Book Review; The Once and Future Witches- Alix E Harrow

There’s no such thing as witches. But there will be.

Page Count 528

 Publication date October 2020/ Publisher Orbit 

GoodReads link



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.



I was a big fan of The 10,000 Doors and it only took the two page introduction to The Once And Future Witches to remind me of why..
Damn, Harrow can write!
The prose is beautiful without being pretentious and flows so easily I was immediately immersed in the story.

Harrow starts each chapter with familiar, whimsical rhymes and accompanying spell instructions that add to the magical atmosphere in an endearing way.
Interspersed throughout are witches from various countries and cultures telling their own versions of bedtime fairytales, a small collection of short stories, each with a lesson and each personal to the teller.

The setting was beautifully done and so well written I could almost map the entire thing in my mind, which is unheard of for me! I’d love to see an edition include it.

The Once And Future Witches is told in third person from the multiple POVs of each sister, Agnes, Bella and Juniper, three very different women. Every assisting character is fleshed out and imperative to the storyline making the reader feel part of something epic.

I liked that for once in a witching story the sisters are not close, not at all. There’s no hair braiding and doting wide eyed gazes between these three so I was intrigued to find out what exactly had happened to estrange Bella and Agnes from one another.
Their character development across the book was fantastic, especially Bella’s journey.

I don’t often care for romance subplots but the few found in this novel were such slow burning, hard fought unions that I couldn’t help myself.
You’ll find beautiful lesbian and trans representation in The Once And Future Witches.

I could write about this book forever but I won’t, if you’re a fan of fantasy and witches you’ll want to discover this for yourself. It is truly incredible and I will recommend it to EVERYONE.

Roxanne’s Reactions:

Author: Roxanne Michelle

Dramatic, curly-haired wannabe writer from a nowhere town in Somerset. Stop-starter of all projects great and small. Here to talk books, film, mental health and lifestyle.

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