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Shadow Chronicles #3

The Silver Witch

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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.

318 pages, Kindle Edition

First published April 21, 2015

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About the author

Paula Brackston

25 books4,380 followers
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 Davy) was short listed for the Mind Book Award, and she was selected by the BBC under their New Welsh Writers scheme.


Paula lives in Wales with her partner and their two children.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 799 reviews
Profile Image for Magdalena aka A Bookaholic Swede.
1,938 reviews788 followers
October 30, 2016
Ceramic artist Tilda Fordwell has moved into the Cottage in Welsh that she and her husband had purchased. But sadly they never got to live there. One year before Matt died in a traffic accident, but Tilda hopes that the lovely cottage and the peaceful surrounding will be good for her. But strange things start to happen after a while, electrical shorts outs and visions. Is there something, someone from the past that is reaching out to her?

I read The Midnight Witch last year, but I couldn't really take to it. The story didn't work for me, but this book; the parallel storyline with Tilda in the present time and Seren in the past work well for me. I liked how the two stories were linked to each other and I enjoyed both stories and how the events in the past influenced in the future. I was I admit a bit enjoyed sometimes with Seren and Prince Brynach. Mostly how blind he was about the danger they were in despite how Seren warned him. She's a god damn seeress, but he seemed to listen tp her only when he wanted to. And frankly, I could understand Brynach wife for being angry with Seren.

In the present time, Tilda is trying to figure out why she is having "power" and what the visions means and I found it intriguing to learn more of the past from her point of view at the same time reading about it as Seren is living it.

I liked the book, but I didn't love it. It was enjoyable to read, but it wasn't really a book that had an impact on me. I liked Tilda's story best I think, I found it more interesting and I was never annoyed with her as I was with Seren and Prince Brynach. Tilda and Dylan's relationship worked for me in that it didn't felt rushed. And, reading the ending made me wondering if them meeting perhaps was meant to be...

Thanks to Little, Brown Book Group and NetGalley for providing me with a free copy for an honest review!
Profile Image for The Lit Bitch.
1,248 reviews390 followers
April 30, 2015
3.5 stars

I am in serious, serious cover lust with this novel. Paula Brackston always has such great covers for her ‘witch books’ and this one is my favs to date! I have really enjoyed Brackston’s witch books, they are always a fun little escape for me, not overly complicated but they have a solid story mixed with a little romance….not to mention I love books with magic.

For me personally, I still liked The Winter Witch the best, the chemistry and romance between those characters really hooked me. The Midnight Witch was alright for me but didn’t have the same chemistry that the first book had, so I had high expectations for this one.

I loved the Celtic angle and setting of this story! The duel story lines alternating between Seren and Tilda was fun. I liked how their stories meshed and complimented the other.

Tilda had a lot of room for growth. She started as this timid, almost ‘broken’ heroine so she had a lot of room to grown into her character which I really liked. While at first I wasn’t a big fan of her, about a quarter of the way through she started winning me over and developed into this strong, independent, powerful woman. I really really liked watching her evolve.

The romance between Tilda and Dylan while sweet, almost seemed too soon. I felt like it might have worked better if Tilda moved into the house ready to move on, I didn’t feel like she was really ‘ready’ for a new love in her life based on how she was in the beginning.

Dylan was a solid love interest, honorable, kind, and unconditional in his feelings. As a romantic interest he was wonderful. I wish there had been more sexual tension between him and Tilda though, he seemed so open to a relationship with her…..which on one hand I liked but on the other I felt like there could have been more tension.

The story started a little slow for me, I was eager to learn more about Seren and it just seemed like the beginning drug on longer than necessary.

Overall though I did like this book and felt that it was ‘good’, it didn’t blow my mind but it was good and I would continue reading more books by her. I was interested in the story and the character development enough to continue reading it. If you liked Brackston’s other books then you will probably enjoy this one as well!

See my full review here
Profile Image for Aoife.
1,292 reviews549 followers
December 5, 2016
I received a free digital copy from the author/publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest feedback.

