#review The Witch’s Daughter, by Paula Brackston

MY REVIEW, 4 stars:

The Witch’s Daughter was a bit of a slow burn for me, but the story line was fantastic. Bess had a rough start at life, her childhood was like no other I’ve read before. She was born a few centuries ago, well before modern medicine and her mother was a healer. Bess often joined her to house calls and had to assist in tasks that are most certainly not for the squeamish or faint of heart. She didn’t know of her mother’s gifts, nor did the community, not until tragedy struck by means of the plague. The sickness took many lives including Bess’ father and siblings. When she herself began showing signs, her mother stepped up and saved her, knowing full well the consequences that would accompany the decision.

You see, this was a time when women were pursued for witchcraft, tried and hung. It’s a well known time in history when thousands of women died by the hand of their village members. When Sarah and Bess survived the Plague, despite the black mark of death on their home, people began to question what kind of dark magic was involved. What happened at Sarah’s trial made my jaw drop!! This is when the story really picked up! Bess’ mom was hung, and her dying wish was whispered to Bess. She instrucked her daughter to survive, and sent her to a vial man who Bess had witnessed first hand his rape of another girl. Bess complied, and did what her mother asked of her before she hung by the neck until dead. Turns out this man, Gideon, was a warlock. He was indeed an evil man, and he taught Bess the craft in exchange for her hand. A union that would have brought the strongest of black magic to being. Bess had a good heart, and pure intentions. Therefore, her plans didn’t quite line up with his.

She came into her powers, and learned of the craft well. Well enough that she was able to escape the warlock’s clutches and flee the village.

From here the story changes throughout time. Bess goes by several aliases over the centuries. She lives in different places. She loves, and endures intense tragedies. Gideon’s trickery gets the best of her a few times as he finds her in different places in time, yet she fights him off as best as she can. In 2007 Bess meets a young girl that she deems a worthy predecessor. She teaches the girl the craft, and together they charge forward into the dangers of this Warlock’s magic. I loved the ending!!  All in all it was a great story that was very well written! 4 stars for me, as it moved a bit slow for my liking.

DESCRIPTION:

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, Paula Brackston’s New York Times bestseller, 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.

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