Review: The Witch’s Daughter by Paula Brackston

8694522Title: The Witch’s Daughter

Series: The Witch’s Daughter, #1

Author: Paula Brackston

Publication Date: January 31, 2012

Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin

Genre: Historical Fiction, Fantasy

Goodreads Synopsis:

My name is Elizabeth Anne Hawksmith, and my age is three hundred and eighty-four years. Each new settlement asks for a new journal, and so this Book of Shadows begins.

In the spring of 1628, the Witchfinder of Wessex finds himself a true Witch. As Bess Hawksmith watches her mother swing from the Hanging Tree she knows that only one man can save her from the same fate at the hands of the panicked mob: the Warlock Gideon Masters, and his Book of Shadows. Secluded at his cottage in the woods, Gideon instructs Bess in the Craft, awakening formidable powers she didn’t know she had and making her immortal. She couldn’t have foreseen that even now, centuries later, he would be hunting her across time, determined to claim payment for saving her life.

In present-day England, Elizabeth has built a quiet life for herself, tending her garden and selling herbs and oils at the local farmers’ market. But her solitude abruptly ends when a teenage girl called Tegan starts hanging around. Against her better judgment, Elizabeth begins teaching Tegan the ways of the Hedge Witch, in the process awakening memories–and demons—long thought forgotten.

Part historical romance, part modern fantasy, The Witch’s Daughter is a fresh, compelling take on the magical, yet dangerous world of Witches.Readers will long remember the fiercely independent heroine who survives plagues, wars, and the heartbreak that comes with immortality to remain true to herself, and protect the protégé she comes to love.

4 / 5 Stars

The Witch’s Daughter is a historical tale of witchcraft. It begins in 1628, and follows young Elizabeth “Bess” Hawksmith as she’s thrown into a life of magic. Bess watches as her mother is persecuted for witchcraft. Bess must then make the hardest decision of her life: embrace the evil that killed her mother or die at the hands of her mother’s persecutors. Bess chooses to follow her mother’s wishes and turns to warlock Gideon Masters and his Book of Shadows for help.

The story then jumps time to the year 2007. The magic that saved Elizabeth all those years ago has kept her young. She’s just arrived in a new town and has met a young woman, Tegan. Tegan is interested in learning magic from her. Elizabeth journals her experiences with Tegan in her very own Book of Shadows.

The story continues to alternate back and forth in time to show the reader Elizabeth’s experiences with magic and why she’s trying to avoid Gideon, the man who “saved” her.

I really enjoyed reading The Witch’s Daughter.  The first chapter was dramatic and intense and drew me into the story. I loved the historical setting of the witch hunting days and I wanted to know what was going to happen to Bess. My favorite parts of the story were all the flashbacks of Bess’ experiences in the past.

I have to admit, I wasn’t as excited to read the story when it would switch to 2007 and Elizabeth’s journal entries. I found the journal entries to be less fun to read than the stories of her past. Being told what happened was not as interesting as seeing it all unfold. I think the story would have been better if her experiences in 2007 weren’t journal entries.

Even though I didn’t love the journal entries, I did like the plot of The Witch’s Daughter. It was filled with just the right amount of history and magic. I would definitely recommend this book to readers who enjoy a good witch story. I am looking forward to reading the next book in the series, The Return of the Witch.

**I received a paperback copy of The Witch’s Daughter from St. Martin’s Griffin and Goodreads First Reads in exchange for an honest review.


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