The Witch's Kiss
By Elizabeth Corr, Katharine Corr
Sixteeen-year-old Meredith is fed-up with her feuding family and feeling invisible at school – not to mention the witch magic that shoots out of her fingernails when she’s stressed. Then sweet, sensitive Jack comes into her life and she falls for him hard. The only problem is that he is periodically possessed by a destructive centuries-old curse. Meredith has lost her heart, but will she also lose her life? Or in true fairytale tradition, can true love’s kiss save the day?
I requested this book because I have always enjoyed books about witches and witchcraft and I liked the sound of it when I read the blurb.
The initial chapter of the book is set in the past in the Kingdom of the South Saxons, 522AD and begins with the words
“Witches do not kneel.They do not grovel. They do not beg favours from any creature, mortal or immortal. At the most, they bargain. Meredith knew this: had known it for as long as she could remember. But, as she scrambled up the steep hillside, shredding her skirts and skin on the long thorns of may trees, the things she had been certain of were no longer enough. “
Meredith scrambles into a grove and makes an oath: “by the time the charmed sleep ends, one of my children’s children will be ready to face Gwydian, to defeat him and to remove all traces of his enchantments from the face of the earth. We shall have vengeance.”
In the present we meet Merry, a teenage witch whose mother and grandma are also witches. Merry began experimenting with her powers in secret because she knew her mum would disapprove. Recently though an incident scared her into stopping and ever since then her powers have been spilling out and have been out of her control.
When we meet Merry she has been dreaming about rivers of blood running round her feet and a boy with eyes that were “hard and cold and full of cruelty.”
When her chapter begins Merry is alone in the house as her mother is away on business in Paris (again) and her elder brother has gone out drinking despite their being a serial killer on the loose. Merry is understandably feeling on edge, “the restlessness was like ants…, crawling over her skin. But there was definitely more to it than that. A person who was merely restless didn’t check under her bed every night before she turned out the lights, or sleep with a tennis racket handily positioned against the bedside table.”
I like the way the authors described the sibling relationship between Leo and Merry in a believable way. “She and Leo were a team, over the years they’d learnt to look out for one another, especially as their mother spent more and more time away at work, and became more and more distant. Things might have been different once, before their father left, but Merry had only been four when he took off. As far back as she could remember it had been her brother who watched her back and took care of her, despite his occasional grumbling.”
One of my favourite bits of the book was when Leo and Merry are discussing the things their grandma used to do with them when they were little. “I remember it was magical. I mean literally magical. Like all those time we’d sit around the fire with hot chocolate and marshmallows, and she’d make the flames take on the shapes of the characters in the story she was telling us.”
This book reminds me of ‘Practical magic’ and ‘The Secret Circle’ trilogy by L .J. Smith because of the generational differences in terms of their views on magic.
As Merry's magic gets increasingly hard to control even Leo begins to fear the extent of her power. Even with training Merry finds it hard to keep her magic under control.
Then there is Jack, Gwydion's servant. Jack was once a prince and now he is The King of Hearts spreading fear where there should be love, Even knowing all this Merry can't help but feel attracted to him.
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