Saturday, August 24, 2019

Eagle Butte
Mostly cloudy
Mostly cloudy

The Witch’s Daughter and The Return of the Witch offer light reads for cold nights

The Witch’s Daughter series provides a pleasant walk through time and into a fantastic world of witches and warlocks.

Paula Brackston is a writer who lives in the mountains of Wales, according to her bio on

She is known for her historical fantasy novels with The Witch’s Daughter her first book, published in 2008. It’s sequel, The Return of the Witch, was published in 2016.

The novels tell the story of Elizabeth Hawksmith and her battles with Gideon Masters. Elizabeth, or Bess, is thrust into the world of witchery by circumstance and desperation, and Gideon is her teacher, who nearly seduces Bess into being his queen in dark magic.

Much to Gideon’s dismay, Bess’s stubbornness, defiant independence, and desire to survive causes her to accept the power Gideon offered, but reject Gideon.

The rejection leads to a pursuit across centuries as the immortal Gideon hunts the immortal Bess across the world that the reader glimpses as Bess reveals her stories in her diary, both past and present, when she moves into a small cabin not far from her old home and befriends a young girl names Tegan.

The second novel visits the Bess and Tegan five years after the events of the first novel, bringing them together as adults, once again taking the reader across time battling evil.

Brackston’s novels provide minute details of the customs and habits of mind as well as details of technology and historical events that place the fictional characters into real backdrops from the seventeenth century to the present day.

While the writing has elements of exquisite word play and description, and the characters are engaging, the central character, Bess, can be somewhat annoying, although consistent across the novels. She is so stubborn that she is at times quite daft.

Elements of the novels are predictable, but the world they open for the reader and the characters revealed entice the reader enough to keep turning the pages — or listening — just to learn how the story unfolds, and what happens to each character that marches across the pages. 

If you enjoy reading about the habits of witches, glimpsing fantastic characters in the midst of the real details of history, and rooting for strong, independent women with a dabble of romance, then Brackston’s pair of books about Bess and Tegan will make great reading for the cold winter nights this holiday season.

For more information about Paula Brackston, how to purchase the novels for reading or listening, or to see what other novels Brackston has written, visit