The Silver Witch follows Tilda and Seren, two silver-haired women living in a remote section of Wales hundreds and hundreds of years apart. Tilda is living in the 21st century, dealing with the death of her husband and learning to enjoy life, and art, again. Seren is a shaman for a community living on a crannog, dealing with her affections for a Prince and trying to interpret her visions that show a terrible future. In some way, the women are connected, and Seren might be able to save Tilda's life when an ancient evil is forced awake.

It definitely took me a while to really get into the flow of the writing style of this book. It's written in present tense so instead of, "She stepped outside of the house and looked around", it was "She steps outside the house and looks around." It definitely threw me off at first, especially the way Tilda kind of spoke to herself in third person when she was running. However, after a while I began to connect with Tilda and I enjoyed her character a lot more.

For the first half of the book, I enjoyed Seren's chapters more. At the start, she was a much stronger character than Tilda, who was dealing with grief and anxiety. Seren was very self-confident and she definitely had an air of ancient magic around her (something that by the end of the book Tilda has as well.) But as Tilda's began to develop as a stronger character, I really enjoyed reading her as well. i really felt she had some great character development, and i really appreciated that she dealt with the grief over her husband's death but didn't let her really hold herself back when it came to starting a new relationship and being happy.

I would have liked to have seen Tilda harness her powers a little bit more, the way we see Seren use hers. I still felt like Tilda wasn't 100% in control after the events of the book but in a way it makes sense as well as the magic in this book isn't all for show. There's no sparks or flashes, it's very subtle and understated and very ancient.

I enjoyed the difference in Tilda and Seren's appearance. Not only were they silver-haired but they both had the albino pale skin and pink eyes, and Tilda discussed the problems she had with living with it often, and wondered how Seren had dealt with it as well.

This book just had a beautiful feel to it, and it really thrummed with magic by the time i finished it. It's definitely turned me on to Paula Brackston's writing, and I'm definitely picking up her other books as well - especially as they all revolve around witches, my favourite!
Profile Image for Victoria.
2,512 reviews53 followers
March 8, 2015
This is the first of Brackston's novels that I have read - though I have heard good things in the past. This one opens up very slowly with two narratives - Tilda, a modern grieving widow, and Seren, a tenth century Seer and witch. their Welsh geography initially is their only link, but slowly, more and more connections appear in these two lives, lived hundreds of years apart. There are some eye-rolling lines of dialogue, and the pacing is painfully slow at times (at times it felt like a chore to slog through to the end). It feels researched, but the use of the magic in the modern storyline feels completely ungrounded to the reality and causes absolutely ludicrous non-reactions. Romances appear in both storylines and are generally predictable. What really slows the pacing down is that the entirety of the plot is begun and ended in the last third of the novel. None of the characters feel well-rounded at all and the storyline itself is dull. Overall, the only redeeming quality I could find is the way the past and present are blended together...
Profile Image for Laurie.
956 reviews38 followers
February 5, 2015
Tilda, a widow of one year, has finally moved into the remote Welsh cottage that she and her husband were going to live in until an accident put an end to their plans. She hopes to work on her pottery and find peace. Once there, however, strange things start happening. Modern things- whether it be the electricity, gasoline engines, or simply mechanical things like a grandfather clock- start refusing to work when she is around them. Then she sees a vision on the lake- three people in a canoe, not dressed in modern attire. Finally, she is seeing a horrific vision of a mutilated woman- a very angry mutilated woman- threatening her. And it all seems to be connected with an archeological dig next to the lake.

In the novel’s second point of view, Seren lives in a hut by the same lake, more than a thousand years before Tilda’s time. Seren is a witch and a shaman who prophesizes for the local prince, who lives on a man-made island in the lake. She and the prince are in love, but the prince is married- a marriage made to cement an alliance.

As Tilda learns more about the past, she also gains control over the powers she seems to have acquired by coming to the lake. But can she gain control well enough to defeat the very powerful ghost that is rising from the grave the archeologists are excavating?

