I would like to thank both the author and the publisher for providing me with a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Doing so does not sway my review in any way.
When I first read the synopsis of this book, a favorite comic book from my childhood came to mind. It was back in the 1970's and there was a little girl whose mother was being accused of witchcraft and she was taken away by villagers. While home along, the little girl discovered her powers and created all kinds of havoc. I can't remember the name of this comic book, but I must have read it and looked through it a bazillion times. Now, this is a part of my childhood that I hold close and to have a synopsis spark that memory, made me decide right away that I had to read this book.
Rune, an orphan, is being raised by an older lady who is like a gypsy. She reads peoples fortunes, creates potions for their ailments, reads stones and things like that. This woman has kept a secret from Rune, since the child's birth, but realizes the time has come to tell Rune the truth. The stories within the stories kept my nose in this book and I didn't want to put it down. The delight I felt in the magick, trickery and people's ignorance kept me engrossed.
I've always loved a good witch story, and this book is right up there near the top of my list as a favorite. The author brings together stories of girls who were falsely accused and killed because the villagers paranoia with witchcraft. The very science of nature was turned on more than a fair share of innocent girls and women. And than there are the stories of those who were actual witches and could control the forces of nature itself and bring devastation to anyone and anything that witch wanted to. The stories from long ago are centered around the dark magick.
The author shows the reader how natural occurrences were treated by those ignorant of science. Through a time period, when nature struck back, it was because they thought someone made it do it. Innocent mistakes were labeled criminal at the drop of the hat while imaginations ran wild. The author did a fine job of bringing the stories of old to the reader while still keeping it interesting. The descriptions from the author were very well detailed, I could feel myself in the forest. I could hear the whispers, see the looks on faces and feel the textures of the world around the characters.
The author kept true to the time period, using words that gave it the real feel. Thankfully, she is quite the thinker and provides the pronunciation and meaning of those words in the very beginning of the book. I quickly became accustomed to the wording and it didn't break the flow of the story. There are dual POV's in this story. One of Rune, another of Laurentz and one special one from Liese. Rune was interesting but Laurentz felt a bit flat. I found myself skimming over his chapters quite a few times.
The chapter of Liese. That one pulled at my heartstrings. So much is said in those couple of pages that puts everything in a new perspective. The truth come out and you see the story in a whole new light. You realize that ignorance is also a cover up in many ways.
I recommend this for anyone who likes books on magick, witches and that whole scenario. Trying to describe the essence of this book is hard. It wraps up the mystery of witches with a feel of the old style movies that would creep you out but not have you running from the room. This story will keep you on the edge though.