Afternoon everyone and happy Friday!  Today I’ve got a couple of reviews for you, starting with the fabulous The Year of the Witching by Alexis Henderson…..

book blurb & info

The Handmaid’s Tale meets The Village in this stunning feminist debut . . .

‘A thrillingly brisk and bracing tale of magic and power . . . it takes the best tropes of horror and witchcraft and gives them a refreshingly feminist twist.’
S.A. CHAKRABORTY, author of The City of Brass

Born on the fringes of Bethel, Immanuelle does her best to obey the Church and follow Holy Protocol. For it was in Bethel that the first Prophet pursued and killed four powerful witches, and so cleansed the land.

And then a chance encounter lures her into the Darkwood that surrounds Bethel.

It is a forbidden place, haunted by the spirits of the witches who bestow an extraordinary gift on Immanuelle. The diary of her dead mother . . .

Fascinated by and fearful of the secrets the diary reveals, Immanuelle begins to understand why her mother once consorted with witches. And as the truth about the Prophets, the Church and their history is revealed, so Immanuelle understands what must be done. For the real threat to Bethel is its own darkness.

Bethel must change. And that change will begin with her . . .

Published by: Bantam Press on 23rd July 2020

Formats available: Paperback, Hardback, Audiobook & eBook

Purchase Links: Amazon UK ~ Amazon US

my thoughts

This is a fab story of strict religious cult like communities, witchcraft trials and the depth and depravity of mankind.  Reading this really did feel like a cross between  the film, The Village and the Salem Witch Trials which is how I pictured the story playing out in my mind.

Immanuelle is a strong female protagonist who will do what she has to do to save those that she loves.  Despite the things she comes up against she remains stoic, and fights for what she believes in.  Ezra is also fab.  A strong male lead who, like Immanuelle, won’t be blinkered to the truth. The different characters in this will bring out so many different emotions.  I literally hated some of them and couldn’t believe the things they would do and the way they behaved; whereas others make the ultimate sacrifice.

The story to me, despite the fantasy element to it, came across very real.  The history behind the witchcraft trials fascinates me and I’ve watched many documentaries about it; and could picture so much of this story actually taking place.  The accusations of witchcraft, the burning of witches and the persecution that many women, and some men, experienced in real life is brought alive in this story. .  As well as the strict religious upbringing many experienced and the beliefs that were forced on to the communities.

The author’s writing style is wonderful.  I really enjoyed it and her amazing descriptions really did bring it to life for me.  So much so, that some of the sacrificial and cutting scenes were a bit gruesome (but then I love a good horror!)

Overall if you’re a fan of a bit of horror, reading about religious cults and witchcraft trials, or just wants to read something original that will keep bring out a range of different emotions (many dark) then give this a go! Recommended by me.



about the author

Alexis Henderson is a speculative fiction writer with a penchant for dark fantasy, witchcraft, and cosmic horror. She grew up in one of America’s most haunted cities, Savannah, Georgia, which instilled in her a life-long love of ghost stories. When she doesn’t have her nose buried in a book, you can find her painting or watching horror movies with her feline familiar. Currently, Alexis resides in the sun-soaked marshland of Charleston, South Carolina.

tour info

Organised by: Random Things Tours

Thanks so much to Anne for inviting me on to the tour, and to Alexis and the publisher for gifting me with a copy of the book.  All views and opinions are my own.

I’ll be back later with another review for you, so have a wonderful day till then!

Chelle x

Please note this post contains Amazon affiliate links.  If you choose to purchase this book through these link, I will receive a small payment (at no additional cost to you).  This is the only form of monetisation on my blog so every little helps and is appreciated.

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