I enjoyed this book a great deal, although it took me a while to get into it. I loved the setting and season; winter in the secluded lake area puts Tilda largely on her own, despite a love interest. The ending managed to surprise me; it was obvious that the grave was very important but who was in it was not who I expected! Great atmosphere and I liked most of the characters, although some were rather flat, there to just serve a function. I’ll be looking for Brackston’s previously published books now.
Profile Image for Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin.
3,468 reviews9,630 followers
August 29, 2015
I would like to thank Netgalley and the Publisher for giving me the opportunity to read this book.

I thought the book and the characters were really good. I liked Tilda a lot, especially after she rescued the dog from some jerks who where abusing her. She brought her home and named her Thistle.

The book is told in two different stories, Tilda and Seren. Seren is a shaman, seer, witch that lived over a thousand years ago where Tilda chose to live. Originally Tilda and her husband were going to live in the beautiful cottage by the lake before a sad accident changed everything. Tilda decided she wanted to do what they had planned. She has a lot of issues to get through, a form of PTSD. She also starts having powers that makes her think she is crazy. I don't want to give too much away so that's all about that.

Tilda meets Professor Williams and his son Dylan, love interest. They all become fast friends and ultimately Dylan helps her with what she needs to do at the end of the book.

Seren is in love with the Prince and he with her, but he is married and you know the story, can't marry below your status. There are evil people involved in the down fall of Seren and their whole village. Although, there might be some that live to pass the line down through the years, I'm not going to say.

I thought this book was a good read. It didn't blow me away, but it is good enough to add to my collection at some point. I would love to read some more books by this author, this is the first one I have ever read.

Profile Image for Tracey.
2,042 reviews61 followers
June 9, 2018
It didn’t really hold my interest which I found very disappointing. The premise of the plot and the cover and the reviews by other authors made it sound like a very good read.
I found the book rather dull unfortunately !
Profile Image for Beth.
616 reviews24 followers
February 26, 2015
Two lives, centuries apart. Intertwined in ways that neither could have imagined, battling an evil that could destroy what they both love the most. This is the basic premise behind The Silver Witch, by Paula Brackston. A story about history, love and grief, with a little bit of witchcraft in the mix.

Tilda Fordwells is still hurting after losing her husband in an accident a year ago. Before he died, they bought a cottage in a remote part of Wales overlooking a gorgeous lake valley. She finally musters the strength to move into their cottage and to begin working on her art again, when strange things start happening to her. As she tries to discover whether she is finally losing her mind in her grief, Tilda learns that - sometimes - the past truly can come back to haunt us.

I hesitated for a while before I finally decided to try this. My pile of books to be read gets larger and larger, so I am trying to be a little bit more selective in what I choose. However, the Celtic history is what finally drew me in, and I'm quite glad it did. I truly enjoyed the story, and the way it moved between the story of Tilda in the present and Seren in the past. Sometimes, the frequent back and forth can be disconcerting and disorienting, but that was definitely not the case here.

I not only enjoyed reading this book, I plan to look up the other books by Brackston and check them out as well. And with my huge TBR pile, this is saying quite a bit!
Profile Image for Audrey.
28 reviews
March 15, 2015
I’ve read “The Witch’s Daughter” by Paula Brackston and I was excited to receive an ARC on her new book “The Silver Witch”.

It’s something that I expect only in the movies to happen. Or maybe, I haven’t been reading that many books. LOL!

I’ve been reading multiple books at the same time but every time I pick up a different book, my thoughts are always on The Silver Witch.

A storyline about two different women both living in different times but somehow connects them together. Tilda is from the modern times and Seren’s story is from a time that dates back in 900’s AD. What’s going to happen next? What connects both women together? It really made me want to finish the book right away!

