The Witch's DaughterThe Witch's Daughter by Paula Brackston
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

"If you will listen," I said, "I will tell you a tale of witches. A tale of magic and love and loss. A story of how simple ignorance breeds fear, and how deadly that fear can be. Will you listen?"

I was pleasantly surprised by this book. I was hoping that I would like it but didn't really know what I was in for. This is historical fiction intertwined with supernatural wonder to birth a compelling story of a witch who is just trying to live her life but has been on the run for hundreds of years.

Bess escapes death in the days when hangings, beheadings, and burnings were a public spectacle that drew a large crowd. In order for her to slip away, though, she had to accept the dark magic into her soul. Knowing she couldn't go back to the man who put her on that path, she decides to run and continues to do so throughout the book. Bess slowly befriends a young girl, Tegan, who quickly becomes someone Bess feels protective of. During her time with Tegan, she tells her stories of her life although Tegan doesn't know they are about her at the time the first two are told.

Those three sections are probably my favorites of the entire book because they take place at different time periods in history including the European witch hunts, 1880's London with Jack the Ripper, and the First World War. It was interesting to see how Bess handled those situations while trying not to use her power. Even though it was dark magic, she did use it to do good but using it at all made it easy for Gideon to find her, so she was taking quite the risk.

One thing I really liked about Bess' character was the fact that she was practically a women's rights activist centuries before it became popular. Her mother raised her to express her own opinions which is something that rarely happened in the 1600's.

I kept feeling sorry for her every time she thought she had feelings for someone. I don't want to give away too much but because of her situation, it was never the right time. Therefore, it was a relief when she was finally able to confide in Tegan. Although not a romantic relationship, it was a relationship nonetheless.

If you like to read stories about witches or if you like historical fiction, I would recommend this book to you.

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