Return of the Witch
By Paula Brackston
After five years in the Summerlands, Gideon has gained his freedom. Elizabeth knows he will go straight for Tegan, and that she must protect the girl she had come to regard as her own daughter. In the time since she the dramatic night in Batchcombe woods, Tegan has traveled the world learning from all manner of witches, and she is no longer the awkward teenager and novice spellcaster she once was. However, her skills are no match for Gideon's dark, vengeful power, and he succeeds in capturing her. Will Elizabeth be able to find her? Will they be able to defeat their nemesis once and for all?
In a breathless journey that takes them through history, witch pursues warlock. Three people steeped in magic weave a new story, but not all will survive until the end.
As a massive fan of The Witch’s Daughter I was very excited to read this sequel and to read about the return of Elizabeth Hawksmith, or Bess. It has been a few years since I read The Witch’s Daughter so my knowledge of the characters was a bit sketchy but as I read The Return of The Witch bits and pieces came back to me.
I would say that The Return of the Witch would not work well as a stand-alone book and for those who haven’t read The Witch’s Daughter I would suggest you read that first and that you read no more of this review as it may contain spoilers.
The Return of the Witch begins with the words
For a moment the sounds of the forest were denied me, replaced by a supernatural silence, as if there was no air to calm the noises of the night-time. Bess has just made a painful return from the Summerlands. Most witches stay in the Summerlands once they arrive but she had to leave out of necessity as her nemesis Gideon had escaped.
Someone or something helped him. And Goddess knew that someone must be in possession of the most terribly powerful magic. With such an ally Gideon would be doubly dangerous.
When we left Tegan she was an awkward teenager and an apprentice hedge witch to Bess, a young girl unsure of her place in the world. Bess is surprised by the transformations in Tegan whilst she was away.
Tegan was transformed. The slight, awkward girl I had left behind had grown into a strong, beautiful, young woman.
Out of necessity Bess has lead a solitary existence and has not let anyone close to her until she met Tegan.
“Throughout my abnormally long existence I had become adept at parrying awkward questions and at maintaining a distance from the society in which I lived. It had not always been easy, but it was necessary. Immortality has its price, and the greater part of that is isolation. Indeed, it was only Tegan, I believe, who had ever truly breeched the barriers I had placed about myself and ended the gnawing loneliness I had become accustomed to enduring for centuries.”
In Bess’ absence Tegan has been traveling the world trying to learn more about different ways of practicing witchcraft in different cultures and traditions. She studied with shamans in Siberia and a hoodoo priest in Louisiana.
Bess is pleased to see all that Tegan has accomplished and Tegan is exceptionally pleased to have Bess back with her but their reunion is tinged by the knowledge of Gideon’s escape and their belief that he is going to come after Bess and Tegan in order to get his revenge.
Bess and Tegan are on the lookout for Gideon and take measure to protect themselves but unfortunately those measures fail and Tegan is taking.
The room stank, an acrid, musty smell that filled the air, making me gag. Tegan was gone. Not simply gone from the room, or the house, but taken away. I knew it. I could feel it.
Bess swears to find her but in order to do so she must follow her to a different time and in order to do so she needs the help of a time stepper by the name of Erasmus. Erasmus is an interesting character not just because of his abilities as a time stepper but also because of his talents as a bookbinder.
Time stepping is a difficult and dangerous business so she needs to convince Erasmus that she has a good reason.
“I search for Tegan, apprentice hedge witch, lithe, young, fair, of good heart and shining soul, possessed of pure magic. Taken against her own will by the Warlock Gideon Masters, a man of dark deceit, evil intent, and cruel spirits, who means her great harm. I believe her life and soul to be in peril. He has taken her back through the years in their hundreds, a time of civil war and famine, when the country gnawed at its very being, and men, women and children were lost to the lofty plans of great men. I have sought help and divination from the faerie folk. They see her there. They see her in a land with no king.”
I enjoyed this book as much as I remember enjoying The Witch’s Daughter and I will be recommending it to others.
Our Final Rating...
Read & Shared 4 Times.