Truly unique plot and setting! Gripping story!
Profile Image for Ann.
755 reviews
October 9, 2020
A mystical story that I loved. There is magic, a prince, witches, scary apparitions, and a mythical lake creature. Unlike some books with storylines in two different time periods, I was equally enthralled by both settings.
Profile Image for Mary.
628 reviews
July 1, 2015
I love a good witchy read. This was an ok witchy read. More of a mythological read. While I enjoyed the dual story lines of Tilda and Seren, I couldn't really connect with either of them. Tilda was an interesting character with her silver hair and albino eyes, but there wasn't much depth to her. Seren was much more interesting to me, but I still wasn't fully captured with either story line. Dylan was just an obvious love interest, a snooze to me. I actually found the old professor more interesting. And Thistle. Don't get me started about that dog. The ending was rather frantic, so much was going on and page after page describing it I was like "alright already, we get it".

I did not love the Witch's Daughter. I did not love this book. I think I'm giving up on Ms. Brackston's work.
Profile Image for Savannah (forest_reader).
595 reviews37 followers
January 29, 2022
I liked the Celtic history aspect of this book, perhaps most of all. But I wish I could relate to the modern day aspect a bit more. And also there was a major loose end at the end (suddenly there’s no consequences for disturbing a grave at an archaeological site??). The character development was fine, the romance development very meh, and there were too many loooong paragraphs. But I still overall liked the atmosphere of this book and the writing.
Profile Image for Caitlin.
314 reviews139 followers
April 18, 2015
I received an eArc from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Read my full review on Turning Pages.

I must admit that what initially drew me to the book was partly the cover, and partly that I’d seen Brackston’s previous witch books on Chapters. When I read the premise I was intrigued. Witches, loss, and a historical element? Sign me up! Unfortunately, the book didn’t live up to my expectations.

My first issue with the book is that the pacing is very slow. I think it wasn’t until close too 100 pages in that things really started to pick up and happen. The pages before that are mostly Tilda thinking, running, walking around her cottage, etc. I understand Brackston was trying to show Tilda suffering with grief, but there are ways to do that and still have the novel be engaging and have the plot moving. Even still, when things did start to pick up, there were moments that were slower. I think the pace is partly what made it so difficult for me to be hooked by the story. It also didn’t help that the narrative would be formal, yet the dialogue informal; it was jarring.

Tilda lost her husband on their way back from their honeymoon. I only wish that the grief was portrayed consistently and realistically. I feel as though the death of her husband was merely a plot device used to explain why Tilda would want to move to a secluded area. Sometimes the character’s grief was almost forgotten in the story because magical things were happening. So grief took a back seat to the ‘exciting’ stuff. If you’re going to have grief be a factor of your character’s life, please have it be believable. Please, please never use grief as a plot device. Sometimes Brackston portrayed grief right, but mostly not.

At first, the flashbacks to Seren’s time contributed to the slow pace. At other times, I was more interested in her story because it seemed like more was happening there. Her story was a lot like a soap-opera in some ways because of all the drama. Her powers were cool, so it would’ve been nice to see more of that.

What Brackston does well is her world-building. She picked a fascinating time and place for both her present and past stories. Also, I have to hand it to her: she has somewhat diverse characters. Seren and Tilda are both albino. I can’t say I’ve ever read a book in which a character has albinism. Also, Tilda’s new love interest, Dylan, has a mother from Barbados and a father from the UK.

Consistency, again, seemed to be an issue. Tilda is very inconsistent. The evil ghost is even inconsistent. The plot twist seems very random. By the end of the novel, all of the inconsistencies just stacked up. Some of the action scenes were really entertaining, and there were some nice touches like shape-shifting, but they didn’t save the book for me.

The Silver Witch has a stunning cover and an interesting premise but, sadly, the book doesn’t live up to my expectations of it. I can’t say I liked this book, but maybe someone else will.
Profile Image for Michelle Leah Olson.
914 reviews104 followers
April 20, 2015
Our Review, by LITERAL ADDICTION'S Pack Alpha - Chelle:

--Actual rating 4.5 Skulls

The Silver Witch is a beautifully written Celtic fantasy with dual points of view. At first, the changing POV and tense tripped me up slightly, but as I got into the next two switching chapters I realized how fabulous that storytelling method could be.

