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The Once and Future Witches by Alix E. Harrow

The Once and Future Witches by Alix E. Harrow is an adult science fiction/fantasy novel about women, witches and never giving in.

The year is 1893 and witches are only a memory. Their spells are relegated to myth and nursery rhyme, or the small womanly spells passed from mother to daughter. Today, the suffragettes fight for the vote and women's rights. And even they are taken very seriously.

That is, until the Eastwood sisters, James Juniper, Agnes Amaranth, and Beatrice Belladonna, find each other beneath a mythical tower, right in the middle of New Salem; a tower that is there and gone in the blink of an eye.

As the sisters begin to search for the forgotten words and ways of their ancestors, they find that the women's movement might just become the witch's movement. But a powerful force waits in the shadows and it will take the will of all to beat back the hate and pave the way for the age of the witch to arrive.

I have to say, I wasn't sure if I was going to get into this book, but I am glad I did. For those who want to read into it, The Once and Future Witches has layer upon layer, upon layer. Once can merely do a surface read and enjoy the story OR examine it closer for the onion that it is.

My main and only criticisms lie with... what I saw to be an imbalance of narration. The author was obviously more invested in Bella's story than the other sisters. Now, I don't mind an unbalanced narrative, but this was obviously so. Maybe I'm just bias because Agnes was my favorite Eastwood!

One thing I noticed while I was reading, which I was floored was actually done so well, was that there were so many literary references; references to poems and childhood rhymes, all tweaked to highlight women. Some of the characters were woman instead of men or the female "villains" were more than they are usually portrayed. I was determined, however, to get annoyed with the timeline of this book. I was SURE that some of the references weren't written until after the story's timeline took place and every time I checked, I was wrong. Bravo author!

Overall, this was a great read and really well written. This one gets a high 4.5 stars from me.

That's all for now!


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