept hidden from so many for so long.  Though as we all know, by doing this, it can only lead to disaster, and the risk of Gideon being able to track her down once more.

I loved the way that Paula Brackston weaves her tales together.  The past and the present flow and there is none of the disjointedness that you sometimes get with books set in different time zones.  There is plenty of tension throughout the book and I flew through the pages.  The best part is that the sequel, The Return of the Witch comes out in March, and I’ve already got a copy to review!

Happy Reading

Miss Chapter x

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