The book, taking place in both present and far past with interweaving storylines, was - pardon the pun - bewitching and magickal. We get to travel the road of Tilda, a modern-day artist overcoming the trials of her differentness and the weight of her grief at the loss of her husband as she desperately tries to build a new life in this beautiful, remote part of Wales. As well as Seren - witch, seer, and shaman to Prince Brynach, as she loses herself to the love that they come to share despite the problems it causes, and tries to keep him safe from the dangers that abound - both within and without of those closest to them. After we're introduced and immersed in both of their exciting journeys, we get to watch as their paths cross when circumstances bring them together through time and space, providing a tale rife with history (I found out that the setting of the book is one near and dear to the author's heart), growth, rebirth, triumph, love, and intrigue.

The Silver Witch was another winner by Ms. Brackston, and I am so very happy that I was given the opportunity to read it. I am coming to absolutely love these stories, and look forward to each new one that she puts out.

I highly recommend all of Ms. Brackston's work, but The Silver Witch is perfect for those looking for a fantasy romance steeped in history (though I cannot say one way or the other if the events referenced are actually factual) with two tales of finding love despite adverse circumstances, all tied together with a beautiful magickal bow.
Profile Image for Carrie D. Miller.
Author 2 books78 followers
June 19, 2020
I am SO glad a friend of mine introduced me to Paula Brackston. This book was so wonderful. Loved the story and really loved the writing style.
Profile Image for Noelle T..
36 reviews
January 21, 2020
A great read, very we written and full.of insightful details. Love the story line.
Profile Image for Margaret Galbraith.
308 reviews4 followers
July 4, 2021
A very well written tale which I thoroughly enjoyed due to the historical take on it. From 951AD relating to Tilda in present day Wales. She finds she’s a direct descendant to Seren a Shaman (a witch revered in those days) to the prince. So many twists and turns that I was unsure who was buried at the bottom of the dig until near the end. My guess was wrong! This author has undertaken a lot of research into the crannog and what happened to the community in years gone by. Her attention to detail is so easy to read and understand. For not being a fantasy reader I am pleasantly surprised and hope to find the one last book by this author one day. Unfortunately my library network does not have it so I’ll keep searching. Highly recommended 😊
Profile Image for Meg - A Bookish Affair.
2,445 reviews191 followers
May 6, 2015
3.5 stars. When Tilda moves to the small cottage on a Welsh lake that she and her husband were supposed to live in before he passed away suddenly, she feels like maybe she is working towards closure with dealing with her husband's death. What she finds is that there is a whole new world awaiting her that will shock and surprise. Brackston's latest offering has a heavy dose of magical realism that pulled me in. This is another one of her Witch books that I ate up

Tilda is definitely an interesting character to me. She starts the book being very upset about her young husband's untimely death and rightfully so. She pushes away anyone that gets too close and seems to want to shut herself away from the world. Very quickly, she realizes that this new cottage on a lake may hold the key to showing her who she actually is and that she can have a life after her husband. A lot of the book focuses on her self realization and she goes from being totally unaware of her and the power of the past that she holds to realizing that things are not always as they seem. I really enjoyed following her journey!

Tilda is not the only character in the book. The book is also told from the perspective of Seren, a Celtic healer and witch who lives in the past. Tilda and And Seren will be connected in ways that neither one can imagine. Although I enjoyed reading about Tilda's journey, I really enjoyed the writing of Seren's sections a little bit better as we get a first person point of view of her life back in the 900s. Tilda's sections are told from the third person present point of view which almost made me feel that we were being held at arms length as readers. The book started out being fast paced but as the book went on, I did think it lost a little bit of momentum but not enough to take away too much for my enjoyment of the book.
Profile Image for Christa.
2,214 reviews421 followers
May 21, 2015
The Silver Witch is the first book I have read by Brackston, but I will definitely be reading her backlist. I liked her writing style, and enjoyed the book. While I connected with the current day storyline much more than the ancient one, that is purely personal preference on my part. I liked the main characters in the book, and found the story to be very interesting. Even though I'm not a big fan of the ancient time period Brackston used, I really liked the way the two storylines came together.

