The Witch's Daughter

The Witch's Daughter

Book - 2012
Average Rating:
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Baker & Taylor
Witnessing the death of her witch mother in the spring of 1628, Bess turns to secluded Warlock Gideon for protection and learns formidable powers including immortality, skills she begins teaching to a new apprentice centuries later while her former master insists on payment for saving her life. Reprint.

McMillan Palgrave

THE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

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?

Praise for The Witch's Daughter

"Brackston's first novel offers well-crafted characters in an absorbing plot and an altogether delicious blend of historical fiction and fantasy." --Booklist

"This pleasantly romantic historical fantasy debut flips lightly between the past experiences of ageless witch Elizabeth Anne Hawksmith and her present-day life in Matravers, England... Bess's adventures are fascinating." --Publishers Weekly



Baker
& Taylor

Witnessing the death of her witch mother in the spring of 1628, Bess Hawksmith turns to secluded warlock Gideon Masters for protection and learns formidable powers, including immortality, skills she begins teaching to a new apprentice centuries later.

Publisher: New York : Thomas Dunne Books, [2012]
ISBN: 9781250004086
125000408X
Branch Call Number: FICTION BRACKSTON
Characteristics: ix, 389, [8] p. ; 21 cm
Additional Contributors: Brackston, Paula Book of shadows

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Quietday
Apr 18, 2017

I'm not usually a fantasy reader but the topic of witchcraft has interested me lately and this is the fifth I've read on the subject. It was a good story, interesting in the time travel aspect. Bess was written in a way that let you really come to know her (as the reader) and stay interested in her life and struggles.

s
ShamaBole
Mar 05, 2016

I guess I should've known better than to start reading a book called "The Witch's Daughter". I got through about 40% and gave up, There is burning, rapine, death, humiliation.. yeah, humans at their best. I could just read the NYT instead.

i
IV27HUjg
Feb 20, 2016

Didn't love it, skimmed much of it, a bit far-fetched for my taste. Witchcraft in prior centuries is indeed a fascinating subject, I just prefer a more historic realism. One of the last witches put to death in 1660's Scotland is likely my ancestor - just because a cow dies after being touched by some woman does not make them a 'witch'.

ChristchurchLib Nov 23, 2015

Historical Fantasy. Elizabeth Hawksmith has spent much of her 384 years fleeing Gideon Masters, the warlock who made her immortal and taught her magic. Beginning in 1628, when Elizabeth becomes Gideon's apprentice in exchange for his protection from the local Witchfinder, the story -- related by Elizabeth to her own apprentice -- follows her numerous attempts to create an independent life for herself while evading the ruthless, possessive Gideon, who doggedly pursues her across the centuries, convinced that they are soul mates. So far, Elizabeth has succeeded in staying one step ahead, but she can't run forever. Can she? Must she? Fantasy newsletter November 2015

ChristchurchLib Nov 23, 2015

Historical Fantasy. Elizabeth Hawksmith has spent much of her 384 years fleeing Gideon Masters, the warlock who made her immortal and taught her magic. Beginning in 1628, when Elizabeth becomes Gideon's apprentice in exchange for his protection from the local Witchfinder, the story -- related by Elizabeth to her own apprentice -- follows her numerous attempts to create an independent life for herself while evading the ruthless, possessive Gideon, who doggedly pursues her across the centuries, convinced that they are soul mates. So far, Elizabeth has succeeded in staying one step ahead, but she can't run forever. Can she? Must she? Fantasy newsletter November 2015

n
Nvfera
Jul 23, 2015

Couldn't put it down! Read the entire book within 24 hours! Especially loved all the time travel. LOVE LOVE LOVE IT!

l
luminea
Jul 13, 2015

I thought this was an interesting take on the idea of witchcraft in the dark ages. I enjoyed reading about Bess's experiences in different centuries interesting, but did get rather bored with Gideon's prattle and repeated attempts to force her to rule the world with him. The story ended rather abruptly for me and I wonder if Tegan appears in a subsequent book...

A patron review from the Adult Summer Game: "A very interesting story following a witch through approximately three centuries, from the 1600's to modern day England. Through her we witnessed witch prosecutions, the medical practice growth, and war."

a
artemishi
Feb 14, 2014

The Witch's Daughter is part historical fiction, part contemporary adventure. With a dash of romance. I would say it tackled a large over-arcing concept well, but sacrificed some key character development in the process.

I liked Elizabeth, and each of the forays into her past was compelling (for me, the WWI exploit was the most vivid). My primary beef with the hurried characterizations is that we got a chunk of it from when she was young, but then the rest of the time we only see her as a benign force for good who is not nearly as paranoid as she ought to be.

That, and the fact that she's a unreliable narrator (do we actually see Gideon do harmful or evil things? No. Do we see Elizabeth never ever use magic for anything other than healing and escape? No. Both of these make me suspect our narrator isn't telling the whole truth.)

Characterization aside, as an adventure it sings along quite nicely. And it has some nice truths peppered into the fantastical elements of witchcraft. Told, in some parts, very viscerally, but a relatively quick read, I recommend it for fans of adventure with a dash of history, romance with a dash of danger, magic and witches (the non-Hollywood, crunchy Earth Mother sort), and fans of light chick lit.

a
agartner7
Jan 31, 2014

couldn't get into this one

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