The Winter Witch
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The Winter Witch

3.58 of 5 stars 3.58  ·  rating details  ·  4,210 ratings  ·  598 reviews
Fledgling witch Morgana must defend her love, her home, and her life in this enthralling tale perfect for fans of Discovery of Witches

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 Bev...more
Hardcover, 340 pages
Published January 29th 2013 by Thomas Dunne Books (first published January 1st 2012)
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Paradoxical
I am of various minds about this book. The Winter Witch tells the tale of Morgana, a girl who hasn't spoken for years, being married off to Cai, a widower who needs a wife because his job requires he have one. You have a supernatural flair as Morgana is a witch (though magic not something she can control so easily), and a fairly somber tone throughout the entire book as Morgana discovers enemies and circles around Cai warily.

First off, the book is both in first person (through Morgana's POV) and...more
Maja (The Nocturnal Library)
The Winter Witch is the second witch-themed novel by Paula Brackston (her first was The Witches’ Daughter, published in 2009), but if you’re worried about them being connected, rest assured, they are both standalones. I myself haven’t read The Midnight’s Daughter, but that didn’t stop me from becoming fully immersed in Morgana and Cai’s story. If anything, I was pleased to know that I have more of Brackston’s magic waiting for me in the future, be it The Witch’s Daughter, or her upcoming novel,...more
Rebecca
Gah. I had hopes for this book given that the Witch's Daughter was tolerably decent, but unless you just like to be depressed, anxious, and, frankly, bored, don't bother with this one. Nothing happened until 98% of the way through. Just injustice heaped upon injustice wrapped in dread and covered with tedium. Her tagline, which appeared frequently toward the end, "It will not do. Really, it will not," would have been far more effective had these words preceded action in any way, shape, or form....more
Jessica Knauss
In this sensitively written novel, Morgana, a wild girl who went mute upon the disappearance of her gypsy father, must marry a man she hardly knows and learn to fit into the social fabric of his Welsh town. Cai, the man in question, must take a wife in order to become the porthmon, the leader of the yearly drove of cattle to London and the most powerful man in town. But we quickly find that, in spite of his continued love for his previous wife, who passed away in childbirth, Cai harbors a deep a...more
Cocktails and Books
This book is absolutely wonderful. From the moment I picked it up, I could not put it down. The author’s meticulous attention to detail transports you back to 19th century Wales, painting a beautiful, breathtaking picture. She introduces you to Morgana, a mute witch who conveys far more through expression and actions than she ever could in words. After losing her father, Morgana’s mother worries for her, and arranges a marriage between Morgana and Cai, the most powerful man in town. Reluctant at...more
Jennifer
Paula Brackston has spun a vivid and absorbing tale that captivated me from start to finish. I loved this book.
This is a novel that encompasses fantasy, romance, and suspense and combines them to create a very absorbing story. The female protagonist, Morgana, is a wonderfully penned character that I felt an immediate attachment to. Her speechlessness means that words do not define her, her actions do, and this was a thought-provoking concept. At times there was much frustration on Morgana's part...more
Ava
I was under the initial impression that The Winter Witch would be a different sort of novel than the one I read - which is a historical romance novel about a Welsh witch. Nothing wrong with the latter genre, but it's jarring to switch expectations in the midst of reading.

Basically, the plot line of The Winter Witch follows a formula romance with a marriage of convenience, similar to a Western rancher picking a wife for status purposes. However, in this case, the ranch is in Wales. Further, the...more
Lyndsey Rushby
Witches are one of my favourite subjects in books because there are so many different variations of how they are written so I was really looking forward to The Winter Witch.

To start with, The Winter Witch is told from a very strange point of view. Part of the story is told in the first person through Morgana but then also in the third person at times, which is mostly when the story surrounds Cai. I have to be honest and say I absolutely hated this. I found it very confusing for the narrative to...more
Jacqueline
A nice story with some lovely elements. There were bits of brilliant language and vivid images. It was great to read a story about droving which is something that is not greatly explored in historical fiction. There was magic and a struggle of good against evil.

It was told in alternating view points of the heroine and hero. That's fine but I didn't enjoy the tenses it was written in. I don't like first person present POV which the heroine's portion of the story is told. I totally despised that...more
Trish
As the plot line to this book has been told already by other reviewers I won't retell it here. I will say however that this book had me riveted- the events in the story were dramatic and pulled you in deeper the more you read. I also really loved the characters- there was something very familiar about them and reading this book felt comforting (almost like this was a sequel to a well loved book). There were however a couple of negatives I found when reading The Winter Witch. As other reviewers h...more
Mary Gramlich
There are times the best thing to say is nothing at all

Morgana has been gifted since birth with the ability to say everything without making a sound. Morgana cherishes the small sights another would take for granted but also vindicates herself when ill-treated. Being married to a man she does not know is the last choice she would have made but her mother insisted and Morgana obeyed.