A year after her husband was killed in an accident on the trip home from their honeymoon, Tilda Fordwells moves to the cottage they bought together. Before long, she is seeing strange things and experiencing some unsettling episodes. She soon comes to believe that her life is tied to some events that happened in the area during ancient times involving a seer and witch named Seren. It soon seems that an ancient evil has been unleashed and that only Tilda can stop it. She has some support from Dylan, a man who catches her interest, and his uncle, a former professor.

I really liked this book and am glad that i finally gave this author a try. I'm looking forward to reading her other books. She created characters that I really enjoyed, wrote a storyline that I found interesting, and painted a vivid backdrop for the book that gave it exactly the right touch.
Profile Image for Orie at Let's Take A Shelfie.
46 reviews10 followers
May 15, 2015
I won an ARC of The Silver Witch from a Goodreads first reads giveaway.
My full review can be found here: http://www.letstakeashelfie.ca/2015/0...

This book started off slow, there was a lot of history that needed to be told and character building that needed to be done. But, that quickly changed once Tilda started having her visions. I was hooked and to be honest a bit spooked! (You'll know the part when you read it...)

This is the first book that I've read by Paula Brackston and it's intrigued me to pick up another. This was intelligently written, especially the parts that took place in the ancient world. It was very obvious that the Brackston has done a lot of research on Celtic history as her descriptions of her characters and settings were so detailed. One wish that I have for this book would have been to see images of Tilda's ceramics, they were described so beautifully. I highly recommend The Silver Witch, it was a fun and enjoyable read, one that I can see myself reading again and again.
Profile Image for Imara.
170 reviews21 followers
December 4, 2016
Where to start...
I liked it enough to give it 3 stars, however, the author has done a feeble job at giving historical accuracy on some parts. I know historical fiction etc. etc. But some things were just not correct. Other than that, the author has compelling writing style, it grips you completely into the story she creates, only one thing that bugged me in her writing is the need for repetition, Tilda has a thought process about the exact same thing a few times in this book and it kinda stood out to me.
I'll approach this story more as a fantasy than anything else though.
July 11, 2017
This is post originally on Vivian's Book Pavilion

My mind is like the willow; it flexes and springs. My heart is a knot of oak. Let them try to wound me.

Finally, after three or four days’ reading…I finished this book eventually. It took me so long to read this one…such a shame for my previous insane reading speed. Now…so what takes me so long to complete this book? nothing, beside my laziness. However…my mind is like the willow, but it doesn’t flexes and springs…it twists. I have such a complicated opinion for this book!!!! Uh!!!! How am I going to rate you at all?

We are each mistresses of our own happiness. We ought not to look to others to supply it.

The beginning of the story is really, really slow…I almost doze off during the first 100 pages. Unlike what I’ve expected…which I actually expected nothing but magic from this book. It’s actually quite historical…like a mix of historical fiction and fantasy and mystery. I’ve always love a good historical fiction…but there is one thing that I can’t get over…since Tilda is finding her lineage, why don’t she ask her mother? It’s quite possible that her mother know something about it. Isn’t that how those lineage stories go? It makes much more sense! After all, who can possibly know your family history better that your own bloodline? Never mind. There are still a lot of things I need to say about this book. I can’t say I hate it…but I don’t particularly like it either. The thing that makes me so frustrated is the story pace, like I said above. I still can’t get over with that…although the later part of the story is not bad. It’s like getting a circle at the first part…nothing going on at all. Not until the bracelet was found. I was like…what’s taking so slow??? Where is the plot??? I’m tired of the electricity kept going off whenever Tilda appeared!!! And I’m tired of Serene kept saying there is danger but nothing happened besides her affairs with the Prince!!! God!!!! What kind of plot is this?

