Today I am delighted to be hosting the blog tour for The Year of the Witching by Alexis Henderson.
Born on the fringes of Bethel, Immanuelle does her best to obey the Church and follow Holy Protocol. For it was in Bethel that the first Prophet pursued and killed four powerful witches, and so cleansed the land.
And then a chance encounter lures her into the Darkwood that surrounds Bethel. It is a forbidden place, haunted by the spirits of the witches who bestow an extraordinary gift on Immanuelle. The diary of her dead mother . . .
Fascinated by and fearful of the secrets the diary reveals, Immanuelle begins to understand why her mother once consorted with witches. And as the truth about the Prophets, the Church and their history is revealed,
so Immanuelle understands what must be done. For the real threat to Bethel is its own darkness. Bethel must change. And that change will begin with her . . .
So, the blurb read ‘The Handmaid’s Tale meets The Village in this stunning feminist debut . . .‘ and from that moment on I couldn’t WAIT ti read this amazing novel. My beautiful, shiny copy arrived through the post and I reluctantly put it aside whilst I waited for it to reach the top of my reading list. Reader, it was oh so worth the wait and every bit as good as I hoped it would be. It was absolutely chilling at times and there is a deep, dark message for each and every one of us within this story. Alexis’ writing style is rather refreshing and rather good. It is slick and well thought out, her plotting always holding you within it’s grip. Her characters are well drawn and the setting is atmospheric, shrouding the story in a sinister mist that certainly adds to the sense of horror and unease that I carried with me throughout. There is certainly no evidence that this is actually a debut, but a debut it is and a very impressive one at that. It has been described as ‘feminist fantasy’ and yet there is a good dose of reality hidden within the tale, touching on darker areas of society, religion and community. This tale will stay with me for a long time. It is without doubt one of my favourite reads this year.
Thank you so much to Anne Cater for inviting me to take part in this blog and to the lovely people at Bantam Press for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review. I adored this novel, still it lingers with me long after I finished the last page.
About the author
Alexis Henderson is a speculative fiction writer with a penchant for dark
fantasy, witchcraft, and cosmic horror. She grew up in one of America’s most haunted cities, Savannah, Georgia, which instilled in her a life-long love of ghost stories. When she doesn’t have her nose buried in a book, you can find her painting or watching horror movies with her feline familiar. Currently, Alexis resides in the sun-soaked marshland of Charleston, South Carolina.