Review of The Witch’s Daughter by Paula Brackston

The Witch's Daughter

The Witch’s Daughter by Paula Brackston

Age range: Adult

Genre: Fantasy/historical fiction

Paperback: 416 pages

Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin; Reprint edition (January 31, 2012)

Source: Bought

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

 About the Book:


An enthralling tale of modern witch Bess Hawksmith, a fiercely independent woman desperate to escape her cursed history who must confront the evil which has haunted her for centuries

My name is Elizabeth Anne Hawksmith, and my age is three hundred and eighty-four years. If you will listen, I will tell you a tale of witches.  A tale of magic and love and loss.  A story of how simple ignorance breeds fear, and how deadly that fear can be.  Let me tell you what it means to be a witch.

In the spring of 1628, the Witchfinder of Wessex finds himself a true Witch. As Bess Hawksmith watches her mother swing from the Hanging Tree she knows that only one man can save her from the same fate: the Warlock Gideon Masters. Secluded at his cottage, Gideon instructs Bess, awakening formidable powers she didn’t know she had. She couldn’t have foreseen that even now, centuries later, he would be hunting her across time, determined to claim payment for saving her life.

In present-day England, Elizabeth has built a quiet life. She has spent the centuries in solitude, moving from place to place, surviving plagues, wars, and the heartbreak that comes with immortality. Her loneliness comes to an abrupt end when she is befriended by a teenage girl called Tegan. Against her better judgment, Elizabeth opens her heart to Tegan and begins teaching her the ways of the Hedge Witch. But will she be able to stand against Gideon—who will stop at nothing to reclaim her soul—in order to protect the girl who has become the daughter she never had?

Praise for The Witch’s Daughter

 “Brackston’s first novel offers well-crafted characters in an absorbing plot and an altogether delicious blend of historical fiction and fantasy.” —Booklist

“This pleasantly romantic historical fantasy debut flips lightly between the past experiences of ageless witch Elizabeth Anne Hawksmith and her present-day life in Matravers, England… Bess’s adventures are fascinating.” —Publishers Weekly

My Thoughts:

I loved this book! It was captivating from start to finish.  It was very dark, so I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone that has qualms about witchcraft, magic, or the dark arts. Bess is a great character, who turns into a witch in a moment of desperation and spends the rest of her long life making retribution for it by caring for people. Gideon is a completely horrible person, and I loved how scary and relentless he was.

The book is told in alternatively from the present day journal of Elizabeth and historical flashbacks throughout the centuries. The story flowed easily and I always looked for excuses to read it. I’m excited to read The Winter Witch now.

Content: Sex, including two instances of rape, violence, and some language (no f-words). The sexual encounters were either non-descriptive or lasted for a sentence or two.


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  • Reply
    Claudine G.
    February 6, 2015 at 6:29 am

    The cover looks familiar (and very pretty) so I must have heard about this book somewhere. Sounds like an interesting one!

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