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Witches of Lychford

(Lychford #1)

3.64  ·  Rating details ·  3,773 ratings  ·  549 reviews
Traveler, Cleric, Witch.

The villagers in the sleepy hamlet of Lychford are divided. A supermarket wants to build a major branch on their border. Some welcome the employment opportunities, while some object to the modernization of the local environment.

Judith Mawson (local crank) knows the truth -- that Lychford lies on the boundary between two worlds, and that the destruct
Paperback, 144 pages
Published September 8th 2015 by
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Jeff Rensch Just the word "shite" -- totally in character and not offensive

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Average rating 3.64  · 
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 ·  3,773 ratings  ·  549 reviews

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Maggie Stiefvater
Sep 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: recommended, adult
A satisfying brief novella about three women who are just gonna stop the end of the world real quick.
Sean Gibson
Jan 11, 2016 rated it liked it
Recommended to Sean by: Trish
You know how sometimes you’re driving around listening to the radio and a song comes on, and it’s got a catchy beat, and the lyrics are solid, and the singer has a good voice, and you’re thinking, “Hey, this isn’t bad,” but then you don’t feel anything more than kind of indifferent toward it, and you start to wonder if maybe you’re a little bit dead inside?

That’s kind of how I felt about this book. Good writing, interesting urban (suburban? village?) fantasy plot, strong female lead characters,
Sep 11, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was a gem I found coincidentally. The cover and title just made me curious when it showed up in my news feed here on goodreads.

So, what to say about this story?

Well, it's remarkable how many layers this story has.
On the surface we have the story of three women in a small British town (for some reason I kept thinking this was set in the US) where a big supermarket chain wants to open a store. One woman is a vicar, the other is the owner of a shop and the third is an elderly and eccentr
Feb 24, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I started this in a fever, like Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash sang about in “Jackson” – hotter than a pepper sprout. Cool English suburban setting, attractive characters, some paranormal goings on, good writing. I was thinking this is an urban fantasy I can sink my teeth into and really buy in.

But the flavor waned and at the end of the day this is a good but not great urban fantasy with some better than average magic rules.

The idea of a magic world living parallel with us and some secret mumb
3.5 stars

Quaint and very pleasant with a touch of autumn chill, like a brisk stroll through the cemetery at sunset when it's just starting to drizzle. Not exactly what I expected from books with the urban fantasy label, but this was a nice surprise.

If you like charming small-town stories with a cast of oddball, neighborly characters and more magic than magical realism, give this a try.

But by "neighborly," I don't mean friendly, although I'm aware that's how most people will interpret it. What I
Dec 02, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I’m a big fan of Cornell’s work on Doctor Who, both on screen and more importantly in prose.
So when the author tweeted that this novella was available for 99p as Amazon Kindle ‘Deal of the Day’, I instantly had to purchase it.

There’s a mix response from the villagers of sleep Lychford as a major supermarket chain intends to build a branch on the neighbouring border.
Not least from local witch Judith Mawson (though locals think she’s just a bit weird) as the expansion will open up the boundaries b
This book was okay. The author juxtaposed two longtime friends- one a new age shop owner and the other a liberal Christian pastor. The small town English flavor added to the atmospherics and the author's knowledge of the theory and practice of his subject matter made for interesting moments of internal conflict. He clearly intended to portray the idea that "if things about my religion seem weird, let's go ahead and compare them to yours" and they both look equally weird. Combine that with a dose ...more
Sep 12, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2015
I liked this novella for a number of reasons. One, it's set very close to where I live - but in a place far more likely to be host to the boundaries of good and evil than my own, more boring town. Two, all of the vicars I've met have been universally women and lovely, so I sort of enjoyed the idea of one of them taking on the forces of evil. Three, Judith. Such a cantankerous old woman, so funny. (I liked Autumn too, but despite being the saviour of the day I didn't feel like she was fleshed out ...more
K.J. Charles
A hugely enjoyable short novel about a town on the borders of the fairy realm. The old style fairies. Tinkerbell need not apply. Sinister and scary and tense, great magic development sketched in lightly, hugely inventive. I hope the author plans to turn this into a series, because the cast of evil-tempered out-of-step wise woman, vicar losing her faith, and New Age hippy shop owner are brilliant. Very English magic here, with everyone's least favourite supermarket chain as the Big Bad. Recommend ...more
Scarlett Readz and Runz....Through Novel Time & Distance
Enchanting paranormal novella. Bewitching to read on a cozy autumn day.

