In her small Welsh town, there is no one quite like Morgana. She has never spoken, and her silence as well as the magic she can't quite control make her a mystery. Concerned for her safety, her mother quickly arranges a marriage with Cai Bevan, the widower from the far hills who knows nothing of the rumours that swirl around her.
After their wedding, Morgana is heartbroken at leaving, but she soon falls in love with Cai’s farm and the rugged mountains that surround it, while slowly Cai himself begins to win her heart. It’s not long, however, before her strangeness begins to be remarked upon in her new village. A dark force is at work there—a person who will stop at nothing to turn the townspeople against Morgana, even at the expense of those closest to her. Forced to defend her home, her love, and herself from all comers, Morgana must learn to harness her power, or she will lose everything.
My Thoughts :
I met Paula Brackston by accident. It was back in 2009 and she just happened to be signing books in the Borders store in Cardiff and I just happened to be doing some book shopping while visiting my family. Obviously I was meant to meet this wonderful author and read her 'Book of Shadows' (known as 'The Witch's Daughter in the States) because I have to admit I would have never even picked up Paula's work otherwise. Since then I have been a huge fan and am lucky enough to still be in contact with Paula.
The Winter Witch was a book I had to read. I am totally in love with Paula's work and only wish there were more books, maybe even a series, that I could curl up with. You see I am not someone who enjoys historical stories but the Welsh setting and the magical elements really speak to me. As in 'Book of Shadows' and 'Lamp Black, Wolf Grey', The Winter Witch combines the Welsh language with the history of my homeland as well as bringing in that witchy aspect that is so subtle but yet so dominant.
Reading the Winter Witch was like a trip to the National History Museum in Wales. I could imagine exactly how the farm would have looked, see the landscape perfectly from my own experiences and hear the singsong Welsh words as I read them. Maybe my Welsh roots make me love this book more than anyone else would but it is a great location and has a wonderful history that makes this story come to life.
Within the first pages I was hooked and the detailed writing made me homesick for Wales. After reaching the farm and getting to know Cai and Mrs Jones better I had a powerful urge to bake Welsh cakes and sing one of the Welsh songs I know. For anyone who who hasn't been to Wales this story will have you dreaming of going there soon. Morgana was a wonderful girl to follow and her lack of speech only made the story more interesting. A powerful twist in the already special tale.
Sometimes it is hard to really get over how wonderful a book is. To make others really understand how amazing it was and how you couldn't let go. The Winter Witch is, like Paula's previous books, one of those reads. It is a story that will stay with me for a long time and one I will visit again. It is a book that I will treasure forever and one I will recommend to friends and encourage people to try. I can only hope it will have the same effect on others as I can't find the words to express how superb this book is.
So give The Winter Witch a try and make sure to check out Paula's other works. I can't wait to see what comes next from this great author. 5 Stars, 10 out of 10! Diolch yn fawr!