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The Once and Future Witches

de Alix E. Harrow

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2,385836,404 (4.09)83
In 1893, there's no such thing as witches. There used to be, in the wild, dark days before the burnings began, but now witching is nothing but tidy charms and nursery rhymes. If the modern woman wants any measure of power, she must find it at the ballot box.But when the three Eastwood sisters join the suffragists of New Salem, they begin to pursue the forgotten ways that might turn the women's movement into the witch's movement. Stalked by shadows and sickness, hunted by forces who will not suffer a witch to vote - and perhaps not even to live - the sisters must delve into the oldest magics, draw new alliances, and heal the bond between them if they want to survive. There's no such thing as witches. But there will be.… (més)
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» Mira també 83 mencions

Es mostren 1-5 de 83 (següent | mostra-les totes)
I love this book! It’s original, and beautifully crafted, with moments of sassy humor and heartbreaking tragedy. It’s set in a universe not quite just around the corner from ours – a universe that had its Seneca Falls Conference and 1890s Suffragette Movement, its own Chicago Pullman strike and its own Eugene Debs, but it's also a universe where the Sisters Grimm and Charlene Parreau collect fairy tales for children that may hold the ancient witchways hidden in their nursery stories and pat-a-cake rhymes. It’s a universe in which three sisters (it’s always three, you know) reunite after crimes and betrayals too dark to reveal, driven by righteous anger to try to revive the ancient arts. They are attracted at first to the independent spirit and feeling of sisterhood rising in the Suffragette movement, surely a match made in neither heaven nor hell, but possibly in some little pocket of reality that can be reached only through the rabbit hole.

Harrow is deft and sure-footed as she weaves a tale as compelling as any fairy-tale enchantment, uncovering layer after layer of the sisters’ characters as they move deeper and deeper into the battle to take charge of their own lives and their own destinies. They are helped, eventually, by other women (and A Few Good Men) who live in the New Salem of this universe – a city of rigidly gridded streets and determinedly upright citizens, who are nevertheless haunted by the heritage of their Old Salem, a city burned to ashes to rid itself of the stain of witchcraft. And yet there is something nasty and evil creeping around the edges of all this self-righteous purity, and the nascent coven, which names itself the Sisters of Avalon, quickly attract both its attention and its enmity.

Drawing both on the classic precepts of witchcraft and on the richly symbolic fabric of fairy tales and children’s rhymes, Harrow creates a tapestry both complex and compelling, with characters the reader can’t help rooting for. There are all sorts of surprises lurking in the corners, some great fun (who are those two sisters, Victoria and Tennessee, who show up from time to time?), some deeply hidden under two or three layers of deception, and some that present themselves as obvious to anyone familiar with what is popularly accepted as the lore of The Craft.

This is an ambitious and polished work, and not one that can be whizzed through over a long weekend. The reader will find total immersion here, and an unwillingness to put the book down to return to the mundane world. One might even say it’s almost as if the book were … well, enchanted might not be too strong a term. ( )
  LyndaInOregon | Mar 27, 2024 |
Worldbuilding: A
Plot: B-
Writing: C ( )
  caedocyon | Feb 23, 2024 |
Honestly, the beginning of this book dragged for me. Not enough to stop me reading but enough that I could easily put it down. I felt a kinship to the characters that kept me coming back. By halfway I was hooked, I watched the story unravel and even as I figured out what was happening I loved it. I laughed, I cried, I felt lost, but most of all empowered.

It’s also got an incredibly diverse cast and I LOVE IT. I gave it 4 stars for the beginning being a bit slow but it’s worth every one of them. ( )
  ChaoticGoblin | Jan 23, 2024 |
I really liked this even though the writing style was too "lyrical" for me. I skimmed through some especially florid passages because it was the plot that interested me most. The Sisters Eastwood are total underdogs in a battle for women's rights. I knew they were going to triumph, but how?

The villain was excellent -- unexpected but his story totally made sense when it was revealed.

