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review 2020-05-28 13:48
The Discovery of Witches
The Discovery of Witches - Hopkins, Matthew

by Matthew Hopkins

 

 

This is an account by a witchfinder not so much of his history but to answer questions and concerns among the authorities of his time.

 

Within his answers are details about methods for recognising witches and how to tell the difference between ordinary anomalies like marks on the skin and unusual ones that indicate a pact with the Devil.

 

Reading his explanations reminded me of some of the least logical troll discussions I've seen on line. I'm sure it all made perfect sense to Hopkins, but as we all know, witchfinders tended to have their own agenda and much of it was based either on greed, lust or superstition.

 

As a historical record, this is invaluable. It tells us the mindset of one of the best known witchfinders in an age of hysteria. I'm glad it was short though. I couldn't read through too much of that. If anything, it highlights some of the worst side of humanity and our potential for cruelty to our fellow creatures and each other.

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2020-04-17 06:54
Review: The Age of Witches by Louisa Morgan
The Age of Witches - Louisa Morgan

 This book started as a 4-star book, then dropped to a 2-star book and finally by the end is an “it was fine” 3-star. The writing of this book was lovely. I found myself entranced by the prose and would look up to find that several hours had passed. Just last night I was so enthralled with the plot and the writing that I stayed awake reading until 2 a.m. It’s not surprising that the book only took me 3 days to finish.

 

I love books about witches, probably because I am one. I love books that explore the role of witchcraft in history and how women have historically used this knowledge to empower themselves. The characters were rich and I enjoyed them all.

 

The basic premise is that Harriet and Francis are descended from a witch named Bridget Bishop. Bridget was executed in the 1600’s for witchcraft. Harriet’s side of the family tree has adopted the gentler side of the craft, using it mainly for herbalism and assisting locals with their various ailments and ills. Francis’ side of the family tree had adopted the “bad” side of the craft, manipulating and magically forcing others to do their bidding in order to gain power for themselves. Annis is a young girl from the family tree who is just coming into her powers and for whom Francis has nefarious plans. Harriet endeavors to stop this plot and it culminates in a clash between the two witches with Annis as the prize.

 

This book was a slow burn with not a lot of action to it, and I was fine with that. The information being presented was largely interesting and once we did get the showdown between Harriet and Francis it was really refreshing and exciting. That portion is what kept me up most of the night.

 

***Spoiler alert:*** From this point on there will be spoilers.

 

The biggest problems I had with the book are the ending and that this book didn’t know what it wanted to be.

 

Is it the story of Annis? A girl ahead of her time, bucking the norm, and determined to make her own way with her newfound powers. Is it the story of a 200 year old battle between two sides of a family to ultimately decide if they are bad witches or good witches? Is it a story of the temptations of good and evil and the blurry gray area in between? Unfortunately it could have been all of these things, but ended up being none of them. None of these things are explored in any depth and I was really disappointed by that.

 

The ending was very plain. James and Annis decide that they didn’t just have feelings for each other because of magic, they actually do love each other and want to get married. How boring. How predictable. And then we are subjected to a very long lecture about how James might seem like a good man, but we should keep his manikin around just in case he decides to start behaving like an ass later. Because he’s a man after all, so you just never know and a woman can’t be too careful. Why can a novel not show us strong women without equaling telling us about how all men are asses? Even ones who aren’t asses but they might decide to be later because….well they’re a man. I am weary of it. It is possible to tell a story about strong, empowered women without demeaning men. I promise it is.

 

There was also an unintended moral problem in the story. We are told early on that good witches use their powers to help, bad witches use their powers to compel. Bad witches will always succumb to darkness and be lost to a lust for power. But on at least 3 occasions the “good” witches use their magic to persuade people to give them things. A horse, money, and then more money. All for their own benefit. So while those people may not have been harmed, the man was reimbursed for the horse and the money was plentiful and wouldn’t be missed, does that make it okay? What is the difference between magically persuading someone to give you something and just outright forcing them to give you something? Unfortunately, I don’t think the author intended for this issue to be presented and so we never get the answer to that question. In the end, even evil magic can be tucked away in a corner for safekeeping…just in case, and one will still be a good witch.

