Published by St. Martin's Griffin, Thomas Dunne Books on April 21, 2015
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A year after her husband’s sudden death, ceramic artist Tilda Fordwells finally moves into the secluded Welsh cottage that was to be their new home. She hopes that the tranquil surroundings will help ease her grief, and lessen her disturbing visions of Mat’s death. Instead, the lake in the valley below her cottage seems to spark something dormant in her – a sensitivity, and a power of some sort. Animals are drawn to her, electricity shorts out when she’s near, and strangest of all, she sees a new vision; a boatful of ancient people approaching her across the water.
On this same lake in Celtic times lived Seren, a witch and shaman. She was respected but feared, kept separate from the community for her strange looks. When a vision came to her of the Prince amid a nest of vipers she warned of betrayal from one of his own. Prince Brynach both loved and revered her, but could not believe someone close to him wished him harm, even as the danger grew.
In her own time, Tilda’s grief begins to fade beside her newfound powers and a fresh love. When she explores the lake’s ancient magic and her own she discovers Seren, the woman in her vision of the boat. Their two lives strangely mirror each others, suggesting a strong connection between the women. As Tilda comes under threat from a dark power, one reminiscent of Seren’s prophecy, she must rely on Seren and ancient magic if death and disaster are not to shatter her life once more.
If you’ve ever had any interest in Welsh or Celtic mythology or ancient Welsh culture, you will be obsessed with this book.
The Silver Witch was AWESOME. I was enthralled with how Paula Brackston wraps up her fantasy/supernatural narratives in solid, mesmerizing historical research. You can find some of the historical artifacts she writes about in this novel here.
With spellbinding craft, Ms. Brackston weaves the life of a contemporary widowed woman with the life of an ancient Celtic female witch/shaman in The Silver Witch. Haunting and alluring mythology is divulged in pieces as the story goes back and forth between Tilda, the main character, and Seren, the ancient shaman to a Celtic prince.
The pacing of the novel was slow enough to luxuriate in all of the wonderful and creepy aspects of the story, but not so slow that my attention span was tested. Brackston’s character development is masterful and almost overwhelms the senses with the depth and beauty of detail she lends her page people. I found myself reading the book as if I were living the book and that, of course, is a reader’s dream come true.
There is a thread of romance that had substance without challenging the main plot and made The Silver Witch seem like a really well-rounded read. The tone and the setting of the book are so gloriously mysterious and mystical. Just think of fog hovering over a lake and tinkling wind-chimes playing atonal melodies or a Lydian mode to get a sense of the feel of this book.
This was my second novel of Paul Brackston’s to read, and I cannot wait to burn my way through the rest of her books. You can find my review of The Midnight Witch here.
Enter below for a chance to WIN a FINISHED COPY of The Silver Witch, courtesy of St. Martin’s Press.
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