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4.40  ·  Rating details ·  42 ratings  ·  17 reviews

When Jane’s lover, Tom, returns from the navy to find her unhappily married to his betrayer, Jane is caught in an impossible situation. Still reeling from the loss of her mother at the hands of the witch-finder John Sharpe, Jane has no choice but to continue her dangerous work as a healer while keeping her young daughter safe.
But, as Tom searches for a way for him and Jan

Kindle Edition, 208 pages
Published April 1st 2019 by Impress Books
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Average rating 4.40  · 
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Stephanie (Bookfever)
I'm going to jump right in and say that Sunwise had me totally hooked. I barely put the book down and because of that I read it in only one day. I'll be honest, though... this story broke my heart but only books that really touch me have the power to do this and Sunwise was one of them.

Sunwise is the sequel to Widdershins, which I read almost exactly two years ago. I loved both books but I gotta say I think I liked this sequel a little bit more. It's always great when a sequel trumps the first
Sunwise is the sequel to the author’s debut novel, Widdershins. Although Sunwise can be enjoyed as a standalone, it does refer to events in the previous book so I would definitely recommend reading Widdershins first. Both books are fairly short, so no excuse on that count! In her afterword, Helen Steadman describes how writing a sequel to Widdershins came about because its two main characters – John Sharpe and Jane Chandler – kept reappearing in her mind. She explains, ‘they continued to haunt m ...more
Linda Hill
Apr 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Witch finder John Sharpe is back to rid the world of his perceived evil.

Having so enjoyed the fabulous Widdershins by Helen Steadman, I knew I was in for a treat with Sunwise and I wasn’t disappointed. There’s a glorious and frequently harrowing intensity to Helen Steadman’s narrative style, coupled with a vibrant historical accuracy that hypnotises the reader and transports them to a world of superstition, tradition, religion and persecution. I cannot begin to express just how authentically acc
Alex (ReadingBetweenTheNotes)
Straightaway, I was reminded of how fantastic the author’s writing is. There is a real sense of quality to it, in her word choices and sentence composition. I particularly enjoyed the kern supper scene; Helen’s talent for descriptive writing is really displayed well here. It made me so hungry! Honestly, you could probably get away with reading this book as a standalone but I recommend reading the whole duology simply because the prose is such a treat.

Just like Widdershins, the narrative voices i
Michelle Ryles
Apr 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arcs-read
Never a day goes by when I'm not excited about books, but I have to say that I was super-excited to get my hands on an early copy of Sunwise by Helen Steadman, the sequel to the superb Widdershins. Although you could read Sunwise as a standalone, I recommend reading Widdershins first, not only because it is firmly fixed as one of my favourite books, but to fully understand the history between healer Jane Chandler and witchfinder John Sharpe.

Jane should be happy with her life now that John Sharpe
Harriet Springbett
Apr 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
What a pleasure to read a sequel whose quality surpasses its predecessor. While Widdershins is fascinating in terms of learning about the Newcastle witch trials and the diverse herbal remedies, Sunwise is the product of a more confident writer. I couldn't put the book down. The descriptions are rich, making me feel I was in the 17th century rural village, and I loved the occasional use of rustic words. The plot is simple yet convincing, the end satisfying and realistic. The character of John Sha ...more
Alison  Banks
Jan 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This and widdershins are an absolute must read for anyone who is interested in witch lore and the North East of England and Scotland. I've spent two days reading these back to back and I'm left feeling I've lost a family I had never met. The points of view keeps the people alive and real as you go through the books, you live with Jane, Anne, Tom and of course the reverend. You laugh and cry as they do. I can not praise these books enough. I want to go back to the beginning and read them again an ...more
Ted Curtis
Apr 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
In Sunwise, Helen Steadman’s fast-moving and spellbinding sequel to her astonishing debut novel Widdershins, the attention to detail and historical accuracy displayed are informative and immaculate, the plot engaging, thrilling and endearing. The bowel-quivering twists and turns will have you hanging onto the edge of your seat (or, perhaps, seate) whilst reaching for your crock of valerian, and the intermittent moments of subtle comedy are guaranteed to raise a smile – not least the description ...more
Nicola Smith
Nov 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
*There is nothing in my review that isn’t contained in the blurb but that means that there are spoilers relating to the previous book, Widdershins.*

Last year I read Widdershins by Helen Steadman, coincidentally whilst we were on holiday in Northumberland where the book is set. I said at that time that if I hadn't known there was a sequel I would have been screaming out 'noooo' as it ended on such a cliffhanger.

Sunwise is that sequel and it picks up where Widdershins left off. I do think it's ne
Susana Aikin
Apr 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
In this riveting sequel to Widdershins, Helen Steadman takes us once more into England’s seventeenth century, a time of political and religious strife, where the Church of England was still looking to squelch, not just Catholic practices, but also traces of the old religion in towns and rural communities. It was a time in which superstition and paranoia about witchcraft peaked, darkly serving a deeper trend by which the new patriarchy of the Modern State sought to destroy women’s power within co ...more
Sep 11, 2019 rated it liked it

I was really looking forward to this after having really enjoyed Widdershins. I actually requested my library buy it in so I could read it. Whilst I enjoyed it, I didn't enjoy it as much as the first in the series. I found some of John's dialogue repetitive in places, and I'm not sure how this would read if you hadn't read Widdershins, as the first book provides background and build up to as why John is the way he is. I was routing for Jane and Tom all the way through Sunwise, and I can't hel
Laurie Sparrow
Apr 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Gripping Historical Read

A captivating sequel to Widdershins.. you can tell the incredible amount of research that has been done in order to recreate the terrifying times of women had to endure during the witch hunts of England and Scotland.. Helen has done it again. I can’t wait for her next novel!
Lexie Conyngham
Jun 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This follows on closely from Widdershins – not the initial plan of the writer, but the characters came and grabbed her, and you could sense it happening. Sometimes charming, sometimes disturbing, and very firmly set in its time and place – don’t expect an easy ride, though!
Nicola Richardson
Nov 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Finding these books so interesting. I am so fascinated by the witch trials etc so to learn more about them happening locally is great. Even though these are fiction, I love the insight to the time. Really hope there is a follow up, even just a little short story to say what happens next between Tom and Andrew because they now have a huge reason to carry on their feud.
Oct 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Sunwise, Widdershins‘ sequel, is a captivating tale set in the 17th century. We follow Jane, a midwife, and John, a witch hunter. Their lives are intertwined and Helen symbolises this nicely through the different chapter point of views which alternate between the two characters.

John is obsessed with revenge and is determined to rid England of witchcraft. He is a disturbed character who despises women, because he cannot control his feelings of attraction or lust and in consequence he tries to get
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Helen Steadman is a historical novelist. Her first novel, Widdershins and its sequel, Sunwise were inspired by the Newcastle witch trials. Her third novel, The Running Wolf, is a tale of swords, smuggling and sedition, based on the real-life master swordmakers who defected from Germany to England in 1687.

Despite the Newcastle witch trials being the largest mass execution of witches on a single da

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