Book Review: The Winter Witch By Paula Brackston
Summary Of Book (By Author)
In her small Welsh town, there is no one quite like Morgana. She has never spoken, and her silence as well as the magic she can't quite control make her a mystery. Concerned for her safety, her mother quickly arranges a marriage with Cai Bevan, the widower from the far hills who knows nothing of the rumours that swirl around her. After their wedding, Morgana is heartbroken at leaving, but she soon falls in love with Cai’s farm and the rugged mountains that surround it, while slowly Cai himself begins to win her heart. It’s not long, however, before her strangeness begins to be remarked upon in her new village. A dark force is at work there—a person who will stop at nothing to turn the townspeople against Morgana, even at the expense of those closest to her. Forced to defend her home, her love, and herself from all comers, Morgana must learn to harness her power, or she will lose everything.
Well let me start by explaining one thing, I do not read many chapter books. Now do not get this confused with me not reading, I have read before so I know the difference between something that is good and something that is the opposite. And I know good writing as I have been schooled by many of my comrades on this forum. This is one of the first books I have read in a while that really had me caught up into it so, let's begin the review.
So, I discovered this book at a Barnes and Nobles after seeing a movie. I was waiting for the rest of my party to depart from their movie, once it was concluded, so I decided to go to the book store across the street. Now once in the store, I wandered looking for something good to read in the mean time. This was the instant I discovered a book on display, one left, and its name alone made my arms open the hard cover book. Inside the case awaited a story that I would enjoy highly, and would get in the near future because of my longing for the book.
As I opened up to the first page, I began to read and was surprised at how well the author was at describing such simple events. Making them seem so magnificent, so thought provoking. Such tremendously small events such as a girl observing a spider. Not knowing I was reading a novel written by a New York Bestseller Writer named Paula Brackston. The first page alone got me interested in the story, now I was a little suspicious as what was gonna happen. Such a normal beginning to a story led me anxious to know.
Leaving the book at the store, after only finishing the first page made me long for it. I searched for it for a while until I finally purchased it off of Amazon. Waiting a week for it to arrive at my door left me even more enthralled to the read the print upon the pages of this three-hundred forty page book. After reading it, I will get into what I enjoyed about the book.
First of all, love stories always have me by the tail. I enjoy watching scenarios unfold, trying to see if this girl will fall in love with his traveler she was forced to marry. I will admit I enjoyed the love story, whether or not the two main characters ended up liking each other or not. The story was very compelling to me, the two main characters having to deal with the hardships of their own lives and also having to deal with each other. Now this could have been done very poorly, as many forms of media have shown. Yet, I believe Paula Brackston did a very good job of showing how she wanted the story to turn out, and also I enjoyed how she always kept you guessing, whether some were easier, or some harder.
Second, what I thought was a risky move, but a very interesting tool in the novel was the POV swapping. The story itself has a Third-Person overtone, yet often the story would change between First Person Point of Views between the two main characters Morgana and Cai. I thought this allowed for many descriptive moments, allowing the picture to be seen through three sets of eyes. Morgana's, Cai's, and your own.
Third, I enjoyed the tone of the story. Some people complained that they didn't believe it had enough action in it for it to have the Witch name plastered on the front. But thinking that all books reminiscent with the word witch are synonyms with the word action is ignorant.
Finally, last thing I will say before spoilers is that Paula Brackston really understands how to put you into a character. How to make you feel their pain, how to show their emotions to you. How to make an event occur inside your head, and make you feel every emotion of it. She was very skilled at this.
I really enjoyed watching how close Morgana and Cai got to each other. Through all of their hardships, whether it was Catrin related, or just the troubles Morgana faced or the ones she caused herself. Or even the ones caused by the villain, they pushed through it. It allowed them to become closer to each other, and it was beautiful and enjoyable to watch it. To see Cai become Morgana's protector and vice versa. To see the love they shared with each other, and to watch Morgana become stronger in her magical arts. Watch her become more self-aware, more confident, into a woman, but also a protector. And to see Cai accept his new wife, to become closer and put his life on the line for her, when faced against his old friends. It was quite an astounding and heart felt experience.
Another thing, about the villain Isolda. I honestly didn't expect her to be a witch, it was actually obvious if you ask me. I didn't notice the first read-through though, until they revealed it. I guess she was an obvious candidate. Though even with me not expecting her, she did her job, of making me hate her. All of her evil deeds, even the ones done to Cai before Morgana appeared as Mrs. Jenkins. I also enjoyed watching the morbid turn the book took in the fight against Morgana and she.
As for my final thoughts, I believe the Winter Witch to be a very good book,. Even with the gripes that the main characters over react, especially with Morgana's condition, I just don't agree. The book is beautiful, an awesome love story that was compelling, a format that allowed the reader to be pulled into the story intensely. Descriptions so thought provoking, and beautiful. Scenes so genuinely sad and shocking. And a good display of magic, allowed this book to speak to me, for me to really enjoy it. It is a very good book, one of the only books where I was so delighted and entertained that I forgot how many pages I was reading. It wasn't overbearing or underwhelming. Just right, I would recommend this to any of my associates.
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