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Witchy Eye (Witchy Eye Series Book 1) Kindle Edition
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Her Father was a Hero
Her Uncle wants her Dead
I got to read an early version of Witchy Eye and as always whatever Butler touches turns to gold. He is a writing Midas with an imagination, wry sense of humor and depth to rival anyone.
Witchy Eye is a bold re-imagined American crossroads of empire with various magical characters all in a place that might have been. Maybe should have been.
Something I think is great is that we get to go somewhere outside of the usual psuedo-European fantasy and encounter a mythos that is decidedly American, including the fae, mound-builders and beast-men while also acknowledging the magic and legends of the newcomers from the old world - which are a major source of conflict. I had to chuckle to myself over Oliver Cromwell, (who gets a bad rap about everywhere) because once he becomes a necromancer it gets serious. Full of action and surprises this is not to be missed.
This is also one of those books where I know I'll want to read it again because there are dozens of references and in jokes, that I may have missed. Butler just has so much knowledge and wit to share that it's impossible to get it all in one go round. Its the book that keeps on giving.
He also has a prologue of sorts available at the Baen website tells a key moment in the Witchy Eye backstory, in which John Churchill takes England pagan, for arcane defensive reasons. So check out - DEI BRITANNICIA: Prologue to Witchy Eye
The world is very complicated and filled with many different factions vying for control. Keeping all the details straight was a big challenge for me. There are a lot of terms to remember and this novel needs to be studied. The choice to write out the accents was a bold move, and it made it difficult to read sometimes, but the characters came through. I know the audio book will be hilarious and I would highly suggest people look into listening to Witchy Eye, as this text needs to be performed.
D.J. Butler is a storyteller of an epic scale and this is his magnum opus.
If you love complicated world building, backwoods characters, and a unique take on American history blended with fantastical elements, you will love Witchy Eye.
The cultures of each small nation are rich with details rooted in historical fact, but blossom from there into new and imaginitive directions. The writing is intelligent, not shying away from esoteric terms, but giving the reader enough information to understand them. I learned quite a bit of history by looking up names with which I was unfamiliar, getting the real historical context so I could understand what changes had been applied in the story.
The story comes together in an enjoyable and compelling way, following a handful of characters as they converge into a delightful mess. The characters' personalities are strong and flavored, and we see them each evolve as the story progresses. There were a few moments in particular where I had to shake my head in admiration for the striking details and folklore flavor of the direction the story headed.
At the end, I was left itching for the next one. I am excited to see how the events which started to snowball in book 1 will sweep across the Mississippi and Ohio, devastating the balance of power.
Another thing (of many!) that I especially like is the dialog: the author has a good ear for dialect and the main characters each have their own distinctive voice. When you see a line like "Lord hates a man as won't help his friends", you know immediately that Calvin said it, and that Sir William, Obadiah, Long Cathy, or Etienne could not have said it.
It was a joy to read and I'll preorder the next book the instant it becomes available.
Most recent customer reviews
I usually listen to audio books while I work- and I'm sad to see this isn't yet available as an audible yet.Read more
Not only the story, and the world-building, and the development of sympathetic characters, but the writing itself.Read more