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Showing 1-10 of 778 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 906 reviews
on March 26, 2013
If you're looking for your normal paranormal romance novel, The Witch's Daughter isn't it. Or at least it's not written in the formulaic manner that myself and other readers of witch, vampire, werewolf, etc. novels have come to recognize. At first the format of jumping from a first person journal to the historic backstory of our heroine threw me.
Normally I dive into a novel and have a hard time putting the Kindle down until I'm done, but this one took me a little while to get into. It was worth the time. I found myself drawn into both the history of Elizabeth and wanting more at the end of the book, always a sign it was a good read. I'm happy to see that the door was left open for further adventures in the world of Elizabeth and Tegan.
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on February 3, 2014
I have always loved historical fiction and have always been fascinated by witches ( I spent a good deal of time as a child hoping I would one day discover I was, in fact, a witch. And I admit I still sometimes hope it might be true despite being almost 40! This may also explain my love of cats since birth!). Paula Brackston take two of my favorite things and puts them together with mastery. I loved the back and forth between the past and present day life of Bess, the main character. I loved the use of actual historical events in the different time periods and felt they were very well researched. I have always been interested in the persecution of women who were believed to be witches and have read many history books on the subject and clearly Ms.Brackston has as well. You really feel the fear, confusion and the desperate way so many people were willing to blame women who had helped them in the past with early forms of herbal medicine but couldn't help them cure everything. I could go on and on about how well written this book is and how much you will become attached to the characters, both good and bad. I didn't want it to end and am so delighted that Paula Brackston has more to offer. I hope she continues to entertain with new characters and stories for many years to come!
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on May 10, 2016
What a book! This is a terrific tale and one you will remember: and one that you will take with you. I'm reading my way through this entire collection, and I love it! You will love Elizabeth, she is a heroine that will stay with you. Her courage, her honesty, and the moral strength she demonstrates time and time again, regardless of provocation: is just incredible. Beautifully, written.........this book is a treasure. I love "The Witch's Daughter." When I've finished with this collection will I fall into a Book Hole?
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on January 4, 2014
The Witch's Daughter isn't some epic fairy tale told over many lifetimes. It's not a drama-filled, romance story that will twist your heart in knots. But it will still leave you a little bit breathless.

Elizabeth is just a girl when she loses her father, brother, and little sister to the plague. When she becomes sick, her mother does what any mother in her situation would do; save her last remaining child's life through any means necessary. She goes to Gideon and it is his teaching ways and power that saves Elizabeth's life, but at a huge cost. It is this action that starts Elizabeth on her journey through time, always looking over her shoulder for the one who wants to own her, yet trying to build a life wherever she can.

The book is told through two perspectives: the journal entries in The Book of Shadows and as Elizabeth telling Teagan stories. This isn't distracting at all and only makes the story more inviting, in my opinion. The Book of Shadows is written in the present time. It talks of Elizabeth's life now and her interactions with Teagan. She is teaching Teagan the ways of the hedge witch and in doing so, allows herself to feel for another person; something she hasn't done in many, many years.

The rest of the novel is about Elizabeth's many lives, from treating prostitutes in Jack the Ripper's London to the war front of World War I. She is helping as many people as she can wherever she lives, trying to stay out of Gideon's path, trying to save herself from becoming his. She tries to avoid magic whenever she can, as using her magic calls Gideon to her.

It is a special kind of heartbreaking to see Elizabeth go through so many lives, trying to not form attachments, yet yearning to find someone to love her. She knows any bonds she forms will be broken when the other person dies, but solitary life isn't good for anyone and Elizabeth's heartbreak hurt to read.

The ending of the novel is exactly what I wanted, and yet I wish there was just a little bit more. Not because the novel needed more, but because I wanted to know more.

The Witch's Daughter isn't a romance. It isn't an action novel. It isn't a drama. It's a historical fiction novel that has a little bit of everything. I'm glad I decided to pick this book up and look forward to reading more from Brackston.
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on June 29, 2016
Fantastic series! Awesome covers, brilliantly written, excellently detailed, a page turner, a must have series.
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on February 6, 2013
The Witch's Daughter by Paula Brackston is a magical and mysterious piece of historical fiction.