The folks of the quiet town of Lychford meet to discuss the change of roads to accommodate a new supermarket moving into town. Most townspeople welcome the change of infrastructure, yet they don’t know what lies beneath their town. Old Judith Mawson does!

Lychford town lies on the boundary of two worlds. A construction of the site would open a gateway and unleash creatures from the other side.

Lizzie and Autumn are reconnecti
Nov 29, 2015 rated it really liked it
This is one of the recently published Tor Novella range and I am very happy to say that I really enjoyed this read through and will certainly be pickin up more of these in the future because aside from the story being beautifully written and very interesting to me, the book itself is beautifully published with a wonderful mat finish and a gloss to all the lettering within. A pretty luxurious novella to be sure which I suppose makes paying almost the same as a normal sized book somewhat justifiab ...more
Read to fill the “Witches” square for 2107 Halloween Bingo.

Paul Cornell writes looming, disastrous & supernatural really, really well (see also London Falling which shares this spooky ambiance). This is a short novel—I was trying to read it while simultaneously cooking supper on Saturday evening, and I was resenting every time I had to set it down to go check on the pots on the stove!

For something so short, there is a remarkable amount of complexity. I seem to be reading a lot of fiction set in
Oct 02, 2015 rated it really liked it
This novella has an interesting triad of characters at the centre. They’re very different, and yet they have things in common, and things to teach one another. One’s an atheist who fears she’s losing her mind; one a pastor fearing she’s losing her faith; and one a woman who would probably refuse to agree that she was afraid of anything. The personalities make quite an interesting mix!

The story itself is fairly simple, with a traditional sort of feel. A new supermarket is coming to Lychford, and
B Schrodinger
Dec 03, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
I go way back with Paul, all the way to 1992 with 'Love and War', which is still a great book. I haven't read his new supernatural crime series, but I will get around to it. It has a big competitor with Aaronovitch's Peter Grant series.

Anyway, 'Witches of Lychford'. It's been out for a year, but the release of the second story prompted me as well as the summer holidays starting. It's only a novella, something to read on a warm early summer afternoon. Partly satirical, partly traditional and home
Beth The Vampire
Not bad, but not great either.

The story kind of goes like this: a big, bad supermarket chain wants to build a superstore in the small English town of Lychford, but building the store will break down the barrier between worlds and essentially cause an apocalypse.

Judith is the town's old crone, but she is actually some kind of witch (I think?) who realises she has to stop the corporate guys in order to save the world. Add into this Lizzie, the town's reverend who is having a God crisis, and Autumn
A trio of local women stand up to a commercial project that would change the magical borders of their village.

I'm intrigued by this novella - I want to find out more about the place, and the main characters, and what happens next. I like all three women characters: irritable Village crank, Magic shop owner, and Reverend whose not sure she believes. I'll be reading the next one in the series!
Apr 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Short but exceptionally good. Cornell has a wonderful way with language, even the crude kind. Wonderful use of the word Wankery.
The main characters in this are great and I really came to like the three of them.
A lot of development in such a short story is a credit to the author.
The story itself is very good and the couple of twists and flipping of convention make it a really interesting read.
What a gem of a book! Great writing, characters, story line and setting.

In Lychford, something wicked this way comes and the only people who can stop it are a vicar who's lost her faith, an atheist magic shop owner who doesn't believe in magic and the town curmudgeon, Judith. Lots of funny bits, plenty of suspense and bit creepy, this is a peach of a book.

Sep 12, 2015 rated it really liked it
Lychford is a special town which is meant to have special protectors, but for various reasons it's weak at the moment. Vulnerable to an incursion by demonic forces in the form of a supermarket chain. Standing in it's way are a local witch, the new vicar returning to the town where she grew up and her former best friend, an atheist who now runs a new age/magic shop.

Each of the women is facing grief and crises of faith that they have to overcome to protect their town, and this is done well and in
Sep 25, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: horror
I picked this up on a whim from my library and was mostly underwhelmed. The story of three women in a small town that is in the midst of deciding whether to let a large chain store move in to the area. The three women end up banding together to fight the representative of the conglomerate. A bit of faerie lore and witchcraft but ultimately I was disappointed and was never really sucked in to the story or the characters. The writing was okay but was never all that compelling.

