The Once and Future Witches by Alix E. Harrow
Title: The Once and Future Witches
Author: Alix E. Harrow
Publisher: Orbit Books
Published Date: October 13th 2020
Length: 517 pages
Genre: Fiction, Fantasy, Historical Fiction, etc.
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.
This book is so pretty and I lost out the chance to buy it when it came out and then it was too expensive. Luckily one of the bookstagrammers was selling their copy of hardcover and I hopped on that train. However it sat on my bookshelf for almost a year before I actually read it. However I am so glad that I finally read it. It is so hyped and I was afraid that I wouldn’t like it because despite trying my hardest, I generally fall for the hype and then I am generally let down. This wasn’t the case with this book and I am so glad!
This is the story of three sisters who are estranged and have some bitter feelings about each other when the book starts, there’s something more than just the Eastwood sisters that’s worth focusing on. It is so beautifully written and the little tales scattered throughout the book really made my day whenever I stumbled upon them. Bella, Agnes and Juniper have a history of fond memories and a very brittle relationship with each other because of their shared history. The city they live in is full of suffrages and almost as many or maybe more who are very against women’s rights or worse, magic. Magic of any kind is frowned up in New Salem but the Eastwood sisters realise that just protests alone will not be enough. In the beginning of the book, we are shown that something magical happens on a very large scale happens when the sisters are reunited without realising they were all in the same city.
The writing in this book reminded me of the vibes from both the Winternight trilogy and also from House of Salt and Sorrows which if you know your atmospheric books then you know, it’s spot on! I loved the writing, the lore and myths in the universe were just magical and different enough to realise that this is an alternate history? And I loved how individual and unique each of the sister was written, I loved them all for all their flaws and traits. Their love actually was so obvious but also their fear and anger towards one another was just as real and you just want them to talk to each other to sort out the relationships they have with each other. The secondary characters like Quinn and August felt lived in, too! Overall, I really enjoyed the book and I read it at the right time which enhanced the reading experience in general. So yay for that!