But fortunately…when Tilda found the bracelet…or what she though was. The past and the currently finally goes on and on and on and getting more interesting. To me, at least to someone in favor of an enormous historical fiction, the historical part isn’t thrilling enough for a reader to get into. The fantasy and visions part aren’t that catching as well. It is a mixed of several genres I was supposed to like, but instead of the last 100 pages…the book just can’t catch my heart…or eyes. But…if you’re looking for a light historical fiction…you might want to give it a try? At least the part when Tilda finally found her own history isn’t bad. (Oh…and I hate Serene and the prince’s affair…regardless I really, really want to ship them. But I just can’t accept any kind of betrayal to marriage. Sorry.)
Profile Image for FictionForesight.
90 reviews3 followers
June 4, 2015
Review Originally Posted At: FictionForesight

In accordance with current FTC Guidelines, please let it be known this book was received through NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.

A Bewitching 4 Stars!

The Silver Witch is an awesome blending of historical truths, myths & legends and modern twists and turns.

A Quick Summary:

Two women, divided by centuries, are intertwined by a force beyond their understanding. Call it fate. Call it destiny. Whatever it is, Tilda and Seren are wrapped up in it.

One year ago, Tilda Fordwells' world was turned upside down when her newlywed husband Matt was killed in a car accident. In order to try and move on with her life, Tilda decides to relocate to her Welsh hilltop and lakeside home. The same home that was purchased by the newly married couple, before tragedy struck. Tilda would like nothing more than to go about her work, and achieve some sort of peace, but this is not to be. Instead of finding the tranquility she was looking for, she starts to notice strange things happening. Whether it's grief, insanity, magic, or simply coincidences, Tilda is determined to get to the bottom of things.

Serene lives on the very same lake as Tilda, but many centuries before. It is her job as a witch, seer and shaman to help protect her prince and his people. It is during this time that circumstances are set in motion that will have ramifications hundreds of years later. For Tilda that is. Tilda must work through the past to figure out the present, and save the future.

The Good:

First lets start off with the historical content. Obviously, as this book is historical fiction, history plays a major role; specifically Celtic history, myth and legend. In most circumstances, I find historical fiction tolerable because it's well researched. In this particular instance, I found "well researched" to be quite an understatement. In fact, I was so curious as to how accurate this information was, that I proceeded to research it myself upon finishing the book. What I found was that Paula Brackston takes a lot of pride in her work. She did the research, and she it well. It was so interesting to see how much of historical truths, and how much of Celtic myth's and legends were drawn upon. I would go so far as to say that this book peaked in me a fervent interest in this topic. Now of course she takes some liberties, after all this is still fiction, but nonetheless, the detail is there.

In spite of this being largely fantasy and historical fiction, there is also a bit of romance. Now it's not the kind of romance that would make a person "swoon" (or however you want to say it). But it did tug a bit at a few heartstrings. I mean come on, who could be stone-faced in light of finding love after tragedy. Romance is the main focus, but at the same time it's not overwhelming. I mean it's clearly there, but the story works with it, not because of it.

When it comes to the main characters, such as Tilda, Serene, the Prince, the Professor and so on, Paula Brackston does a great job with characterization. They all have their little quirks and feel real. They have legitimate features, fears, hopes, and such, that make them not only realistic, but relatable. In the same aspect, I like that Serene is bold. I don't mean that she's crass, or mean in any way. I just like the fact that she know's how things are, how they should be, and she acts accordingly. She's smart, intuitive and grounded, without being overly so. It's refreshing to find a character who's not unnervingly naive.

I loved the blending of the past and future. It was done in such a way that each story could hold up on it's own, but still flowed well together. Usually when I read books like this, I tend to dislike them because they leave off on the most interesting parts of one story, and then dive into the other; sort of like mini cliffhangers. This doesn't happen in The Silver Witch. It's sort of like the author completes her thoughts on that particular story for the time being and moves on to the other one. Yet it flows in such a way that it all adds up in the end. The movie Crash comes to mind.

