The once and future witches

Alix E. Harrow

Book - 2020

"In the late 1800s, three sisters use witchcraft to change the course of history in Alix E. Harrow's powerful novel of magic and the suffragette movement. 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 Eastwood sisters -- James Juniper, Agnes Amaranth, and Bea...trice Belladonna -- join the suffragists of New Salem, they begin to pursue the forgotten words and 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 will need to 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"--

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SCIENCE FICTION/Harrow, Alix
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1st Floor SCIENCE FICTION/Harrow, Alix Due Jul 13, 2022
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Subjects
Genres
Fantasy fiction
Alternative histories (Fiction)
Published
New York : Redhook 2020.
Edition
First edition
Language
English
Physical Description
516 pages ; 25 cm
ISBN
9780316422048
0316422045
Main Author
Alix E. Harrow (author)
Review by Booklist Reviews

*Starred Review* Harrow solidifies her status as an exceptional storyteller with her outstanding sophomore effort (after The Ten Thousand Doors of January, 2019). Once upon a time (1893, to be exact), there were three sisters, Bella, Agnes, and Juniper Eastwood. Estranged for years, the sisters are brought back together by a seemingly unnatural force. Could it have been witchcraft? No, for there has been no magic (and therefore no witches) since the Purge. When one of the sisters unknowingly calls forth a mythic tower known only from fairy tales, it's proof that magic lives once more. As women of the town march for their right to vote, the Eastwood sisters are witching to regain even more rights for women. But every fairy tale has a villain, and this one will do whatever it takes to end witching once and for all. Using magic as a metaphor for women's rights, this novel cleverly connects the dots between the suffragist movement of the past to the Me Too movement of today. Compelling, exhilarating, and magical, The Once and Future Witches is a must-read.Women in Focus: The 19th in 2020 Copyright 2020 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Library Journal Reviews

There used to be witches, but plagues and purges came, along with fire—and now the witches are gone. Little charms endure, passed down through the generations, but these are worn down to nursery rhymes and old memories. Now in 1893, women look for power at the ballot box, and the New Salem Women's Association seeks suffragists to support their cause. On the spring equinox, the long-separated Eastwood sisters—James Juniper, Agnes Amaranth, and Beatrice Belladonna—all feel the energy that arrives in their city and start to use their positions in the women's movement to reclaim real magic. But there is a shadowy sickness in New Salem, and the sisters will need to form alliances throughout the city, discover lost witchcraft, and set down the pain of their childhood, before a dark power destroys the movement and their lives. The worldbuilding is richly detailed, inclusive, and enchanting, while still honoring the harsher history of civil rights and resistance. VERDICT Drawn from folklore and history, Harrow's (The Ten Thousand Doors of January) lyrical prose immerses readers in a story of power and secrets that is not easily forgotten.—Kristi Chadwick, Massachusetts Lib. Syst., Northampton Copyright 2020 Library Journal.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

Harrow's sophomore novel (after The Ten Thousand Doors of January) is a love letter to folklore and the rebellious women of history. The Eastwood sisters—bookish Beatrice, stoic Agnes, and feral Juniper—each paid a high price to escape their abusive parents and harsh childhood in an alternate 1893 America where witchcraft is real, illegal, and all but extinct. When a legendary rose-covered tower manifests in New Salem, the Eastwood sisters reunite as adults, drawn to its power. Assisted by New Salem's working-class and black communities, they set out to bring back real magic, but their actions accidentally boost a terrifying, repressive politician to fame. Harrow gestures at a diverse, gender-neutral vision of witchcraft, through which men cast spells in Latin, the Dakota Sioux use dances, and black witches use songs and constellations, but despite the inclusive background cast and manifesto moments (in Harrow's imagining, a witch is "any woman who... fights for her fair share"), the racial and gender politics are oversimplified as the focus remains tightly on the sisters. Still, their path to empowerment is entertaining, and Harrow's world is gleefully referential; folklore and history enthusiasts will have a feast. Agent: Kate McKean, Morhaim Literary. (Oct.) Copyright 2020 Publishers Weekly.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

"In the late 1800s, three sisters use witchcraft to change the course of history in Alix E. Harrow's powerful novel of magic and the suffragette movement. 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 Eastwood sisters -- James Juniper, Agnes Amaranth, and Beatrice Belladonna -- jointhe suffragists of New Salem, they begin to pursue the forgotten words and 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 will need to 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"--

Review by Publisher Summary 2

In the late 1800s, three sisters use witchcraft to change the course of history in a Hugo award-winning author's novel of magic amid the suffragette movement. 75,000 first printing.

Review by Publisher Summary 3

"A gorgeous and thrilling paean to the ferocious power of women. The characters live, bleed, and roar. "?Laini Taylor, New York Times bestselling authorA NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • Winner of the British Fantasy Award for Best Fantasy Novel • Named One of the Best Books of the Year by NPR Books • Barnes and Noble • BookPageIn the late 1800s, three sisters use witchcraft to change the course of history in this powerful novel of magic, family, and the suffragette movement. 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 Eastwood sisters?James Juniper, Agnes Amaranth, and Beatrice Belladonna?join the suffragists of New Salem, they begin to pursue the forgotten words and 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 will need to 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.An homage to the indomitable power and persistence of women, The Once and Future Witches reimagines stories of revolution, motherhood, and women's suffrage—the lost ways are calling.Praise for The Once and Future Witches:"A glorious escape into a world where witchcraft has dwindled to a memory of women's magic, and three wild, sundered sisters hold the key to bring it back...A tale that will sweep you away."?Yangsze Choo, New York Times bestselling author "This book is an amazing bit of spellcraft and resistance so needed in our times, and a reminder that secret words and ways can never be truly and properly lost, as long as there are tongues to speak them and ears to listen."?P. Djèlí Clark, author The Black God's DrumFor more from Alix E. Harrow, check out The Ten Thousand Doors of January.

Review by Publisher Summary 4

In the late 1800s, three sisters use witchcraft to change the course of history in Alix E. Harrow's powerful novel of magic and the suffragette movement. Named One of the Best Books of the Year by NPR Books ' Barnes and Noble ' BookPage  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 Eastwood sisters'James Juniper, Agnes Amaranth, and Beatrice Belladonna'join the suffragists of New Salem, they begin to pursue the forgotten words and 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 will need to 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. An homage to the indomitable power and persistence of women, The Once and Future Witches reimagines stories of revolution, motherhood, and women's suffrage'the lost ways are calling.Praise for The Once and Future Witches:"A gorgeous and thrilling paean to the ferocious power of women. The characters live, bleed, and roar. I adore them, and long for witchcraft to awaken in all of us. Harrow makes it feel possible, and even likely."'Laini Taylor, New York Times bestselling author"A glorious escape into a world where witchcraft has dwindled to a memory of women's magic, and three wild, sundered sisters hold the key to bring it back...A tale that will sweep you away."'Yangsze Choo, New York Times bestselling author "This book is an amazing bit of spellcraft and resistance so needed in our times, and a reminder that secret words and ways can never be truly and properly lost, as long as there are tongues to speak them and ears to listen."'P. Djèlí Clark, author The Black God's DrumFor more from Alix E. Harrow, check out The Ten Thousand Doors of January.