Book Review: The Year of the Witching by Alexis Henderson

Title: The Year of the Witching
By: Alexis Henderson
Genre: Historical Paranormal
Pages: 368
Release Date: July 21st, 2020
Publisher: Ace
Rating: ★★★★☆

Summary from Goodreads:

A young woman living in a rigid, puritanical society discovers dark powers within herself in this stunning, feminist fantasy debut.

In the lands of Bethel, where the Prophet’s word is law, Immanuelle Moore’s very existence is blasphemy. Her mother’s union with an outsider of a different race cast her once-proud family into disgrace, so Immanuelle does her best to worship the Father, follow Holy Protocol, and lead a life of submission, devotion, and absolute conformity, like all the other women in the settlement.

But a mishap lures her into the forbidden Darkwood surrounding Bethel, where the first prophet once chased and killed four powerful witches. Their spirits are still lurking there, and they bestow a gift on Immanuelle: the journal of her dead mother, who Immanuelle is shocked to learn once sought sanctuary in the wood.

Fascinated by the 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 realizes the true threat to Bethel is its own darkness. And she starts to understand that if Bethel is to change, it must begin with her.


Oh! I loved this. The story is woven with such intricate characters and details that I couldn't help being sucked into the world. The young woman we follow seems to have everything in the world thrown at her and yet, she continues to fight for herself and those around her. The love story is wonderful and subtle, and the back story really helps the flow of the words. 

This story was like a twisted Salem Witch Trials with an actual dark secret. A wonderful read.

Received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review.

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