The Once and Future WitchesBook - 2020
Named One of the Best Books of the Year by NPR Books * Barnes and Noble * BookPage
In 1893, there's no such thing as witches. There used to be, in the wild, dark days before the burnings began, but now witching is nothing but tidy charms and nursery rhymes. If the modern woman wants any measure of power, she must find it at the ballot box. But when the Eastwood sisters―James Juniper, Agnes Amaranth, and Beatrice Belladonna―join the suffragists of New Salem, they begin to pursue the forgotten words and ways that might turn the women's movement into the witch's movement. Stalked by shadows and sickness, hunted by forces who will not suffer a witch to vote―and perhaps not even to live―the sisters will need to delve into the oldest magics, draw new alliances, and heal the bond between them if they want to survive. There's no such thing as witches. But there will be. An homage to the indomitable power and persistence of women, The Once and Future Witches reimagines stories of revolution, motherhood, and women's suffrage--the lost ways are calling.
Praise for The Once and Future Witches :
"A gorgeous and thrilling paean to the ferocious power of women. The characters live, bleed, and roar. I adore them, and long for witchcraft to awaken in all of us. Harrow makes it feel possible, and even likely."―Laini Taylor, New York Times bestselling author
"A glorious escape into a world where witchcraft has dwindled to a memory of women's magic, and three wild, sundered sisters hold the key to bring it back...A tale that will sweep you away."―Yangsze Choo, New York Times bestselling author
"This book is an amazing bit of spellcraft and resistance so needed in our times, and a reminder that secret words and ways can never be truly and properly lost, as long as there are tongues to speak them and ears to listen."―P. Djèlí Clark, author The Black God's Drum
For more from Alix E. Harrow, check out The Ten Thousand Doors of January .
From Library Staff
Witchcraft meets the suffragist movement in this dazzling tale from my favorite up-and-coming fantasy she-ro. -Leah, Readers' Services
LPL_LeahN Nov 10, 2020
Witchcraft meets the suffragist movement in this dazzling tale from my favorite up-and-coming fantasy she-ro, Alix E. Harrow.
James Juniper, Agnes, and Bella are the Eastwood Sisters, each a wayward force in their own right after escaping a toxic home life and separately making their way to th... Read More »
From the critics
QuotesAdd a Quote
"This witch-hunt has gone on long enough, I think. People will grow discontented soon, perhaps doubtful, if I don't produce the witches. Of course, this is the choice. It's always the choice, in the end--sacrifice someone else, trade one heart for another, buy your survival at the price of someone else's. Save yourself ...."
"Fate is a story people tell themselves so they can believe everything happens for a reason, that the whole awful world is fitted together like some perfect machine, with blood for oil and bones for brass. That every child locked in her cellar or girl chained to her loom is in her right and proper place."
SummaryAdd a Summary
The Once and Future Witches combines women's rights and folklore to create an alternate past when women had suppressed magical gifts needing to be restored to the world. Enter the Eastwood sisters, Belladonna, Amaranth & Juniper.
These three are estranged, but as Juniper searches out her older sisters, and begins to fight for both votes and magic, they must come together to save women's magic in the world. They are distinct -- bookish, maternal, or completely wild. But they all have magic in their blood. They find, however, that their kind of magic isn't the only kind there is.
The story includes a nod to other communities outside of the sisters' world. Belladonna begins a relationship with Cleo, a black journalist with a different magical tradition. It expands the story to have other communities acknowledged, even though the Eastwood quest is the central theme and focus.
The story starts out with energy and power, leading to a dramatic showdown between the Eastwoods and the vile politician trying to eradicate women's magic forever. Throughout this book, you’ll find discussion about women’s place in the world and the ways in which their power is both withheld and reclaimed. Looking at this history from a slightly off-centre viewpoint, which places suffragettes and witches in the same story, allows the author to illuminate the past in a new way. It’s an exciting, thought-provoking read for lovers of both fantasy and history.
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