In the spring of 1628, the witch finder of Wessex finds himself a true witch. As Bess Hawksmith watches her mother swing from the Hanging Tree, she knows that only one man can save her from the same fate: the warlock Gideon Masters. Secluded at his cottage, Gideon instructs Bess, awakening formidable powers she didn’t know she had. She couldn’t have foreseen that even now, centuries later, he would be hunting her across time, determined to claim payment for saving her life.
In present-day England, Elizabeth has built a quiet life. She has spent the centuries in solitude, surviving plagues, wars and the heartbreak that comes with immortality. Her loneliness comes to an abrupt end when she is befriended by a teenage girl called Tegan. Against her own better judgement, Elizabeth opens her heart to Tegan. But will she soon be able to stand against Gideon – who will stop at nothing to reclaim her soul – in order to protect the girl who has become the daughter she never had?
I really enjoyed reading ‘The Witches Daughter’. I thought it was extremely well written, though I found it tended to drag at some moments, however over all it was an engaging and lively read.
Elizabeth’s history was fascinating, and it was so interesting to learn about her life, or lives rather throughout the book. She is strong, and deep inside is good though she is flawed and at times selfish. She’s wanted her whole life to be loved, to have a family and despite the years she’s lived she’s never attained any of these things until she meets Tegan. She adopts Tagen in kind of a surrogate manner, teaching her the craft, helping her develop and become more strong in who she is and independent. In Tegan she finds someone who speaks to her soul and she hasn’t experienced anything like it since her sister passed away.
Tegan is also an interesting character; she’s bratty, doesn’t listen and clearly is in desperate need for a friendship. It’s not clear why she is so drawn to Elizabeth, or why she keeps coming back when Elizabeth is clearly trying to push her away but she perseveres anyways, looking for someone to build her up when the world seems to be cruelly tearing her apart.
Gideon is evil, wow is he evil. He literally dances and consorts with the devil. He’s so obsessed with Elizabeth that he literally follows her throughout time. Tracking her and tricking her all in a vain effort to convince and capture Elizabeth’s affections, desires and to claim what he deems is rightfully his and I must daresay perhaps he has in a way. The poor woman has spent the majority of her life trying to escape from him and the darkness that shrouds him.
I will be quite honest with you; there is almost zero romance in this novel which is highly disappointing as the synopsis clearly indicates that there is a romantic story line. Unless you count Gideon’s creepy obsession with Elizabeth, which I for obvious reasons don’t. However, I suppose they could be talking about the kind of love that is found between two friends, the kind of love that a family holds for each other or even perhaps the love a mother has for her child. Elizabeth’s mother literally did everything she could have possibly done to save her daughter, even things I’m sure, she’s ashamed to admit.
Overall, The Witches Daughter is a great read and I’m definitely looking forward to reading more novels by Paula Brackston. She clearly enjoys writing about witches and I clearly love reading about them!