REVIEW: The Witch’s Daughter by Paula Brackston

Rating: 2 out of 5 stars, Genre: Ficton/ Fantasy/ Witches, Pages: 305, Level: Easy

Book Description from Barnes & Noble:


An enthralling tale of modern witch Bess Hawksmith, a fiercely independent woman desperate to escape her cursed history who must confront the evil which has haunted her for centuries

My name is Elizabeth Anne Hawksmith, and my age is three hundred and eighty-four years. If you will listen, 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.  Let me tell you what it means to be a witch.

In the spring of 1628, the Witchfinder of Wessex finds himself a true Witch. As Bess Hawksmith watches her mother swing from the Hanging Tree she knows that only one man can save her from the same fate: the Warlock Gideon Masters. Secluded at his cottage, Gideon instructs Bess, awakening formidable powers she didn’t know she had. She couldn’t have foreseen that even now, centuries later, he would be hunting her across time, determined to claim payment for saving her life.

In present-day England, Elizabeth has built a quiet life. She has spent the centuries in solitude, moving from place to place, surviving plagues, wars, and the heartbreak that comes with immortality. Her loneliness comes to an abrupt end when she is befriended by a teenage girl called Tegan. Against her better judgment, Elizabeth opens her heart to Tegan and begins teaching her the ways of the Hedge Witch. But will she be able to stand against Gideon- who will stop at nothing to reclaim her soul- in order to protect the girl who has become the daughter she never had?”

I really hate writing bad reviews.

Elizabeth, or Bess, begins her life right before the Black Plague hits. She falls ill and her mother makes a deal with an evil force to save her daughter, a deal which has long lasting consequences for Bess. The Witch’s Daughter is Bess’ Book of Shadows, or a book that chronicles her life and experiences with witchcraft.

That pretty much sums it up. The story goes back and forth in time. The main story takes place in 2007. Bess meets a young girl and begins to train her. In the process, she tells her story to the young girl; the story covers three different time periods.

The first two pages of the book were riveting, and part of the reason I gave it two stars instead of just one. Then it gets slow again. We are taken to present time when Bess first meets Tegan. The first story she tells Tegan takes the reader back to the time of the first two pages, conveying the events that led to those two pages. Again, it starts out really, and I mean really, slowly. Once the Black Plague hits, the story shows promise and I found myself getting interested.

Unfortunately, it was short-lived. The rest of the book was agonizingly boring. And repetitive. Don’t forget repetitive. Yes people repeat the same mistakes over and over again, but it doesn’t make for a good story.

Ms. Brackston is a good writer, or had phenomenal editors. This book just wasn’t up my alley. I read all the endorsements and thought, “What book did they all read? I want to read that one.” And I disagree with those who stated the characters were not well developed. I disagree. I found Gideon, the evil witch, intriguing, but not intriguing enough to carry the book.

While I don’t personally recommend The Witch’s Daughter, it may be worth it to check out the summary and some other reviews first if you are borderline about reading it.

Reviewed by Christina

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