Something Wicked This Way Comes...
A year after her husband's sudden death, ceramic artist Tilda Fordwells finally moves into the secluded Welsh cottage that was to be their new home. She hopes that the tranquil surroundings will help ease her grief, and lessen her disturbing visions of Mat's death. Instead, the lake in the valley below her cottage seems to spark something dormant in her - a sensitivity, and a power of some sort. Animals are drawn to her, electricity shorts out when she's near, and strangest of all, she sees a new vision; a boatful of ancient people approaching her across the water.
On this same lake in Celtic times lived Seren, a witch and shaman. She was respected but feared, kept separate from the community for her strange looks. When a vision came to her of the Prince amid a nest of vipers she warned of betrayal from one of his own. Prince Brynach both loved and revered her, but could not believe someone close to him wished him harm, even as the danger grew.
In her own time, Tilda's grief begins to fade beside her newfound powers and a fresh love. When she explores the lake's ancient magic and her own she discovers Seren, the woman in her vision of the boat. Their two lives strangely mirror each other's, suggesting a strong connection between the women. As Tilda comes under threat from a dark power, one reminiscent of Seren's prophecy, she must rely on Seren and ancient magic if death and disaster are not to shatter her life once more.
My Thoughts :
I have enjoyed many a book written by this author and am kicking myself because it took so long for me to get around to reading The Silver Witch. It was a fantastic read, sometimes melancholy but then mostly uplifting. Full of magic and mystery this was just how I remember Brackston's earlier novels to be. Historical, exciting and Welsh.
The story of The Silver Witch twists and turns and is told from two perspectives. One in the past and one in the present. The link is obvious to the reader earlier on but the reason and explanation is reason for reading. The story is compelling and interesting with a lovely setting. The background is well researched and impressive. I loved every moment and couldn't put the book down. I was hooked from the beginning.
Actually the book made me want to pack up my things and head home to Wales. The author brings out such a beautiful side of a land I grew up in but obviously haven't even begun to experience. The details are vivid and obviously first hand. You can really get a sense of the present Wales as well as that of the past one. Everything is well thought and it shows.
The plot is sometimes slow and sometimes a little too fast but the story itself is so intriguing that it makes no difference to the wonderful reading experience. I am not a lover of historicals but this author really makes everything come to life and twists the history to make it all so interesting. I look forward to her magical aspects and can almost believe it is all true.
Paula Brackston is one of my favourite authors and while I don't always get to her books straight away I always enjoy them immensely. They are different to the usual paranormal books I read but they are always a joy and a lovely trip home to Wales.