Quickly Morgana discovers that her new husband, Cai Jenkins and his life is a treasure trove of discovery. The anim...more
Cheryl
Morgana’s mother marries her to Cai Jenkins. She does it out of love. She worries about Morgana and who will take care of her. Morgana is a nice girl but she has a slight flaw. She does not talk. Morgana has not spoken a word in years.

In the beginning Morgana did not care for Cai. Over time, she came to love Cai and their home together. Morgana meets a woman who helps her unlock the magic within Morgana. Later strange things start happening in town. People grow anxious and blame Morgana for the...more
Karen
If you like historical novels with Welsh witches and a little romance, this book is for you. I really enjoyed it. It reminded me a bit of the gothic romances I read when I was young. New young wife in danger, former wife dies much too prematurely, mysterious ambience, evil moving in, and budding love. New wife must find herself, overcome the disability that interferes with her ability to effectively communicate, and learn to stand her ground against the evil that would destroy her and those she...more
Kathy Dini
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
PopcornReads
Book Review & Giveaway: We’re participating in the Back to the Future Giveaway Hop and had a choice: We could choose a magical historical or a futuristic novel. I couldn’t resist featuring The Winter Witch by New York Times bestselling Welsh author Paula Brackston because it is truly magical. Maybe I’ve always been fascinated by Wales because my mother is part Welsh. For whatever reason, I couldn’t resist a story about a 19th century Welsh witch. Like historical fiction, witches – good and e...more
Adrienne
I read this because of the cover...so lovely! The story had potential, but ehhhhh, not so much. Let me tell you something, if I were a witch with potent powers, you better believe I'd be witching it up every chance I got. I just felt like saying, "Come on girl, use your powers! Save the cows, save your man, kill the witch!" So, it's with great shame that I'll admit I'd skipped to the last three pages and, guess what, I didn't miss a thing.
Michelle (tinyturtle88)
3.5 **spoiler alert**

I liked this story. As I read it, it played out as a movie in my head; almost like a Disney Movie. This book however, was not YA, but read like one. I think I would have enjoyed it more if that was what I was expecting. But instead, I was expecting an adult witch book.

I enjoyed the setting of Wales. I enjoyed the female protagonist's free spirited spunk. Although, I have to say, in the times that they were living I have a hard time believing that she was so spoiled as to be...more
T.
I won this through GoodReads First Reads and received the ARC on 2 November 2012.

Disclaimers: I don't read a lot of historical fiction, so I can't comment on genre tropes, etc.

If I never have to read "It will not do. Really, it will not" ever again, I shall be a happy reader indeed. I realize characters have phrases they tend to favour, but I got sick of Morgana's quite quickly. The first instance might have sounded empowering, but after a while, it sounded flippant and almost cocky.

As a charac...more
Meg - A Bookish Affair
"The Winter Witch" is the story of Morgana, a young witch, that has lost her voice. She is married off to Cai, a man who is not really sure what to make of his new wife. She seems fiery and he is a little thrown off by her at first. Eventually they work well together and begin to fall in love with each other. Set in Wales, this is a good historical fiction tale with a bit of magical realism thrown in for good measure.

I enjoyed seeing how Cai and Morgana begin to build a life together. They don'...more
Rachel
I adored The Witch's Daughter. There is something about the way that Paula Brackston uses language to paint a picture. The way this book is written allows the reader to get a dreamy glimpse of this olden world that is the setting, without being so flowery that we are distracted. If this is possible to say, this is a witch novel without being too witchy. I feel like the story line just happens to be about a witch and even though it is the basis for the story, it doesn't overwhelm the pages. The p...more
Nenia Campbell
The Winter Witch kept getting lost while I was reading it. Or I'd get sidetracked and find myself doing something else. After several weeks of it moldering and gathering dust behind my bed, I thought, "Hmm, I should probably get around to reading and reviewing this." I even tried bringing it to work, and do you know what happened? I literally ended up staring at the sky instead. It was that boring.

