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 received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review
My Rating: 5 Stars
The Once and Future Witches is the book that I needed in 2020. I normally try for a fun and interesting intro to hook my readers, but all I can think right now is that y’all NEED to read this book. It is an incredible story about female empowerment, and the strength that we have when we lift each other up. Not only that, it is a story about three amazing sisters who come together to bring magic back into the world. I honestly can’t say enough good things.
This book tells the story of three sisters, all of whom have taken completely different paths in life and are no longer in contact or even on good terms. When a magical event brings them together, they decide to work on rekindling their relationship so that they can try to bring magic to the women of New Salem. While I really enjoyed all three sisters, Juniper was the one that I related to and connected with the most. She had a temper, was a little bit unpredictable, and maybe too rash at times, but her undying love for her sisters really struck a chord with me.
One of the things that I love the most about this book is that I think every reader will connect with one particular sister. They’re all different, and struggling with different obstacles in life that I think most women encounter at one time or another. It made their characters feel that much more real to me.
I found the side characters to be well developed too and thoroughly enjoyed both romantic interests in this book. There was a swoon worthy sapphic romance that kept me turning pages, and I think the LGBTQ+ rep was wonderfully done. The villain was somehow both easy to relate to (in the end when his motivations were made clear) and incredibly hatable. I hated him so much. SO SO MUCH. However, I was also really intrigued by him and it made The Once and Future Witches that much more enjoyable to read.
The magic system tied in children’s rhymes and fairytales in new ways, and I found those tie-ins fascinating. The new takes on stories I’ve been hearing since childhood really hooked me, and I loved that children’s rhymes were utilized for incantations. It honestly made me feel a little bit magical myself every time I knew a rhyme that was used in the book.
I will leave you with this: READ THIS BOOK! And then find me on social media (@asthebookends on Tik Tok and Instagram) so that we can gush over this story.