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The Witch's Boy by [Beecroft, Alex]
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The Witch's Boy Kindle Edition

4.3 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Length: 366 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Product Details

  • File Size: 916 KB
  • Print Length: 366 pages
  • Publisher: Lotus Brand Press (March 31, 2011)
  • Publication Date: March 31, 2011
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004USP9P4
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #462,577 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I have purchased the first edition of this book in paperback. I was told that the new version does not have any major changes so I did not buy the ebook.

This was my first book by Alex Beecroft and I did enjoy it when I read it the first time, so much that I bought almost every book she wrote ever since :).

Do not get me wrong, I do agree that this IS well written fantasy, but the reason why I am giving it the three stars instead of five is because I was unpleasantly surprised as to how very preachy the story felt to me in its religious angle.

Basically the message I got from the story is that Pagans are terrible and Christians are awesome and Witches need to be saved by Christians. I am not a Pagan and I am not a Christian, but as much as I love when book plays with the religious themes in the interesting ways, this is the angle I do not care for. This is obviously just my interpretation of the book.
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Alex Beecroft was a favorite author of mine already, but in the Witch's Boy she blew me away. This is a rich, deep, and rewarding story in the finest tradition of Christian fantasy. Her writing is beautiful and she handles the story's powerful themes with nuance and courage. Some smart publisher should snap it up for mainstream publication... and then get Beecroft to write a sequel!
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