Thursday, June 4, 2015

The Silver Witch by Paula Brackston

Oh Paula Brackston.  Ever since I read The Witch's Daughter a few years ago, I've eagerly awaited each of her novels.  I'm a bit behind, I do admit; but I have all of Paula's novels at home.  Paula manages to create a magical combination of history, witchery, Welsh mythology, pottery, and a bit of romance into a book that I couldn't put down.  In fact, I was lazy today and read all afternoon just because I couldn't wait to see what happened next in this novel.  

The Silver Witch is set in Wales.  Tilda has come home to live in the cottage she bought with her husband, Mat.  A tragic accident killed Mat on their way home from their honeymoon, and Tilda hasn't been able to live in what was to be their new home.  But she finally moves in, and is completely enchanted with the cottage, the view, and the seemingly potent atmosphere that surrounds her.  Tilda is a potter, and she hopes for inspiration after a year of grief and a lack of creativity.  

What Tilda gets is a cottage that keeps losing electricity, a mysterious lake that calls to her, and a growing knowledge that the area has awoken something magical inside her. Does this magic have a connection to Seren, the young witch and shaman who lived by the lake centuries ago?  

An archaeology site has sprung up near the lake, and it could be an exciting find:  there's a grave where there shouldn't be one, and it looks to be very, very old.  There's also the island set in the lake, that dates from 918 AD; it is the only man-made island in Wales.  What to they all have to do with Tilda in 2014?  Dark things are stirring, the legend of the sea horse in the lake persists, and Tilda may be the key to a centuries old curse that is coming to fruition.  

This is a back and forth novel between Tilda in present day, and Seren, Tilda's look-alike in 918 AD.  We see the ancient history of the area and the power in Seren to see visions and use the magic of the ancient Celts to protect Prince Brynach and his people on the island.  But trouble brews here, too.  Can Seren convince Prince Brynach her visions are true and danger is closing in on him?  

I grabbed this book off of one of my piles at home and I'm so glad I did!  I was sucked in pretty fast.  The setting is gorgeous, the mythology and Celtic magic will send you to the mythology section of your library or bookstore,  and the stories of Tilda and Seren will leave you wanting more Paula Brackston!

This has earned a spot in my top reads of 2015.  

Rating:  8/10 for a beautiful setting, an interesting historical background, and strong female characters.  A pinch of this, a pinch of that, all to make a wonderfully blended cocktail of a story.

Available in hardcover and e-book.

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