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The Witch's Boy [Kindle Edition]

Alex Beecroft , Andrew Goodbody , Black Hound
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)

Kindle Price: $5.99

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Book Description

Are the sins of the fathers really visited upon the sons? And is there no way of breaking that cycle? Is evil doomed always to repeat itself, ruining everything good through its tainted seed?

These are not the questions young Oswy is asking himself when he is sold to the witch-Lord Sulien FitzGuimar – he’s too busy wondering ‘why me?!’ They are, however, the questions which plague Sulien himself. Locked in a struggle for freedom, sanity, the very survival of his soul, Sulien must daily battle not only angels and demons, but the core of evil in his own heart.

When the King’s vile sorcerer stages a coup, dragging ancient magic, the elves, and the royal court into his Empire-building plans, the woman he has set his sights on as a bride – timid, aspiring nun, Adela – sets out to find someone to oppose him. It’s just unfortunate that the only candidates are cowardly Oswy, Adela herself and Sulien – who, deep in his heart, wants to surrender and join in.

When the hope of redemption is balanced against the lure of revenge, which will prove stronger, flawed good or perfect evil?


Product Details

  • File Size: 719 KB
  • Print Length: 366 pages
  • Publisher: Lotus Brand Press (March 31, 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004USP9P4
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #734,032 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
(8)
4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A dark, gripping story April 30, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition
The Witch's Boy is a dark fantasy. The central character is a child, thrust into a dark world beyond his narrow imagining, and it is important to note that the book does not fall into the typical fallacy of making the child a one-dimensional Chosen One character. Oswy is singled out, yes, because he is a unique child, born with a unique talent. But he is realistically a boy of eleven: foolish, cowardly, sulky, manipulative, and tremendously resilient and adaptible. (You can tell the author is a parent and has closely observed children.) His new mentor, a witch named Sulien, is no kindly grandfatherly-type who dispenses platitudes and tough love: he is a damaged young man, raised by an abusive power-hungry mage who tortured him for his power. He seeks to save and protect Oswy from the horrible fate that befell him, born similarly talented and left unprotected, in the only way he knows how, vicious and terrifying and determinedly ruthless.
A secondary plot concerns a young noblewoman named Adele, recently orphaned and promised in marriage to a repulsive man. Raised in a society where women may not speak for themselves or even show their faces to men, Adele is torn from her sheltered upbringing and thrust into a cruel world where everyone she loves is ripped away from her in unimaginably horrible ways. Her sudden awakening to maturity and bravery is believably drawn and complex; her piety and spiritual devotion are unusually vivid and beautiful.
Now, make no bones about it: this is a dark, dark fantasy. Children are tortured, sexually abused, and murdered, though most of the darkest violence is hinted at off-screen.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A gripping dark fantasy tale May 2, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition
As the story opens, young Oswy is at the mercy of the witch-lord Sulien, a man with a reputation so frightening that he serves as a bogeyman to local children - so surely, a coming-of-age tale with a triumphant escape from the clutches of the evil sorcerer is to be expected? You'd be dead wrong to assume that, or to expect any similarly simplistic patterns in this dark, gripping page-turner. While common literary motives (such as the hapless peasant boy learning he is in fact quite special, or the young noblewoman in danger of being married off to a wicked man) serve as a starting point, Beecroft always has an unexpected twist to offer: The plot is never predictable, but always convincing.

The same is true of the world the story is set in: Based on Norman and Anglo-Saxon culture after the Norman conquest of England (about which the author clearly knows a great deal), it has to offer many original and fascinating details, from the descriptions of society, religion and everyday life over very convincing elves (who aren't the run-of-the-mill sort you might find in any fantasy setting!)right down to eldritch horrors, for make no mistake: This is a dark story that does not shy away from depicting evil, violence and suffering. However, the supernatural aspects aren't the most terrifying by far: While the magical dangers the heroes face feel believable and relevant, it is far more painful to read about the mundane everyday harm human beings do unto others (be it men oppressing women, adults mistreating children, or just superstitious people turning against those who seem "different" and therefore threatening). There is much truth in Beecroft's observations of human behaviour, and so, her story does not only feel authentically medieval, but authentic, full stop.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Fantasy Novel April 25, 2011
By Angela
Format:Kindle Edition
I thoroughly enjoyed this fantasy novel by Ms. Beecroft.
Although the theme is different from Ms. Beecroft's other works, the quality of writing is the same.

The characters and the world they inhabited were described in such a way that I long to read more.
I can only hope that there will be a sequel. I'd love to see Oswy all grown up.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An Unexpected and Pleasing Fantasy April 26, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
How unexpected this novel is! How... alien it is, for fantasy! The elves feel fresh and strange. The tensions between the populations in the fantasy realm are distinct and deep. And the ending remains one of the most satisfying and unexpected endings I've seen in fantasy, and it works. I really like The Witch's Boy: it feels more mythic than standard-fantasy. We should have more like it.
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More About the Author

Alex Beecroft was born in Northern Ireland during the Troubles and grew up in the wild countryside of the Peak District. Alex studied English and Philosophy before accepting employment with the Crown Court where she worked for a number of years. Now a stay-at-home mum and full time author, Alex lives with her husband and two daughters in a little village near Cambridge and tries to avoid being mistaken for a tourist.

Alex is only intermittently present in the real world. She has lead a Saxon shield wall into battle, toiled as a Georgian kitchen maid, and recently taken up an 800 year old form of English folk dance, but she still hasn't learned to operate a mobile phone.

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