Blog Tour: The Year of the Witching – Alexis Henderson

Blog Tour: The Year of the Witching – Alexis Henderson


Release Date:
July 21st 2020
Publisher: Bantam Press
Pages: 320
Find it on: Goodreads. BookDepository. Waterstones.
Source: The publisher kindly sent me a copy of this book to review
Rating: 5/5 stars

Synopsis

In the lands of Bethel, where the Prophet’s word is law. Immanuelle Moore’s very existence is blasphemy.

The daughter of a union with an outsider that cast her once-proud family into disgrace, Immanuelle does her best to worship the Father, follow Holy Protocol and lead a life of submission, devotion and absolute conformity, like all the women in the settlement.

But a chance mishap lures her into the forbidden Darkwood that surrounds Bethel – a place where the first prophet once pursued and killed four powerful witches. Their spirits are still walking there, and they bestow a gift on Immanuelle: the diary of her dead mother, who Immanuelle is shocked to learn once sought sanctuary in the wood.

Fascinated by secrets in the diary, Immanuelle finds herself struggling to understand how her mother could have consorted with the witches. But when she begins to learn grim truths about the Church and its history, she realises the true threat to Bethel is its own darkness. And if Bethel is to change, it must begin with her . . .

Review

The Year of the Witching is the dark and compelling tale of the town of Bethel, a religious community in which the Prophet’s word is law. Immanuelle does her best to follow the town rules, but she is always looked on as the daughter of a forbidden relationship between her mother and an outsider. When Immanuelle ends up in the Darkwood and is gifted the diary of her mother, she unleashes a great threat on Bethel and to stop it she must learn the dark truths behind the Church and its history.

I absolutely loved this book. It’s exactly the kind of book that hooks you from the very beginning and I did not want to put this book down. Henderson has created such a fascinating world and this book is full of beautiful writing and a tense, uneasy atmosphere. It’s an intense story and it’s the perfect read for a dark autumn evening. I’ve seen this book described as ‘The Handmaid’s Tale meets Salem’ and I don’t think I could sum it up any better myself.

The story is well paced, giving the reader a chance to understand the world and religion of Bethel. I really liked the characters – Immanuelle is a great protagonist, growing from a meek young woman just hoping to blend into the background to someone strong and powerful, standing up for what she believes in. I similarly liked Ezra and Leah, I thought they were both really interesting and well fleshed out. The Year of the Witching is a very impressive debut novel and I can’t wait to see what Alexis Henderson writes next.

This feminist tale is an addictive read and I ended up reading it in a single day. I particularly loved the dark horror moments in the Darkwood, when Immanuelle comes face to face with the legendary witches. This is a brilliantly captivating tale and one I would highly recommend. The Year of the Witching will have you on the edge of your seat, and almost certainly reading past your bedtime.

Book Review: Dangerous Remedy – Kat Dunn

Book Review: Dangerous Remedy – Kat Dunn

July 23, 2019 (5)
Series:
Dangerous Remedy #1
Release Date: May 5th 2020
Publisher: Zephyr Books
Pages: 432
Find it on: Goodreads. BookDepository. Waterstones.
Source: The publisher kindly sent me a copy of this book to review
Rating: 5/5 stars

Synopsis

Camille, a revolutionary’s daughter, leads a band of outcasts – a runaway girl, a deserter, an aristocrat in hiding. As the Battalion des Mortes they cheat death, saving those about to meet a bloody end at the blade of Madame La Guillotine. But their latest rescue is not what she seems. The girl’s no aristocrat, but her dark and disturbing powers means both the Royalists and the Revolutionaries want her. But who and what is she?

In these dangerous days, no one can be trusted, everyone is to be feared. As Camille learns the truth, she’s forced to choose between loyalty to those she loves and the future.

Review

Copy of book cover (6)Dangerous Remedy is the first in an all new historical fantasy series, following Camille and her Battalion of the dead as they attempt to save innocent souls about to be executed. When a rescue mission goes wrong and the team discover that their innocent isn’t a young aristocrat girl but someone with mysterious powers the Battalion must fight off both the Royalists and the Revolutionaries to save themselves.

I absolutely loved this book. A captivating tale set in Revolutionary France, I quickly became completely engrossed in this story and ended up staying up till 3am to finish it. The story is cleverly weaved and the plot is exciting – if you’re a fan of heist novels you need to pick this one up immediately.

I don’t know much about France during that time period but it felt like an incredible amount of detail had gone into the setting of this novel. It really came alive in Dunn’s writing and it was so fascinating to learn more about the time period. Despite it being just short of 450 pages, it felt like an incredibly fast read and the ending has definitely left me dying to read the next instalment in the series.

One of the things I loved most about Dangerous Remedy are the captivating characters. I adored the romance between Camilla and Ada, especially as the story progressed and things grew more complicated. They’re fascinating characters, each dealing with their own difficult pasts. I also loved Al who is the perfect sarcastic and witty addition to the battalion.

Dangerous Remedy is a highly entertaining, roller coaster ride of a book. It’s full to the brim with adventure, magic and romance. Kat Dunn has written the perfect story to get completely lost in and I can’t recommend it highly enough.
5 Stars