Book Review: The Once and Future Witches – a fun feminist tale filled with magic and love

Witches, suffragettes and sisters are the main focal point of Alix E Harrow’s new book which whisked me away from the dystopian nightmare that we are all living in.

By Laura Andrew
Friday, 12th March 2021, 11:19 am
Updated Friday, 12th March 2021, 11:25 am

I have pretty much given up on non fiction for the foreseeable future.

Our reality is such a mess that I’m only gravitating towards high fantasy worlds filled with magic to distract myself.

We all do enough doom scrolling on Twitter to cause daily anxiety attacks so I highly recommend putting down technology and picking up a comforting book.

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The Once and Future Witches - book review by Laura Andrew

Harrow’s new novel will reward you with a hug, wrapped in sisterly affection.

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The book starts by following three women estranged from one and another filled with distrust.

But you get to watch them grow together as their family bonds prove stronger than secrets and their love for each other blooms.

As someone who has a close relationship with my own sister the book rang true for so many aspects of the sibling relationship.

The petty fights, the competition but also the unyielding protective love.

Family is the most important thing in the world to me right now in this crazy pandemic.

I have not been able to see my sister in person for many months so reading the familiar tone in Harrow’s dialogue was excessively rewarding for me personally.

It also prompted a few spontaneous video calls.

The magic in this book is also wonderfully gratifying.

All women in this novel have the power inside of them once they grasp their independence.

This book is set at the same time as the suffragette movement and there is a lot of crossover between magic and women's rights.

It was really fun to watch these female characters grow into themselves and cause mayhem upon the matriarchal society in which they live.

Representation in this book was also great - in particular an LGBTQIA+ romance with one of the main characters.

Something that I wish was more pronounced in the fantasy genre. It added a depth to the book that had me staying up to the early hours.

If you want to hear more of my book thoughts follow @lauraandrew95

In these confusing and worrying times, local journalism is more vital than ever. Thanks to everyone who helps us ask the questions that matter by taking out a subscription or buying a paper. We stand together. Liam Hoden, editor.