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The Winter Witch

3.60  ·  Rating Details  ·  7,271 Ratings  ·  851 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 early nineteenth century Welsh town, there is no one quite like Morgana, who has not spoken since she was a young girl. Her silence is a mystery, as well as her magic. Concerned for her safety, her mother is anxious to see her m
Hardcover, 340 pages
Published January 29th 2013 by Thomas Dunne Books
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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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
Feb 06, 2013 Rebecca rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Jessica Knauss
Jan 29, 2013 Jessica Knauss rated it really liked it
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
Mar 16, 2013 Cocktails and Books rated it it was amazing
Shelves: cnb-reviewers
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
 Linda (Miss Greedybooks)
I enjoyed this. A little predictable, but the Welsh words and descriptions of the country made the day of reading a good one. Wales and witches always put me in mind of Stevie Nicks... A nice combination. I usually do not want a Hollywood ending, that said, I liked Cai and Morgana so much that despite other losses I wanted to see them happy.

I look forward to all the rest of Paula's books... And P.J.'s also.
Lyndsey O'Halloran
Sep 20, 2013 Lyndsey O'Halloran rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya
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
Dec 02, 2012 Jennifer rated it it was amazing
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
Nov 28, 2012 Ava rated it liked it
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
Mary Gramlich
Feb 14, 2013 Mary Gramlich rated it it was amazing
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
May 29, 2014 Adrienne rated it liked it
I read this because of the 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.
Carol Storm
May 12, 2015 Carol Storm rated it really liked it
Wonderfully well-written and beautifully researched, this is a story of witchcraft in 19th century Wales that features a feisty young heroine, (who's also a good witch) an adorable rugged cattle rancher, and the most sinister and seductive evil witch ever!

This was both one of the most satisfying and the most frustrating books I've read in a long time. The things that work are really wonderful. A beautiful love story, beautiful scenery, nature descriptions, fascinating details about Wales and the
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
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
Oct 28, 2014 Cher rated it liked it
Shelves: audiobook
3 stars - It was good.

There is a distinct difference between slow books and boring books, namely that I can enjoy a slow story but cannot suffer a boring one. This one was slow, but not boring. I enjoyed the author's way with words and the atmospheric feel of the novel, but it was not what I was expecting. This has a fairytale-esque, Disney for adults feel, which is nice sometimes, but generally is too sweet for my personal tastes.

Favorite Quote: If yo
Diana Green
Sep 21, 2015 Diana Green rated it really liked it
I definitely enjoyed this book, though I must admit to skimming some sections. This was due to a combination of factors. On one hand the author did a great job of pulling me into the character's plight and making me very anxious to know how events were going to unfold. On the other hand she spent a lot of time on small day to day details, so that I became impatient for the story to move forward. Without doubt the descriptions of the setting and life in historic rural Wales were part of what made ...more
Dena (Batch of Books)
Jan 29, 2016 Dena (Batch of Books) rated it really liked it
After I read The Witch's Daughter, I knew I would be revisiting Paula Brackston's section in the library. The Winter Witch is not a sequel, but a stand alone novel that is quite different from its predecessor. In it, a young, mute woman named Morgana marries a near stranger and must adjust to a new town and a new life while trying to harness her strange abilities.Of course, the transition is not a smooth one as she learns more about the man she married and he learns more about her. Their relatio ...more
Laura Gelinas
Oct 20, 2015 Laura Gelinas rated it really liked it
“Aye, they have convinced themselves of it, bach. So much so, that they have given her a name. I’ve heard it whispered, though most are careful what they say in my presence.” She pauses, but forces herself to continue, “They do call her the Winter Witch."

Being that it's the month of October, I really wanted a book that had witches involved, so I knew where to look to find what I was looking for, and that's when I discovered The Winter Witch. Paula Brackston delivered a story that was so wonderfu
Jun 14, 2015 Emily rated it it was ok
I wanted to like this book. I really, really did. And for the first quarter of it, I did enjoy it! I liked Morgana, I liked Cai, I liked the potential they had. But after a while, everything became slow and got boring.

As I said, I loved Caj and Morgana. I think I wouldn't have minded had this story been focused more on them and less on the drove and the evil presence in town that Morgana could feel. In the beginning when it was just them, I loved it! But it quickly started to drag and it was a
The Winter Witch wasn't my favorite fantasy/historical fiction book. The historical element and Welsh culture was briefly brushed over.
I had hoped to learn more of Morgana's relationship with her father and her magical background as well as her training with Mrs. Jones (one of the few characters I liked in the story). The cattle drove storyline didn't hold my interest for long despite my interest in stories about animals.
I found myself speed reading through many parts of the story due to boredom
May 24, 2013 Trish rated it really liked it
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
Jan 17, 2013 Cheryl rated it it was amazing
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
Kathy Dini
Apr 02, 2013 Kathy Dini rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 25, 2015 Pamela rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2015-books
2.5 stars. I really wanted to like this book but in reality, I was a bit disappointed. I felt that Morgana was too childish - pouting, sulking and hiding when she was a young woman married. It also was a bit depressing and just not "magical" enough for me. Slow-going in parts and the fight between "good and evil" just seemed to take forever to get to. Morgana didn't seem to be in a hurry to save her love, just moaned on about how those she loved died. "It wouldn't do - really it wouldn't".
Rachel Poynter
Feb 18, 2013 Rachel Poynter rated it really liked it
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
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
Jenny Q
Dec 19, 2012 Jenny Q rated it liked it
Shelves: review-copy
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
I tried to like this book. I really enjoyed The Witch's Daughter by the same author.
This was just SO SLOW and I didn't feel attached to the main characters. Morgana's muteness was frustrating rather than something for her to overcome. Cai's aloofness just made him feel less enjoyable to me as a reader.
And then when the action starts, it just takes off! Many things happen in a short amount of time and I felt like the author and the characters were both just racing to get the book done.
I liked the
Jul 17, 2015 Briana rated it liked it
I wanted to like this book more than I did.

I liked how Brackston wrote Morgana without dialogue and still let her develop as a wonderful, rich character with hidden depths. She was quite interesting and the way she was able to communicate with Cai and his way of learning how to communicate and read her was very well done.

I also liked the character of Cai. He was a lot more than I thought he would be when he was first introduced to us.

There was some repetition as to why a drover needs a wife, wh
Colleen Turner
Feb 12, 2015 Colleen Turner rated it really liked it
I reviewed this for

When Morgana’s mother realizes that her health is failing she knows she must do something to ensure Morgana is protected when she is no longer around to do so. Morgana has never been accepted in their small village, always thought of as strange and slightly frightening due not only to her lack of speech but due to the power that seems to swell within her that makes the others keep their distance. So when Cai Jenkins, the sad widowed owner of a distant hi
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Paula Brackston (aka PJ 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 Da
More about Paula Brackston...

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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.” 32 likes
“There is none so quick to dismiss what they don’t understand as those who are afraid of it. And maybe with reason.” 4 likes
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