Thursday, 14 January 2021

Witch

Witch by Finbar Hawkins (HarperCollins) PB RRP $16.99 ISBN: 9781800245907

Reviewed by Dannielle Viera

When Evey witnesses her mother being bludgeoned by witch-hunters, she is torn between trying to save her and protecting her little sister, Dill. Reluctantly, she heeds her mother’s last words to ‘look to Dill’ and takes her sister to their aunt’s coven. But a fire seethes within Evey, and she seeks revenge for her mother’s death. Can she control her growing anger before it overwhelms her with dark ‘magick’? And will the bond of sisterhood shine a light on the path to peace for Evey and Dill?

A fictional tale based on the real-life witchfinders that roamed seventeenth-century England, Witch enfolds its audience in an ancient realm of spells, scrying stones and savagery. Finbar Hawkins employs first person to place the reader right in the middle of both the action and the anguish, ensuring that the reader feels every jolt during Evey’s fervent journey to vengeance.

Finbar’s use of language is intriguing, as he often utilises a more rustic turn of phrase to augment the historical ambience. While this may be jarring to the book’s teen audience at first, the skill with which Finbar paints his world with words soon enables readers to fly through the pages like a majestic owl, ‘the feathers of her wings brushing the moon’.

Bold, brutal and beguiling, Witch is a mesmerising exploration of life’s enduring dualities: love and hate, good and evil, light and dark. As Evey searches the hostile land for those who wronged her family, she unwittingly discovers her true self – a powerful witch who strives for balance in an unstable world.


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