Sep 02, 2019 rated it it was ok
Very short book!!!! I’m wondering why they didn’t combine all the books together and call it a day. So I finished this book in a couple hours. It didn’t peek my interest enough to go to the next book.
I wanted to find a witch book.... this didn’t do much for me. Couldn’t relate to the characters, didn’t explain the history behind the town and the people very well, and just left me feeling like I missed something.

There is a town with a large population of witches. They live in this particular ar
Emily Crow
*Actual rating: 3.5 stars*
Megan Baxter
Apr 09, 2018 rated it liked it
I picked up Witches of Lychford from a promotion. I'm always happy to pick up a few things to read for free, as my meagre budget is about to be taken over by repaying student loans. This is a book that was unlikely to have passed my way otherwise, so I was happy to read it.

Note: The rest of this review has been withheld due to the changes in Goodreads policy and enforcement. You can read why I came to this decision here.

In the meantime, you can read the entire review at Smorgasbook
Apr 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
A really lovely contemporary fantasy novella set in a small town in England, where the conflict over whether or not to allow a new superstore turns out to embody a supernatural crisis. Since I live in a small British town that recently had that exact same debate, it felt VERY resonant to me, and I loved the way Cornell worked such creepy and plausible magic of various sorts around the edges of ordinary small town British life.

I also really loved the characters of all three of the women who are
Dec 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A grumpy old hedge witch with an unhappy marriage. A grieving cleric come home to face a crisis of faith. An atheist who runs a magic shop to cling on to her sanity. If these three women can't save the bickering population of Lychford from itself - and from the demonic powers trying to bribe the town into giving them planning permission - then nobody can.

Witches of Lychford may be one of the most successful novellas I have ever read, a very English delight from start to finish, which understand
Dec 30, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2016
Objectively this wasn't an awful novella but honestly it just didn't do much for me. The whole thing just felt totally flat. If it hadn't been so short I might have DNFed it.
Witches of Lynchford was a nice, quick listen. The characters were fun and interesting. I'm sure they are even better in the following books. The story moved along nicely. Marisa Calin did a fantastic job of narrating. It's a good start and i' sure it gets better but for me it was just ok. if my library had this series, i would listen to the rest.
Sep 18, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Too short! I have questions! But there are sequels.....
My problem with novellas is, more often than not I get really into the story, the plot, the character, the worldbuilding... and I need more from them. I can't really feel satisfied with the tiny snippet we get in 150 or so pages.

It was exactly the case with this one. I think, if it was a full-on novel, I would've adored it. However, I found it much too short to really touch on all of the subjects I wanted to, and I just wanted to know more. Luckily I've got some sequels to look forward too :)
Jan 13, 2016 rated it really liked it
Another excellent TOR novella -- a vicar, a magic store owner and an actual (English village) witch have to fight the Powers of Darkness and big-box retailing. (Sounds like the set-up for a joke, doesn't it?) The characters are all well-drawn and have their own reasons for getting involved and/or not wanting to get involved, and the village itself almost becomes another character. (And I want to go live there, assuming no actual Powers of Darkness or big-box retailers.)
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Paul Cornell is a British writer of science fiction and fantasy prose, comics and television. He's been Hugo Award-nominated for all three media, and has won the BSFA Award for his short fiction, and the Eagle Award for his comics. He's the writer of Saucer Country for Vertigo, Demon Knights for DC, and has written for the Doctor Who TV series. His new urban fantasy novel is London Falling, out fr ...more

Other books in the series

Lychford (4 books)
  • The Lost Child of Lychford (Lychford, #2)
  • A Long Day in Lychford (Lychford, #3)
  • The Lights Go Out in Lychford (Lychford, #4)

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Kate Stayman-London has watched the reality dating show The Bachelor (and its eventual Bachelorette spin-off) since it first started airing in 2002...
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“The telemarketers who called her up now seemed either desperate or resigned to the point of a mindless drone, until Judith, who had time on her hands and ice in her heart, engaged them in dark conversations that always got her removed from their lists.” 5 likes
“As Lizzie had seen so many times with victims, the harder your life had been, the harder it was to give yourself room for ethical choices. So were born cycles of abuse.” 2 likes
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