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The Witch's Daughter Paperback – January 31, 2012

4.1 out of 5 stars 862 customer reviews
Book 2 of 3 in the Shadow Chronicles Series

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

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. After a plague kills young Elizabeth's father and siblings in 1627 Wessex, her mother, a gifted healer, seeks help from ruthless warlock Gideon Masters. He exacts a high price, and Bess survives only to be accused of witchery along with her mother, who is captured and hanged while Bess escapes and begins her new life of immortal solitude. Fast-forward to 2007, when Elizabeth trains teenage Tegan to be a hedge witch and shares stories about Gideon, meeting Jack the Ripper while ministering to the Whitehall prostitutes in 1888, and serving as a nurse in 1917 Flanders. Bess's past adventures are fascinating, but there's a sketchy quality to the contemporary sections that diminishes the effect of the grand finale. (Jan.) (c)
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

From Booklist

After nearly four centuries of life on earth, Elizabeth Hardwick settles in a small English village where, always wary of danger, she befriends lonely teenager Tegan and gradually tells the story of her life. Left alone in 1628 after her father, brother, and sister die of the plague, and her mother is hanged for witchcraft, 15-year-old Bess seeks shelter from warlock Gideon Masters, who trains her in magic and wants her for his eternal soul mate. Bess escapes both the witch finder’s noose and Gideon, but he continues to search for her when she’s Dr. Eliza Hardwick in London in 1888 and Nurse Elise Hardwick in Flanders in 1917. Each time, Gideon takes human form and another anagrammatic name to lure her as she works only to heal, and he leaves the bodies of innocents in his wake. In 2007 Gideon reappears, predictably finding a chink in Elizabeth’s defenses as she makes Tegan her disciple. Brackston’s first novel offers well-crafted characters in an absorbing plot and an altogether delicious blend of historical fiction and fantasy. --Michele Leber --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin; Reprint edition (January 31, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 125000408X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1250004086
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.1 x 8.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (862 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #35,289 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
The "Witch's Daughter" begins in the 1600's in England where the plague has devastated families. Bess the witch's daughter in the story loses her entire family to the plague but she and her mother live through the sickness. Because Bess is saved from death, due to her mother's witchcraft, the town of Batchcombe hangs Bess' mother.

In present day England, Bess, now called Elizabeth, is now immortal and is settled in a small village in England living alone. Elizabeth meets a young girl, Tegan, who she decides to school in the arts of witchcraft and magic. Together, Elizabeth and Tegan will fight the evil that invades their small English village.

This book moves from the 1600's, to the late 1800's and then to World I. In each of these periods, Elizabeth disguises herself since she is always on the run from an evil warlock who is determined to bring her to the dark side. After each of the different periods of history, Bess returns to present day England and recounts her history to Tegan.

I liked the story but I felt it was a bit predictable after the World War I period. In each period of history, Bess is on the run from evil and she must fight the evil warlock and then hide from him. The final chapter is again a match up between Bess (now Elizabeth)in the present day, where she fights the warlock and uses her magical powers.

A quick read and enjoyable. A bit predictable but fun.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The Witch's Daughter is an entertaining and moving story. A book worth reading! I was entranced from the beginning until the end. Paula Brackston did a wonderful job giving her main character a unique and believable voice. She did what a lot of authors sometimes fail to do; she made Bess believable. The reader will find themselves sucked into another world and time. The story spans several decades and uses several historical events as back drops for Bess's story. I won't go into detail about the plot of the story; you can read that above. However, I will say that this is a great, entertaining quick read. This is for the person who likes to be transported away sometimes of a fantastical and wholly unique world. One were witches can be good, some bad and the struggle between the two.
Also, I've seen some people complain that the kindle price is too expensive. I usually go for the free or 1.00 priced book. So, yes this is one of the most expensive book I've bought on Amazon (the most expensive was the horrible "House Rules"). Take it from a cheapie; splurge a little. Its still cheaper then going to barns and noble and its worth the money!
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Format: Hardcover
Although I typically love historical fiction novels that tie into present times, I found this book to be very slow-going. It was fairly predictable and most times you knew what was coming pages before the author got you there. The characters are fairly one dimensional. I felt as though this story had a lot of unreached potential. It should have been better than it was.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I had high hopes for this novel. I enjoy historical fiction and fantasy and the premise of this book intrigued me. I use a Kindle, so I was able to read the first few chapters. All seemed well, so I bought it. Big mistake. This book is just silly. The author uses tired old ideas as plot devices as her immortal protagonist Elizabeth travels through the ages: a typical witch hunt in 17th century Europe, Jack the Ripper in the 19th century. Elizabeth's mortal nemesis is a "warlock" named Gideon who worships the devil. He trains her in the "dark arts" but then she flees from him and his pursuit of her through the centuries forms the narrative. She somehow turns into a Wiccan and worships the Goddess. We never learn how that happened. The story jumps between first and third person narrative. Some chapters are from Elizabeth's diary; others are her story as she tells it in the third person to her young apprentice Tegan. Both Elizabeth and Tegan are foolish and make obvious mistakes. The only reason I finished reading it was because I had purchased it. This book was a waste of my time.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I had high hopes when I started reading the "Witches Daughter" and I enjoyed the beginning. Soon, though I realized that I was reading a story that was overly melodramatic, preachy, and the plot was going nowhere fast. It was incredibly predictable and somewhere between Satan being summoned and the protagonist encountering Jack the Ripper and WWII soldiers on the front line, I stopped reading.

I love fantasy books and historical fiction, so I assumed that this was going to be right up my alley. However, there is just too much going on in this book and it is plagued with a simple problem: using ten pages to say what could have been said in one. The characters are not very likable and I was bored.
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By Minnie on October 17, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
"The Witch's Daughter" started out well - kept my interest and I enjoyed the topic being set in modern times. However, when the story switches to the 1600's, 1700's, 1900's, etc., I became bored. At the end of each mini-story chapter, you knew the antagonist was going to show up and you could pretty well predict who it was each time. The storyline was repeated in each era, just a different setting. Not a book I'm glad I spent my money on.
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