A quick shout out to the settings in this book. The descriptions are amazing and detailed (to a fault in my opinion). You can really picture the Crannog, the lake, the cabin, just everything. It's actually a bit refreshing to read a story that features a somewhat unusual location as the primary setting. It sets it a part from every other fantasy read, and in a good way.

The Bad:

As I just got done mentioning, the setting is amazing. But that's sort of the problem as well. I felt a bit too much of the story was focused on the details of the surroundings, as opposed to the characters themselves. If you cut the amount of time spent describing setting in half and added that to the action in the book, the rating would have been 5 stars for sure. It just felt like after awhile the descriptions were taking away from the story instead of adding to it.

Branching off of the over-done descriptions, I would say the story was a bit slow. This, to me, is especially poignant in the first several chapters. Afterwards, it's a bit less noticeable with everything else going on. In fact, in the end I felt like the story approached it's finish way to quickly. I suppose you could say that's how most stories go, slow to begin and quick to finish. However, it was quite a bit more noticeable in this book.

I mentioned in the good that the main characters were very well described. There was a reason to why I specifically pointed out the main characters and didn't mention the secondary characters. That reason you ask? They felt flat. They felt as if the only purpose they played was for functionality and necessity, as opposed to the author actually desiring the character to be there. Not quite sure if that makes any sense...I mean to say that they only felt real enough to fulfill the storytelling, and nothing more.

Finally, and maybe this is trivial, but I did not appreciate all of the pottery information. I mean yes I understand that's the main characters job. Yes I understand that it is important to her, and that is what she would be worrying about. I understand that. I just feel like too much time was focused on her work, and not enough time was focused on her problems. Maybe she used it as a hiding mechanism, that much seems clear. I just did not like reading a fantasy novel, and spending a good sixth of the book or more learning about pottery... or running.


Just a quick heads up that there are actually two points of narration in this book: 3rd person present and 1st person present. Don't worry, Paula Brackston blends these two quite well. Can you tell, yes. But is it overwhelming, or does it detract from the story in any way, I don't think so at all. In fact, it seems to make the blending of past and present more feasible and seamless.


The Silver Witch is a tale of love, loss, magic and mystery that will have you overcome with emotions until the bittersweet end. It is heartwarming, intriguing, magical and engrossing. When you combine the sheer aptitude of storytelling that Paula Brackston has, with her enticing portrayal of historical information, you get a story you can thoroughly enjoy the whole read through. That's exactly what this book is, thoroughly enjoyable.

Profile Image for Skarleth.
342 reviews10 followers
May 10, 2021
Muy bonito.

Sé que las brujas estan de moda pero aunque gusten de las brujas este libro es para ustedes solo si disfrutan de la ambientación y de una trama que te envuelve pero pasiva.

Una bonita historia a dos voces y en dos épocas difrentes, ambas protagonistas con actitudes diferentes. La autora narra detalladamente los ambientes pero no solo con largas descrpciones sino que de alguna manera transmite ligeramente las sensaciones de los personajes, es muy agradable.

Los personajes me agradaron y particularmente me gustó más la historia de la segunda voz narradora. El libro tiene su base fantasiosa en mitología celta aunque cabe mencionar que no entra en gran detalle en el aspecto fantasioso de las cosas.

Los romances son lentos pero agradables, la acción es bien directa nada de largos textos para describir un ataque o algo así.

Me ha gustado mucho, lo recomiendo, la portada del es bella.
Profile Image for Leandra.
103 reviews
December 6, 2021
I loved the writing style of this book, and the theme of past and present intertwined together is always fascinating. I would truly have read a book just describing a normal life without significant events if it was written like this.
The problem is, in this book SOMETHING needed to happen, I could feel it very precisely, but it didn't for a while. And then, suddenly the climax came but almost in a rush, leaving us with the book done but still with the slow and steady pace of before in mind.
I will surely read other books by the author, and I recommend reading this one because it's a great book overall!
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