There are a million references to nursery rhymes and fairy tales in this, which is for sure my jam. ( )
  LibrarianDest | Jan 3, 2024 |
I read about a third of this book, and it was interesting and engaging. Despite of that, I did not feel invested. The sisters are taking a long time to start liking each other. Other than that, I simply don't really care about what happens. I feel I should. But I don't care about the characters. ( )
  zjakkelien | Jan 2, 2024 |
Es mostren 1-5 de 83 (següent | mostra-les totes)
Bella, Agnes, and Juniper Eastwood are nobodies. They are estranged from one another, broken, impotent, and invisible, all having suffered at the brutal hands of an abusive father. They are witches without the craft of witches, wayward women in a world that “binds and bridles” wayward women....Over the course of the novel, the sisters must overcome their past grievances and heal their fractures, build a sisterhood with other women, and rediscover and master the spells half-hidden by the witches of yore in fairy tales, nursery rhymes, lullabies, and children’s stories....Harrow’s story lies firmly within the feminist tradition, reflective of the social commentaries of modern feminist thinkers like Kate Manne and Rebecca Traister and reminiscent of women’s recent and growing exercise of their political power
 
Combining an imaginative and fully realized system of magic, stellar worldbuilding and characters who grow, expand and subvert readers’ expectations on every page, THE ONCE AND FUTURE WITCHES is the perfect brew of magic and power. With themes of intersectional feminism, motherhood and the deep scars of trauma, Harrow provides readers with an intoxicating mix of fantasy and reality that will speak to both the powerless and the empowered, igniting a new fury within all who read it.
afegit per Lemeritus | editaBookReporter, Rebecca Munro (Nov 6, 2020)
 
If spells ("witch-ways" in the novel) are truly hidden in stories, then I know what spell is in The Once and Future Witches. It's the spell to claim a heart and dwell there, ever after. I unabashedly, unreservedly adore The Once and Future Witches. I adore it with the kind of passion that prickles at my eyes and wavers my voice. I adore it in a way that requires purchase of a giving copy, for friends in need.
 
The worldbuilding is richly detailed, inclusive, and enchanting, while still honoring the harsher history of civil rights and resistance. VERDICT Drawn from folklore and history, Harrow’s (The Ten Thousand Doors of January) lyrical prose immerses readers in a story of power and secrets that is not easily forgotten.
 
Harrow gestures at a diverse, gender-neutral vision of witchcraft, through which men cast spells in Latin, the Dakota Sioux use dances, and black witches use songs and constellations, but despite the inclusive background cast and manifesto moments (in Harrow’s imagining, a witch is “any woman who... fights for her fair share”), the racial and gender politics are oversimplified as the focus remains tightly on the sisters. Still, their path to empowerment is entertaining, and Harrow’s world is gleefully referential; folklore and history enthusiasts will have a feast.
afegit per Lemeritus | editaPublishers Weekly (May 12, 2020)
 

» Afegeix-hi altres autors

Nom de l'autorCàrrecTipus d'autorObra?Estat
Alix E. Harrowautor primaritotes les edicionscalculat
Zackman, GabraNarradorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
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To my mother and grandmother and
all the women they burned before us
Primeres paraules
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There's no such thing as witches, but there used to be.
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Maybe magic is just the space between what you have and what you need.
“Maybe you're right, and they didn't have anything to do with it. Still. Seems to me they're the same thing, more or less.” “What are?” Juniper's eyes reflect the bronze shine of Saint George's standing in the square. “Witching and women's rights. Suffrage and spells. They're both…” She gestures in midair again. “They're both a kind of power, aren't they? The kind we aren't allowed to have.” The kind I want, says the hungry shine of her eyes.
He comes from broad-minded Quaker stock, but there are rules about people like Miss Quinn lingering too long in the Salem College Library. The rules aren't written down anywhere, but the important rules rarely are.
an endless stream of committees and subcommittees to keep her busy. She didn't think throwing down the tyranny of man would take so many meetings, but apparently it does.
Things always come in sevens in witch-tales (swans, dwarves, days to create the world), so Juniper figures they'll do fine.
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Cap

In 1893, there's no such thing as witches. There used to be, in the wild, dark days before the burnings began, but now witching is nothing but tidy charms and nursery rhymes. If the modern woman wants any measure of power, she must find it at the ballot box.But when the three Eastwood sisters join the suffragists of New Salem, they begin to pursue the forgotten ways that might turn the women's movement into the witch's movement. Stalked by shadows and sickness, hunted by forces who will not suffer a witch to vote - and perhaps not even to live - the sisters must delve into the oldest magics, draw new alliances, and heal the bond between them if they want to survive. There's no such thing as witches. But there will be.

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Mitjana: (4.09)
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