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The Year of the Witching Hardcover – July 21, 2020

4.4 out of 5 stars 1,521 ratings
Book 1 of 2: Bethel

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“This is a beautiful, powerful, important book, and I hugely recommend it.”—Seanan McGuire, New York Times bestselling author of The Unkindest Tide
  
 “The Year of the Witching is a dark wood ready to swallow you whole with its tense stakes and beguiling prose. Henderson takes witchcraft to its very depths, unraveling the horrific nightmares of bone-deep ideology and devastating oppression.” — Dhonielle Clayton, New York Times bestselling author of The Belles series
 
“A haunting, unique read I couldn't put down—a story that cuts to the heart.”—Tamora Pierce, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Tempests and Slaughter

The Year of the Witching tells a universal, timeless story about women's power.” O, The Oprah Magazine

"Has a classic setup but updates the olde puritanical tale to deal with issues of racism and sexism."--The Washington Post

“Unique and haunting.” –Ms. Magazine 

The Year of the Witching is a very, very good book. It’s unsettling and horrifying, beautiful and incisive, and ultimately, radiantly triumphant… I was torn between wanting to tear through the chapters as fast as possible to see how things resolved and savoring every sentence.” – Smart Bitches, Trashy Books

The Year of the Witching is Alexis Henderson’s debut novel, but you’d never know it.... The story is enchanting, enticing, enthralling, enigmatic.”–Tor.com

"A thrillingly brisk and bracing tale of magic and power, I loved this book. It takes the best tropes of horror and witchcraft and gives them a refreshingly feminist twist."– S.A. Chakraborty, National bestselling author of The Daevabad Trilogy
 
"A dark, dramatic tale of oppression and rebellion, ideology and morality, with a complicated, appealing protagonist caught in a Handmaid's Tale nightmare.”- Louisa Morgan, Author of The Age of Witches
 
"A masterfully eerie, feminist story that binds itself to the reader’s mind and won’t let go." - Shea Ernshaw, New York Times bestselling author of The Wicked Deep
 
 “Creepy, compelling, and compulsively readable…blends the terror of the supernatural with the all-too-recognizable human evils of power and dogma.” — Fonda Lee, Award-winning author of the Green Bone Saga 
 
“Bone-chilling and breathtakingly beautiful…storytelling at its finest." – Rena Barron, author of Kingdom of Souls
 
“A brutal tale of religion, witchcraft, & patriarchy. The perfect read for fans of The Handmaid’s Tale.” – amanda lovelace, National bestselling author of the princess saves herself in this one
 
“This book will haunt your dreams.”—Christina Henry, National Bestselling author of Alice and The Ghost Tree

About the Author

Alexis Henderson is a speculative fiction writer with a penchant for dark fantasy, witchcraft, and cosmic horror. She grew up in one of America’s most haunted cities, Savannah, Georgia, which instilled in her a life-long love of ghost stories. Currently, Alexis resides in Columbus, Ohio, where she's learning to cope with the cold.

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Product details

  • Publisher : Ace (July 21, 2020)
  • Language : English
  • Hardcover : 368 pages
  • ISBN-10 : 0593099605
  • ISBN-13 : 978-0593099605
  • Item Weight : 1.26 pounds
  • Dimensions : 6.3 x 1.3 x 9.3 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.4 out of 5 stars 1,521 ratings

Customer reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5
1,521 global ratings
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Top reviews from the United States

Reviewed in the United States on July 30, 2020
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26 people found this helpful
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Reviewed in the United States on August 2, 2020
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17 people found this helpful
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Reviewed in the United States on July 23, 2020
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Reviewed in the United States on July 25, 2020
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Reviewed in the United States on August 31, 2020
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Reviewed in the United States on July 23, 2020
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Top reviews from other countries

