I first saw this book while scrolling through Instagram And came across a post by the author showing the UK and the US covers side by side, and then that was it-I was drawn in and hooked on both of the cover pictures and I needed to own this book and to read it.
At first I felt let down and disappointed- the plot felt slow and like there was something missing, but I kept reading thinking “it’ll all be in the next chapter” not really knowing what “it” actually was. And then at chapter 15 there “it” was! That feeling of becoming so invested in the plot that you’ve been sucked in and are watching it play out around you as if you’re there submerged in the story. It became hard to put down and with heavy eyelids I reluctantly went to sleep, clock-watching during those pesky waking hours when I couldn’t just sit and read.
The characters seemed so much stronger from this point in the book, and the thinking and relationships seemed so much more real and worked on (if that makes any sense at all!) that they just seemed to sit so well in support with the plot.
I loved the forces of good and evil, the light and the darkness! At times I often caught myself wondering, and hoping, that the Dark Wood was actually a good place that had been shunned by men wanting to take power from women and run the show themselves (sounds like good old politics to me) and kept waiting for Immanuelle to become at one with the witches and ride in to Bethel on a chariot of clouds and flowers and strike down the Prophet and reign in peace with the Poole loving and working for a better future side by side with the witches BUT obviously a with name like Lilith, one isn’t likely to be a misunderstood malevolent witch spirit who wants to make friends and braid the hair of the village maidens, no matter how much you wish it so. But I was so glad when Immanuele and Ezra fought hard for the peace and enlightenment that their people should have and very much needed, and I’m so glad she decided to take the higher road in the end and not shed more blood.
The author writes that she grew up with stories of good against evil and I can see why she was driven to create this novel. It’s well written, well structured and does actually make you think about how religion and the politics around it actually play a part in our own world and daily living.
This was good read but would make an amazing film adaptation! I can literally imagine the special effects of the end chapters being especially gruesome and wickedly good! I do recommend to anyone who loves a good witch hunt though!