The Once and Future Witches by Alix E. Harrow – A Review

Hi! How are you? I thought after a downer of the last review (which was for Addie LaRue), I’ll post one I absolutely loved – just to balance it out. So here it is – The Once and Future Witches by Alix E. Harrow – a book that has been out for nearly a month and is not getting the praise it deserves!

The Once and Future Witches by Alix E. Harrow
  • Publication date: October 13th 2020
  • Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group Limited
  • Genre: Historical fantasy

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.

Alix E. Harrow did it again! And now I’m forever convinced I will read everything she ever writes, although I was quite sure of that after reading her debut novel.

The Once and Future Witches had me enchanted from the first page. Set in the late 1800s at the brink of the suffragette movement, it’s a story of three estranged sisters, Agnes, Bella and Juniper, who are brought back together in strange circumstances. It’s a beautiful, atmospheric and feminist tale of sisterly bonds, witchery and women’s rights.

Harrow’s writing is impeccable. It’s just the right amount of flowery, without being lofty and overdone. Considering it’s only her second book, it’s very impressive as she seems to have found her style and voice already.

I love all three sisters equally. It’s not often I get attached to every character in the story, I usually have my favourites, but it’s really hard to pick a favourite out of Agnes, Bella and Juniper. All three sisters are vastly different and fascinating in their own way. Most of the secondary characters are female, too, and together they make for a greatly diverse and strong ensemble.

Give me anything witchy and I’ll read it. I have a soft spot for magic of any kind and witchy stories. The Once and Future Witches is so much more, though. It’s about women who are fed up of being silenced, objectified, judged, harassed… you name it. It’s feminist in the best way – inclusive of ALL, no matter their race, sexuality or biological sex (although Harrow acknowledges how it was perceived in the past, and for some until this day). The family dynamics and sisterly bond between the three protagonists was just the cherry on top.

I don’t understand why so many people are sleeping on this book. I deserves more hype – it’s absolutely fantastic. All the stars for The Once and Future Witches!!!

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Have you read The Once and Future Witches yet? Is it on your radar? If not, you definitely should pick it up – trust me!

As always, thank you for reading!

October 2020 TBR

Hi, lovelies! Posting two days in a row and NOT for a tour this time?! Who is that girl, because I know it ain’t the old Zaneta.

So, I’ve kind of retired TBRs early this year to “mood” read whatever I felt like and not pressure myself, and while that worked for a while, I found myself receiving more review copies and joining multiple tours and having to plan half of my monthly reading anyway. That felt a bit too chaotic to me, I like to be organised. Hence this post. I’m bringing back the TBRs! It might be a bit too ambitious but we’ll see.

First of all, I have some arcs.

You’ve seen these on my list of most anticipated releases. The Reckless Afterlife of Harriet Stoker already came out, but I didn’t get a chance to finish it and am hoping to do so in October. The Once and Future Witches is coming out on the 13th, and Addie LaRue, which I got approved for TODAY is out in a week time. I will be trying to focus on these 3 at the start of the month.

I’ve decided to get to books that have been on my shelf for a while, also, as I feel I’ve been neglecting them for long enough.

I’ve a dark retelling, which if I’ve to judge by Henry’s other book I read – Lost Boy – I’m going to thoroughly enjoy, Haunted, which is a collection of scary short stories and… The Guinevere Deception which I know doesn’t much fit the season but the second book in this series is out in November and I just really want to get to it.

I will also be picking up some audiobooks.

I’ll be getting these from my library, even though I own Gone Girl physically. I’m in the mood for thrillers and really enjoyed the movie when I watched it, so I wanna give the book a try. As for My Name is Monster… I don’t know much about it at all, but I heard it described as weird and that sounds right up my alley.

These are all the books I’ve put on my TBR so far. I don’t want to overdo it again, and let’s face it, I haven’t been able to read more than 6 books a month in a while, so I’ll leave it at that. I might pick up more audiobooks, depending on my shifts at work.

Do you see any of your favourites here? How big is your TBR? Let me know down below.

Thank you for reading! I’ll be back tomorrow with a September wrap up!