The Qwillery | category: The Winter Witch


The Qwillery

A blog about books and other things speculative

Winter Solstice Tour - Review: The Winter Witch by Paula Brackston

The Winter Witch
Author:  Paul Brackston
Publisher:  St. Martin's Griffin, December 24, 2013
Format:  Trade Paperback and eBook, 368 pages
List Price: $15.99 (print)
ISBN:  9781250042705 (print)
Review Copy:  Provided by the Publisher
Previously published in Hardcover

In her small early nineteenth century Welsh town, there is no one quite like Morgana, who has not spoken since she was a young girl. Her silence is a mystery, as well as her magic. Concerned for her safety, her mother is anxious to see her married, and Cai Jenkins, a widower from the far hills, seems the best choice.

After her wedding, Morgana is heartbroken at leaving her mother, and wary of this man, whom she does not know, and who will take her away to begin a new life. But she soon falls in love with Cai’s farm and the wild mountains that surround it. Cai works to understand the beautiful, half-tamed creature he has chosen for a bride, and slowly, he begins to win Morgana’s affections. It’s not long, however, before her strangeness begins to be remarked upon in her new village. A dark force is at work there—a person who will stop at nothing to turn the townspeople against Morgana. Forced to defend her home, her man, and herself, Morgana must learn to harness her power, or she will lose everything.

Qwill's Thoughts:

Set in 1830 Wales, Ms. Brackston populates The Winter Witch with memorable characters, each interesting in their own right, though not all of them likable. The main characters, Morgana and Cai Jenkins, start their marriage as nearly complete strangers. The story focuses on their relationship and their relationship to Cai's (and now Morgana's) home, Ffynnon Las. 

Morgana does not speak but makes herself clear to others through gestures some subtle some not. Her lack of speech, her wildness and her affinity with nature make her the subject of curiosity, then eventually fear by the local people.  Morgana's lack of speech is a struggle at first for Cai. He does not know how to react to her at times. Both Cai and Morgana make mistakes with each other because of this lack of verbal communication. Fortunately Morgana has the help the lovely Mrs. Jones, who is both aunt and housekeeper to Cai.  She helps Morgana settle into her new life in ways that Cai can not.

I really enjoyed watching the relationship between Morgana and Cai develop over the course of the novel. They are both resilient, imperfect characters. The secondary characters are well-developed and catalysts for much of what happens in the novel. Ms. Brackston gives us a detailed view of the lives of the people surrounding Morgana and Cai. This is a novel that is wonderfully researched, but the historical aspects of the novel never bog down the story, but rather enhance and entertain.

The Winter Witch is written in the third person alternating with Morgana's point of view. I don't believe Morgana's character, complexity or struggles would have been so clear had we not gotten to see what she was thinking. The changes in POV are well done and never jarring. Ms. Brackston's storytelling and writing style are captivating.

The Winter Witch by Paula Brackston is replete with lush landscapes, historical detail, magic, and extraordinary characters. There is intrigue, mystery, and murder, but at its heart The Winter Witch is a thoroughly enchanting love story.

About Paula

Red Dog Media
PAULA BRACKSTON is the New York Times bestselling author of The Witch’s Daughter and The Winter Witch. She lives halfway up a Brecon Beacon in Wales with her partner and their two children.

Website  ~  Facebook

Wattpad: Read a free serialized novel - Lamp Black
Polyvore board inspired by The Winter Witch
Read an excerpt of The Winter Witch here.

The VIew From Monday - December 16, 2013

Happy Monday! I hope that everyone had a good weekend. I spent part of the weekend reading The Winter Witch by Paula Brackston, but more on that tomorrow. 

The VIew From Monday - December 16, 2013

It's a light release week with no debuts. Shadowdance (Darkest London 4) by Kristen Callihan is out tomorrow. Kirsten was featured in the 2012 Debut Author Challenge.

December 15, 2013
Singularities: Technoculture, Transhumanism, and Science Fiction in the 21st Century Joshua Raulerson LC - Liverpool Science Fiction Texts & Studies Series 45

December 17, 2013
Open Graves, Open Minds: Representations of Vampires and the Undead from the Enlightenment to the Present Day Samantha George (ed)
Bill Hughes (ed)
Board Stiff Piers Anthony F - Xanth 38
Shadowdance Kristen Callihan PHR - Darkest London 4
Turn Down the Lights Richard Chizmar (ed) H - Anthology
The Hexslinger Omnibus (e) Gemma Files WW - Hexslinger
The Invisible Code Christopher Fowler PM - Peculiar Crimes Unit Mystery 10
Colder than Hell, Evil to Burn, and Streets of Blood Lee Goldberg
William Rabkin
H - The Dead Man 6
When It's A Jar Tom Holt F/Hu
Reaver Larissa Ione PNR - Demonica 10
Bane of Malekith William King F - Warhammer: Tyrion & Teclis 3
Prospero Regained (h2tp) L. Jagi Lamplighter F - Prospero's Daughter 3
Sketcher in the Rye (e) Sharon Pape PCM -  Portrait of Crime Mystery 4
Dragon Awakened Jaime Rush PNR - Hidden 1
Rise Again Below Zero Ben Tripp Z  - Rise Again 2

December 18, 2013
Lady into Fox (ri) David Garnett FT

e - eBook
h2tp - Hardcover to Trade Paperback
ri - reprint or reissue

F - Fantasy
FT - Fairy Tale
H - Horror
Hu - Humor
LC - Literary Criticism
PCM - Paranormal Cozy Mystery
PHR - Paranormal Historical Romance
PM - Paranormal Mystery
PNR - Paranormal Romance
Z - Zombies
Winter Solstice Tour - Review: The Winter Witch by Paula Brackston The VIew From Monday - December 16, 2013

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