I married a witch, discovers the kindly Welsh widower making a marriage of necessity to a mute dairymaid.
There’s a whiff of Harry Potter in the witchy conflict—a battle between undeveloped young magical talent and old malevolence—at the heart of this sprightly tale of spells and romance, the second novel from British writer Brackston (The Witch’s Daughter, 2011). Eighteen-year-old Morgana Pritchard, silent by choice since childhood, doesn’t know the extent of her magical powers until new husband Cai’s housekeeper, Mrs. Jones, a witch herself, starts to teach her and also introduces her to the power of the well on Cai’s land. What Morgana does know—because she can smell it—is that there is powerful evil in the community, soon identified as Isolda Bowen, a witch intent on ruining Cai and getting the well for herself. After a cattle drive during which a man is killed, the couple returns home to discover that with Isolda’s encouragement, the locals have turned against Morgana, calling her the Winter Witch. But it is when Isolda curses Cai that the young witch must summon all her knowledge and resolve to fight for both their lives.
Love of landscape and lyrical writing lend charm, but it’s Brackston’s full-blooded storytelling that will hook the reader.