Bookish Discussions

The King’s Witch: The Best Witchy Novel Yet?

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Noted historian, Tracy Borman, tried her hand at fiction, writing and publishing The King’s Witch, a first in a trilogy. It follows Frances Gorges, a natural herb healer, who tended Queen Elizabeth on her death bed. Now, in King James’ court, she is a marked woman for witchcraft. Her situation grows even more complicated when she meets the mysterious Tom Wintour, who has his own agenda. Can she trust him? Is he all that he seems?

I’ve never heard anyone talk about this book before. I only stumbled across it by chance when I was browsing the book aisle in my local Sainsbury’s. Something told me I couldn’t leave the shop without buying it, and I’m glad that I did, as it’s quickly become a new favourite of mine. It combines my love for historical fiction, the monarchy and witchery all into one.

I’ve never read any of Borman’s non-fiction, although I have Witches, a tale of Scandal, Sorcery and Seduction sitting on my shelves waiting to be read in preparation for my dissertation, but I’m eager to snap up all her other books. Being a historian has worked well in Borman’s favour, as she has managed to blend together a nice balance of history and fiction. It feels deeply authentic, both to the time period and to Borman herself. I’ve learnt a great deal from this book, but I’ve also had *such* a great time with it.

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Bookish Discussions

Shea Ernshaw’s The Wicked Deep:

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Shea Ernshaw manages to create a haunting and chilling story of three women seeking revenge in The Wicked Deep. Two centuries ago, in the cursed town of Sparrow, three sisters were sentenced to death for witchery. Drowned in the harbour. Now, for a brief time each summer, the sisters return from the depths of the water, stealing the bodies of three weak-hearted girls and luring boys into the water. Penny Talbot has accepted the fate of the town. But this year, Bo arrives in town, and Penny is forced to choose between saving him or herself.

Ernshaw is well versed in creating an atmospheric story, let me tell you that. The writing was so enchanting, the imagery so lively, and the characters so full. I was automatically wrapped up in the story, desperate to know how the story would play out – what boy would be stolen next? Which girl was being harboured by the witches? It was the perfect length for this story, and the typical YA writing-style really suited the tone and mood of the book.

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Bookish Discussions

Re-Visiting The Boy Who Lived #1

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Reading slumps rarely hit me but, when they do, they last for months. I, of course, wanted to avoid this like the plague, so I picked up an old favourite: the Harry Potter series. Despite J.K. Rowling’s problematic views and behaviour, both politically and with regards to the wizarding world, I can’t help but love this series. It’s been a constant in my life, beginning with the movie adaptations and then the books (yes, I did it in reverse). I was late to reading the series, starting and finishing them in June to July 2014 but I sped through them in a month, soaking up this remarkable story. Harry Potter is just *very* magical to me.

Although I adore the series, I’m also very vocal about how much I dislike certain parts of the story or how idiotic Rowling’s constant milking of the series is. I can enjoy it but I can also be critical of it too. My biggest issue in The Philosopher’s Stone is Dumbledore. He is a character that perpetually irritates me (you’ll have to wait for reviews of the later books before I start bashing Snape). Dumbledore knew, full well, that Harry, Ron and Hermione would go looking for the stone – he said it himself. Instead of going with them, or, you know, instead of staying at Hogwarts in order to be there just in case, he leaves for a meeting in London.

Let’s unpick this, shall we?

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