ARC Review: Once and Future Witches by Alix E Harrow


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.


I really enjoyed this author’s first book, The Thousand Doors of January, and this book was just as magical.  I adore the beautiful prose, which is so lovely to read.  The novel is full of twists and turns and pulls you into an incredibly atmospheric tale.

It is packed full of wonderful and diverse characters most of whom are female, giving this novel a feminist edge.  The three main protagonists sisters Beatrice, Agnes and Juniper couldn’t be more different.  Beatrice is wise, studious and intellectual, Agnes is strong and determined and Juniper is feisty and fearless and a little reckless at times.

The plot is good and also covers a variety of pertinent topics, such as racism, sexism and sexuality.  The pacing is overall fairly slow and whilst some chapters are action-packed and really held my attention, others were more contemplative and informative and took time to digest.  The book took me some time to get through and I could help but feel it could have been condensed slightly. 

This is the perfect Halloween read when thoughts of magic, witchcraft and witches fill our thoughts. I loved the addition of spells at the beginning of each chapter in the form of old nursery rhymes.  The author has spent a lot of time researching this topic which shows in the detail and the brilliant touches on many historical issues as well.  A gorgeously dark and spellbinding novel.  The ending was slightly shocking and I did not see that coming!

Publisher:  Little, Brown Book Group UK – Orbit
Publication Date:  15 October 2020 (UK)
Rating: 4 Stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 

Thank you to the publisher via Netgalley for my advanced copy of this book.  

I hope you enjoyed this review.  For my current reads, recommendations and anything else book related, please give me a follow on Instagram , Goodreads or Twitter. Happy reading.


Published by twistedinpages

Reader • Reviewer • Blogger

6 thoughts on “ARC Review: Once and Future Witches by Alix E Harrow

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