The book takes the reader through a lifetime of events not often experienced by one person. In my Saturday Morning Summary I indicated the book was moving a little slow for me, and it was. However, like most great books, a turning point emerges and it becomes impossible to put the book down. I found myself digesting a large cup of coffee last night to be absolutely sure I could stay awake to finish the book, I needed to know what was going happen; if my predictions were right. (And, yes, they were but that made the ending no less dramatic and satisfying).

Isn't this a fantastic book jacket!!

Elizabeth Hawksmith is a witch. She finds herself in this predicament at the dying request of her mother, Anne Hawksmith. Anne was a mid-wife and healer during the Salem Witch Trials in the 1600's. Being a woman that used natural remedies to ease the ailments of her patients, she was a natural fit for the charge of witchery. During her time on this earth, her family suffered at the hands of a deadly plague and Anne, down to her last living child, made the ultimate sacrifice to save her - she made a deal with the "proverbial" devil, Gideon. The name Gideon in terms of the Bible and history means "destroyer." In the Bible, Gideon is not an evil man per-say, but he is a mighty warrior and I believe our author here uses his name to help the reader understand the concept of ultimate destruction. Enter Elizabeth Hawksmith's bond to life of a wiccan way upon the charge and death of her mother by a witch hunter. With no one else left, Elizabeth must lean on Gideon to learn the craft for which her mother sacrificed and perish. The desire to survive is strong and she gives herself over to the craft.

(Pause for thoughts: At this point in the novel I thought Okay - it's The Crucible retold with a twist. Oh, but how wrong I was.)

Elizabeth Hawksmith goes on in her life weaving a compelling tell back and forth between present time and events past. She allows herself moments of weakness and of strength in an ever frantic struggle to outrun Gideon in his quest to find her and take her as his wife. You see, when Elizabeth accepted the craft, Gideon marked her as his bride, but she could not be swayed by the evil side of witchery; she possessed too much light. In the strength of being The Witch's Daughter, Elizabeth Hawksmith seeks to find a way to overcome.

Brackston does an excellent job knitting together the history of each time period Elizabeth Hawksmith inhabits. We see the cruelty of the Salem Witch Trails, the terror of Jack the Ripper, and the gore of a violent and bloody war. Each transition is skillfully marked through the concept of story telling to a young girl named Tegan of which Elizabeth has found herself fond. The love story presented her begins with a mother who would do anything to save the life of her child, and ends with much of the same idea. I appreciate this type of love being highlighted in literature, the love of a parent and child, the love of an adult willing to risk themselves to save the next generation.

The witchcraft presented within is believable and sound. There is nothing that tugs at the notion of "too much" and when I read books written with such detail and research in a questionable craft, I find myself wanting it to be true. I'm a robe and a wand (and kicky witch's shoes) away from seeking out my inner ability to perform magic.

I bestow upon this book with my magic wand 4 out 5 stars. The four is not a reflection of plot or character, but of some details I found to be tedious to read. While I appreciate understanding all the setting elements, I thought sometimes the color of the wall-paper irrelevant to share, but who am I to judge? :-)

From her website: Paula Brackston lives in a wild, mountainous part of Wales. She has an MA in Creative Writing from Lancaster University, and is a Visiting Lecturer for the University of Wales, Newport. Before becoming a writer, Paula tried her hand at various career paths, with mixed success. These included working as a groom on a racing yard, as a travel agent, a secretary, an English teacher, and a goat herder. Everyone involved (particularly the goats) is very relieved that she has now found a job she is actually able to do properly.

When not hunched over her keyboard in her tiny office under the stairs, Paula is dragged outside by her children to play Swedish tennis on the vertiginous slopes which surround them. She also enjoys being walked by the dog, hacking through weeds in the vegetable patch, or sitting by the pond with a glass of wine. Most of the inspiration for her writing comes from stomping about on the mountains being serenaded by skylarks and buzzards.

In 2007 Paula was short listed in the Creme de la Crime search for new writers. In 2010 her book 'Nutters' (writing as PJ Davy) was short listed for the Mind Book Award, and she was selected by the BBC under their New Welsh Writers scheme.

Ms. Brackston has several other books, including a new book entitled The Winter Witch. I've already put this book on my wish list for a future read.