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review 2020-03-18 11:36
Any Witch Way You Can
Any Witch Way You Can - Amanda M. Lee

by Amanda M. Lee

 

This one has a YA feel to it, but the characters made it a fun read. There's a sort of amusing snark among the members of a witch family. Three cousins and their four aunts have some love/hate family dynamics than lean towards the humorous.

 

It's also a murder mystery. A body is found in an Autumn festivities corn maze and as one of the cousins can see and talk to ghosts, the mystery of how and why this person was killed becomes the central theme to the story.

 

A lot of things were predictable. I spotted the killer almost as soon as they were introduced and an elusive character was also a bit obvious, but the dynamics between characters really carry the story. While I don't feel a compelling need to read more of the gazillion stories written by this author, I did really enjoy the read.

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text 2020-02-28 15:00
TOUR, EXCERPT & #GIVEAWAY - Trinity and Jeff (Wild Witches of Beaver Bay #3) by Kate Hill
Trinity and Jeff (Wild Witches of Beaver Bay #3) - Kate Hill

@GoddessFish, @katehillromance, #Erotic#Paranormal#Romance

 

Denying her love for her childhood friend, Jeff, Trinity visits her family’s ancestral land, believing the Wild family magic has called her there to meet her soulmate. Instead she finds danger at every turn, but she won’t have to face it alone.

 

Jeff has loved Trinity his whole life, but settled for friendship after she broke his heart on prom night. Now this soldier turned firefighter faces the supernatural to protect Trinity and convince her once and for all that they belong together.

Source: archaeolibrarian.wixsite.com/website/post/tour-excerpt-giveaway-trinity-and-jeff-wild-witches-of-beaver-bay-3-by-kate-hill
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review 2020-02-28 02:22
Review ~ Awesome!
Popcorn and Poltergeists - Nancy Warren

Book source ~ Kindle Unlimited

 

Lucy Swift is getting very good at running her undead grandmother’s knitting shop in Oxford. Cardinal Woolsey’s is running smoothly and the vampire knitting circle is producing hand-knitted items at an incredible rate. Well, they are vampires after all so they knit very fast. The classes Lucy has set up are also taking off and she has a sneaking suspicion her newly undead grandmother is thinking of opening a new knitting shop somewhere far enough away that she won’t be recognized by former customers. Lucy’s not quite ready to let her grandmother go though, but she knows she’ll have to do it soon. Which is why she’s trying to up her studying of all things witchy. Oh, didn’t I mention that part? Lucy is also a witch. And so was her grandmother. Now that she’s got a handle on running the store, she needs her gran’s help with the witchy things. And then there’s the occasional murder to solve. Yep. I said it. Murder. And let’s not mention her love life. Who am I kidding? Let’s!

 

Rafe Crosyer is a very old vampire and the unofficial leader of the group in Oxford. He’s been there so long that he needs to think about moving on soon. But Lucy just got there and she’s not ready to move again. Plus, while Rafe is yummy and protective and smart and all that good stuff, he’s also a vampire. Who won’t age while she will. Dilemma! Of course, there’s Inspector Ian, but Lucy seems to have written off the good officer. Well, pooh. In any case, I’m looking forward to seeing where Rafe and Lucy’s relationship heads.

 

Now, to the murder…it’s an interesting one. There’s  a poltergeist in St. Mary’s College library! And with someone dead, Lucy and the vampires think that maybe the poltergeist had something to do with it. In any case, Lucy wants to figure out why the poltergeist is there and how to move it along before someone else gets hurt. Or worse.

 

I love this series of cozy mysteries with vampires and witches and love and humor. This particular one seems to better put together than the previous ones though I love them all. It flows easily and while I had my suspicions about the killer it still kept me guessing until the end. The addition of the poltergeist is a nice touch and I like how Lucy is finally taking her witchy abilities seriously. I hope there are many more books in this series.

Source: imavoraciousreader.blogspot.com/2020/02/popcorn-and-poltergeists.html
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