Sophiewhitters
4.0 out of 5 stars Great read
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on October 20, 2020
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7 people found this helpful
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Berkshire BookWench
5.0 out of 5 stars Blown away .......
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 4, 2021
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4 people found this helpful
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L. Young
1.0 out of 5 stars Mediocre writing and poor plottting
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on March 24, 2021
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2 people found this helpful
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Natalie L
5.0 out of 5 stars 𝕭𝖑𝖔𝖔𝖉 𝖋𝖔𝖗 𝕭𝖑𝖔𝖔𝖉
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on October 22, 2020
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5.0 out of 5 stars 𝕭𝖑𝖔𝖔𝖉 𝖋𝖔𝖗 𝕭𝖑𝖔𝖔𝖉
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on October 22, 2020
- 𝙋𝙖𝙩𝙧𝙞𝙖𝙧𝙘𝙝𝙖𝙡 𝙨𝙪𝙥𝙥𝙧𝙚𝙨𝙨𝙞𝙤𝙣, 𝙍𝙖𝙘𝙞𝙖𝙡 𝙙𝙞𝙨𝙥𝙖𝙧𝙞𝙩𝙮, 𝙎𝙩𝙧𝙤𝙣𝙜 𝙛𝙚𝙢𝙖𝙡𝙚 𝙘𝙝𝙖𝙧𝙖𝙘𝙩𝙚𝙧𝙨!

It travels long past comprehension that The Year of the Witching is a debut novel. Henderson’s voice is steady, sure and adept at conjuring forth realism, stability, believability and passion. The latter invoked in parallel to the reader, who once immersed in this tangible, captivating world, will swell and sway with the events and emotions.

Bethel, on the face of it, seems like an idyllic, utopian community; thriving in the favour of the father. The descriptive language paints this landscape with such a clarity that the experience of which is incredibly visual. You know the simplicity, the wholesomeness of self sufficient existence. You expect the slightly negative, if not malicious, undertone.
(If you are a fantasy fan, this world and timescape will call to your heart for all the familiar gifts it has to offer).

The contrast of the pure being represented by pale skinned, fair haired folk to that of the “outskirters” being renowned for their darker pigmentation and coiling raven locks is very important. It demonstrates the inbuilt ideation that good and evil is represented by light and dark; that dark is threatening— impure even. History has captured Black people as the enemy throughout it’s entirety and this has been reflected, for human consumption, via various different mediums. Sometimes from a racist viewpoint and sometimes in a satirical way that exposes these narratives, causing us to pause and (hopefully) question the foundations of these beliefs and seemingly in-built cultural norms.

Henderson has created characters that are exceptionally raw, relatable and often flawed; characters who highlight the discrepancies between race and status, and the microaggressions faced by those deemed as lesser. I think it’s highly commendable that this theme has been so seamlessly incorporated into a horror fiction about some of THE creepiest witches I’ve faced to date.
And I think it is especially important RIGHT NOW whilst the BLM movement has somewhat quietened on the white front. 𝐌𝐚𝐲 𝐰𝐞 𝐧𝐞𝐯𝐞𝐫 𝐬𝐭𝐨𝐩 𝐪𝐮𝐞𝐬𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐨𝐮𝐫 𝐩𝐫𝐢𝐯𝐢𝐥𝐞𝐠𝐞𝐬. 𝐌𝐚𝐲 𝐰𝐞 𝐧𝐞𝐯𝐞𝐫 𝐬𝐭𝐨𝐩 𝐞𝐥𝐞𝐯𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐁𝐥𝐚𝐜𝐤 𝐯𝐨𝐢𝐜𝐞𝐬. 𝐌𝐚𝐲 𝐰𝐞 𝐧𝐞𝐯𝐞𝐫 𝐬𝐭𝐨𝐩 𝐟𝐢𝐠𝐡𝐭𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐟𝐨𝐫 𝐁𝐥𝐚𝐜𝐤 𝐫𝐢𝐠𝐡𝐭𝐬.

If this book tells you anything, let it be that there is a better way forward. One that combines the minds of all peoples and cultures. Also— this is hecking scary and tense, it gave me goosebumps more than once!
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Megan King
4.0 out of 5 stars Great wee read
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on August 26, 2020
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4.0 out of 5 stars Great wee read
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on August 26, 2020
I only stumbled across this little gem by chance, and I'm so glad I got it. This book has a more traditional, early colonial view of witches, and I really enjoyed it!

There was a handful of things that I didn't get, like how witches were feared, but many of the general population had a little bit of magic, and that was okay? But, regardless, this was a good wee read, and my only regret is not leaving this read until closer to Halloween!
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