If you'd like to learn more about Paula Brackston and her writing, visit her website at [...]
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on April 30, 2013
I like books about witches, especially when there's a little romance going on that's not quite acceptable by common society, so when I was looking for the sequel to the Deborah Harkness witch/vampire book (Shadow of Night), I came across this one on Prime and decided to try it.

I enjoyed the writing style for the most part (Brackston attempts to use historical vernacular depending upon the time period the main character is in, so you get to read the word "mebbin" several times, causing me to ponder how many times we would normally use the word "maybe" in regular speech), and I thought her details in each period were well done and interesting.

The main two characters are a witch, Bess, and a warlock, Gideon (who doesn't like that term), and it *almost* works as a romance, but he's not quite endearing enough, always interrupts Bess's attempts at relationships, and is a bit too far on the icky-Devil side to find attractive. There are themes that travel throughout the story, and this is where it felt like Brackston didn't trust her readers to be smart enough to follow along, as she kept telling us what we already knew, every single time. Yes, we know the song must be Greensleeves; yes, we're already guessing that guy must be Gideon, and we're just waiting for you to let your main character in on it.

Not the smartest read, but certainly entertaining and engaging. The end was disappointing (largely due to the shift in voice), but it did leave an opening to a sequel, which is not an unwelcome suggestion.
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on March 29, 2016
I love this story.I have hesitated to buy the sequel due to price. If I am going to pay that much for a book I want a real one not an ebook. Unfortunately Amazon does not provide a folder system for people to sort their ebooks into so they can keep them without having them show up on their current list., hopefully someday. I will keep watch for the sequel to go on sale. I am eager to continue the saga.
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on March 17, 2017
Very well written fictional story that incorporates a story of a whirlwind romance that swells with danger and suspense twisting a sweet friendship and of course magic into the mix!
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VINE VOICEon January 22, 2013
I read the author's second novel first, and I loved it so much that I immediately downloaded her first novel. This was a very ambitious for a first novel, a novel that starts out in the 1600's, jumps to the 1800's and early 1900's with the first Great War and concludes in either the late 20th century or 21st century. I really liked that the author used the language that a middle-class family would have used in the 1600's. Many authors have their characters use modern speech and words that were not known until hundreds of years later.

This is a novel about the power of love and the sacrifices that we make for those that we love. Seventeenth century England was a difficult time, any little difference could mean that you could be singled out and the charge of witchcraft sealing your fate. The Hawksimth are a very close and loving family and they all love the youngest child Margaret. As the fall season wanes, the family is busy doing the things they must to survive through the long, cold winter. Then the other dread of the Middle Ages strikes, the plague and soon everyone except, Anne the mother is ill. Bess helps her mother nurse everyone until she too becomes ill. Anne Hawksmith comes from a long line of women who have the knowledge and gift for healing; they also have the gift of magic. To save her last remaining family member, Bess from dying as the rest she turns to Gideon Masters, who introduces her to the dark part of the craft and she uses it to save Bess. Others on the village have lost all their children and when Bess survives after being so ill she is accused of witchcraft and hanged. Anne tells Bess that once she is dead she must go to Gideon because the villagers will soon want her to suffer the same fate as her mother. Bess has never liked Gideon, she has never trusted him but Anne knows that he is the only person that can save her from the mob. Bess know that her mother could save herself if she used witchcraft, but she refuses because she knows that she could not keep both of them safe if she did. She tells Bess that she did not save her from death to let her die now and that she must live so that her sacrifices would not have been in vain. Anne could not have foreseen the consequences that would occur when she sent her daughter to Gideon Masters for protection. Once she accepts Gideon's help she becomes immortal and he is determined, that she will be his mate; their powers will make them invincible. Bess is repulsed when she realizes how truly evil he is and she spend the next several hundred years running and hiding hoping that he will leave her alone. She doesn't use magic, knowing that by doing so she would make it easy for Gideon to find her. After many losses, she has come to terms with her solitary life, until he meets a young girl who shows the promise of having the gift. She starts to instruct her and comes to love her very much.

One of the things I like most is that the author tied up all the loose ends and still left a possibility of a sequel in the future if she wishes. Too many of today's writers leaves readers in suspense for one or two years until the next book in the series in out, but both of Ms. Brackston's novels have ended without any questions left unanswered. I like the historical flavor, the settings that she has used and her subject matter and I look forward to reading her next book. Unlike so many of today's books, this is one that I will read again.
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