- File Size: 1397 KB
- Print Length: 465 pages
- Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books; First edition (January 18, 2011)
- Publication Date: January 18, 2011
- Sold by: Macmillan
- Language: English
- ASIN: B004477WN8
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Not Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #51,644 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customers who bought this item also bought
“Lushly written with a fascinating premise and an enthralling heroine, The Witch’s Daughter will linger long in memory after the last page has been savored. Highly recommended.” -- Sara Poole, author of The Borgia Betrayal
"This pleasantly romantic historical fantasy debut flips lightly between the past experiences of ageless witch Elizabeth Anne Hawksmith and her present-day life in Matravers, England... Bess's adventures are fascinating." --Publishers Weekly
“With her first novel, author Paula Brackston conjures up a riveting tale of sorcery and time travel. By mixing feminine heroism with masculine might, Brackston successfully captivates readers with characters Bess, an immortal witch, and sinister dark lord, Gideon…. It's almost impossible not to root for the underdog in this magical twist on the classic David vs. Goliath tale. Plus, the skill with which Brackston weaves her characters through time makes this book a fascinating take on global history.” –Marie Claire
“Stretching her tale over several centuries, British-based Brackston brings energy as well as commercial savvy to her saga of innocence and the dark arts…. History, time travel and fantasy combine in a solidly readable entertainment.” --Kirkus
About the Author
PAULA BRACKSTON was selected as one of the BBC's New Welsh Writers in 2010. She lives in Wales with her family, where she is working on her new novel.--This text refers to the paperback edition.
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The story has pretty big holes in it, I found. The bad guy is called a warlock - but only at the end - when it just sort of spills out how "witches made by warlocks are always cursed". What's this? We've been given no other information about other witches, if they're born or made, and that's part of the problem here. Nothing is really explained beyond a sort of "here's this bad guy who's really a satanist and he turns this poor stupid girl into an immortal he feels he owns and so he pursues her down through the ages". Which, honestly, is a bit stupid. Hundreds of years and he he hasn't managed to catch her or given up? A witch with intuition and everything but yet time after time she allows him to be right next to her for days, weeks, months, without seeing it?
Maybe there are rules we aren't given? Maybe she has to go willingly? He does spend an awful long (agonizing) time repeating to her that she really wants it, that it gives her the best feeling, blah blah blah. Bit like the abuser telling his victim it wasn't rape because she secretly wanted it. Pretty gross.
And oh the end! Lame, lame, lame.
And Tegan? The "daughter she never had". It just all seems so desperate. Instead of liking or admiring the main character I'm left feeling she's stupid and should never have survived.
So, all in all, I don't recommend reading this book and I certainly won't be picking up the second one. The writing is rather plain. The "present time" of 2007 is really just journal entries so rather plain and practical information. The "flash backs" attempt a different voice which mainly I just found irritating after a while. Each flashback should have just been called "Bess gets dumber".
Oh, and he's Jack the Ripper, too. I sprained my eyeballs rolling them at that point.
Bess's hijinks span from the present day back into the dark days of the witch hunts of the 17th century. However, even after repeated identity reinventions, that allow her to keep her youth and beauty, Bess is beleaguered by bad judgement and over optimism when she convinces herself that again her nemesis has not again found her out, or disguised himself as someone close to her. Sadly, she falls into the same trap over and over again thinking that for once she will be able to satisfy her need to heal and simultaneously hide in plain sight. She seems to forget that the evil Gideon is basically as immortal as she is and isn't about to give up when there aren't many others in the world with their unique attributes. Brackston proves that wisdom does not come with age even if her readers know otherwise, and this after just the short period of time it takes to read a third of the book.
Brackston does provide a thoroughly detailed backdrop. Her sense of place and time is superb, despite some anomalies that should have been corrected by a good editor. Her sequences depicting magic are equally enchanting but lack substance. Interesting enough, as I read this book in Kindle format, many readers seem to use the book as a primer for basic witchcraft; there are over 100 highlights on passages that revolve around different spells, herbs and magical verses. I did not think this book to be a resource for any sort of Wiccan knowledge--reading Cunningham's Encyclopedia of Magical Herbs (Llewellyn's Sourcebook Series) (Cunningham's Encyclopedia Series) will provide much more information than anything found in this text.
Bottom line? Paula Brackston (The Winter Witch offers the saga of witch Bess who has lived through to the present day sequestering herself from the man responsible for her conversion to witchcraft. While all the scenarios presented--the 17th century, the Victorian Age, the WWI era and the present day are rich with ambiance, Brackston mistakenly repeats her premise with each reincarnation, converting her novel into something more akin to episodic television than a meaningful novel where the development of the main characters are crucial. Resorting to the same tired premise of wise women hunted down by vigilant townspeople intent on cruelty does not help to raise this novel out of the realm of mediocrity. While Brackston's "Winter Witch" delivered a more nuanced story, both "The WItch's Daughter" and it rely on too many stereotypical characters to make the readings memorable. Read Marion Zimmer Bradley's "The Mists of Avalon to discover a wise woman from Arthurian times worth her weight in gold.
Diana Faillace Von Behren
In The Witch’s Daughter we get to hear about a witch named Elizabeth and her long life as she shares it with a young mentor and as it was shared in her Book of Shadows. Elizabeth was made into a witch by a man named Gideon when she was young, and he continues to come for her through out generations and manifesting in different ways.
There were some really interesting parts of this story, but for me it felt a bit flat and boring overall. I am willing to admit that this may have been just as much about my mood as about the book itself. I may still try reading another book from the series later on as I really enjoy the subject but had a hard time connecting to this book for whatever reason. I am giving this book 3 stars.
Top international reviews
Once again the author has woven her spell and drawn me in to another tale unconnected with the first, but just as moreish! I'm heading straight into Return of the Witch now which is the sequel to this story and looking forward to continuing with Elizabeth and Tegan and their story.
This is a rare reading triple for me,and a real treat.
Apart from that,the book was an enjoyable read. I would have given it one or two stars had I stopped reading about half way through when Bess caught Gideon doing Satanic acts and implying the false stereotype that all witches are Satanists, but the rest of the book redeemed itself.
I was touched by Bess's longing for a lasting love relationship. Her interaction with Tegan was well thought out and highly plausible under the circumstances. It will be interesting to discover whether the next book follows on from the first or second or is a completely new cast of characters.
Also wish it had gone on just a little longer, the ending seemed a bit abrupt
There was a lot of unnecessary bad language and shocking situations contained in this book .