Which is sad, because it's got a good premise. Winter Witch is a historical fantasy novel set in me...more
Deanna Drai Turner
Jury is in. I love Paula Brackston. She is a great teller of witch tales. I have now read her two stories, very different in flavor and found myself always falling in friendlship with her heroine. She has a nice balance of grief, pain, fear, magic, hope, courage and challenge. Writing of a similar topic, i would have expected redundancies. Not the case. I like the new twist she has put on the very old and familiar witch under scrutiny and unsafe in society stories. If you like reading old world...more
Missy Sherriff
Although a better read than Brackston's "The Witch's Daughter", it is still rather a messy read. In this case the author refused to settle into one type of point of view-- and no, I am not referring to 1st person character jumping. Half the tale is told in the main female character's 1st person voice (I assume to allow for the fact that she is mute throughout the story) while the other half is told via a 3rd person narration which centers strictly on sharing her husband's view. It created a stra...more
Angmdc
More like 3.5 stars

A story about perseverance and love, and fighting for your love and family. The classic fight of good versus evil.

Found this book to be good, but didn't enjoy it as much as "the Witch's Daughter". It was slower at the beginning. I felt it was missing details at the end and the book was in a rush to finish.
Annie
Honestly, I skipped about 75 of the last pages and just read the last few pages. The characters showed promise, the story-line was interesting, but it just never really took off for me. Even once I had skipped to the end, I didn't feel that twinge that told me I had done the wrong thing... on the contrary, I was more relieved I didn't have to go through all that to get to the ending! It got very long winded and dragged along after a certain point. And I found the characters to be very frustratin...more
Ashley
This was the type of book I've been looking for of recent. An engaging (quick) read that captured my attention and kept it throughout. I finished this in (almost) one sitting - yes it's a plot that has been told before : bad witch, good witch, witch persecution, some sort of male in the middle, but even with all that said, I still really enjoyed. I'm bumping it up an entire star just based on the simple fact that CORGIS were featured, although it was too much for me when (view spoiler)...more
Night Goddess
The Winter Witch is a wonderful story filled with magic, love and lost. It pulled me in from the very beginning to the end but I wouldn't expect anything less from author Paula Brackston................
Jennifer
I had mixed feelings at first, but the story grew on me. There was a nice balance of magic and not-magic, given that it's a story about a witch, and I appreciated the rest of the story and the full use of the setting in Wales. I couldn't figure out WHEN the book was taking place (before telephones and telegraphs, before cars, but the setting - for the most part - was rural enough that things like relative levels of literacy weren't that helpful as guides), but it didn't really matter - if anythi...more
Jenny Q
3.5 Stars. I really enjoyed the first half, with the little wild witchling Morgana marrying farmer Cai, who needs a wife to take up a position of leadership in his village. I enjoyed watching them get to know each other (even though Morgana doesn't speak) and watching them fall in love, and the setting of the Welsh countryside and the small village was enchanting. But when the big, bad, evil force threatening Morgana and the village was revealed, it went a bit downhill for me. Rather over the to...more
Kati
An entertaining read, though I found it a bit simplistic. No real surprises in the plot. A couple times I found myself rolling my eyes... After a scene where a major plot point is introduced, we then have it all spelled out for us through Morgana's inner monologue just in case we weren't able to figure it out on our own. E.g., when she overhears Isolda talking to the reverend, indicating that Isolda is the REAL bad guy of the book... and then we have to read about Morgana thinking "oh my god Iso...more
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Beyond Mr. Darcy:...: December 2014: The Winter Witch 1 6 May 17, 2014 07:55AM  
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Book Haven: Win an ARC of The Winter Witch by Paula Brackston (giveaway hop) 1 6 Jan 22, 2013 08:59AM  
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Paula Brackston is the New York Times bestselling author of The Witch's Daughter, The Winter Witch, and The Midnight Witch(2014).

Paula has an MA in Creative Writing from Lancaster University, and is a Visiting Lecturer for the University of Wales, Newport. In 2007 Paula was short listed in the Creme de la Crime search for new writers. In 2010 her book 'Nutters' (writing as PJ Davy) was short list...more
More about Paula Brackston...
The Witch's Daughter The Midnight Witch The Witches of the Blue Well: Thoughts on Writing The Winter Witch Lamp Black, Wolf Grey The Dragon's Trail: Wales on Horseback

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“If you are not able to travel, he told me, the next best thing is to read. Read all you can, girl. And store up that knowledge, for you never know when you will need it.” 18 likes
“There is none so quick to dismiss what they don’t understand as those who are afraid of it. And maybe with reason.” 2 likes
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