"I hope that my review will spread the word about this amazing story"
In the Spring of 1628 the Witchfinder of Wessex finds
himself a witch to hang. As Bess Hawksmith watches her
mother die on the hanging tree she knows she must honor her
mothers wishes and go to the only man who can save her from
the same fate. She has never liked Gideon Masters but he is
now the only person left who can protect her and teach her
about the Craft.
What Bess never realized is that she would end up running
from Gideon for over three hundred years. Determined to get
payment for teaching her what she knows and saving her life,
Gideon hunts her and sometimes even finds her. Will she ever
find a place where she will be safe? Can she keep the Craft
alive for herself and use it to help others?
It is 2007 and Bess is finally feeling safe. Maybe the
danger has passed and she can earn her modest living in
peace for once. Bess even befriends a girl called Teagan in
the village and starts to teach her the Craft but she
suddenly feels she has let down her guard and knows she
still has to confront Gideon at least one more time.
I came across this book totally by chance last week while
visiting my family in the UK. I was in Borders and they
announced a local author was in the store signing copies of
her book about witches. Of course my ears perked up and I
went in search of the book and author. Reading the back of
the book I did have my doubts. I am not one for historicals
but I still wanted to read the book and see what this fellow
Welsh woman had written.
First I have to say that I absolutely loved the book. Before
I go into details I have to also say that I doubt I would
have ever come across this book if I hadn't of been in
Borders that day and hope that my review will spread the
word about this amazing story of a witch who has lived
through so much and has so much to share.
The book starts in the present day and then moves on to 1628
and tells of the plague and Witchfinder. Then we have
another look into the present only to be transported back in
time again to the times of Jack the Ripper. Another look in
the present results in another trip back in time but this
time to Flanders field in the height of the war. Finally the
reader is back in the present to hear the last few entries
in the Elizabeth Anne Hawksmith's Book of Shadows. This
sounds a little confusing but it was the perfect layout for
The history in the book was well written with detailed and
in depth descriptions of what Bess was experiencing. This
extra effort made me feel like I was there with Bess and
also made the historical part of this book extremely
interesting. With such a wonderful lead character, a
fascinating plot and such a descriptive writing style this
had me hooked and I couldn't put it down.
Book of Shadows is obviously aimed at adult readers but I
think young adult readers would also appreciate this. I will
be recommending this book to a lot of people I know and I
can't wait to see what the author comes up with next. Of
course I would like to see a sequel to this story sometime
or even meet up with Teagan again but in some ways I think
the book is great how it ended.
In conclusion - buy this book. Definitely better than Cate
Tiernan's witch books and an extremely impressive debut. If
you can find a copy get it and enjoy it!
Reviewed by Amber Chalmers
Posted April 1, 2009