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The Witches' Kitchen (The Life and Times of Corban Loosestrife, #2)
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The Witches' Kitchen (The Life and Times of Corban Loosestrife #2)

3.73  ·  Rating details ·  105 Ratings  ·  17 Reviews
Corban Loosestrife's life changed one clear morning years ago, when he returned from hunting to his family steading in Ireland and found it destroyed by Vikings and his father, mother, and brothers, slain. But his twin sister Mav was not among the dead, and so he knew that she had been taken as a slave. Corban set out to find her and redeem her, if he could, and in doing s ...more
Hardcover, 384 pages
Published April 17th 2004 by Forge Books
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Dameon Manuel
Feb 25, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Wonderful historical fiction, with some slight elements of pagan mysticism. Northwest Europe, circa ninth century, is in upheaval, both political and religious. Corban Loosestrife, the hero of the preceding novel 'The Soul Thief', has tried to abandon the uncertainty and bloodshed of Europe by moving to the New World, where he and his wife, sister, and four children occupy a small coastal island. Corban has a tenuous but peaceful relationship with the neighboring indigenous tribe. In the late sp ...more
May 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I liked the first book in the series, Soul Thief, but I found this one even more interesting. On to The Serpent Dreamer.
Oct 21, 2017 rated it liked it
It took a long time to get into this one ... not sure if that's because it's the second of a series and I hadn't read the first or what. I didn't find the whole Svenska Family Robinson thing believable. There is a significant drop-off in the depth of the native characters from that of the norsemen. The natives are pretty much typecast inscrutable ... one noble savage and one bloodthirsty, but both feel like they are following those roles more than any individual characteristics. That bothered me ...more
Story: 8 (epic and full of new discoveries)
Characters: 9 (distinct trio of leads with unique personalities)
Accuracy: 9 (generally accurate)

After being not very fond of the first book in this series I was pleasantly surprised to find this one much more enjoyable. I'm not completely sure what changed. The magic I found so out of place is still there, even more extreme in fact than last time. In addition to the sort of overwhelming mind powers we get ghosts and a woman who can turn into a hawk. Yet
Vicki G
Oct 28, 2011 added it
Shelves: unfinished
I LIKED the first book. That's why I'm so surprised I DON'T like the second one.
I mean I liked every book in the Harry Potter series and I assume that, with most sequel books, the plot's going to continue in a sequential fashion; otherwise it would be kind of stupid to call it a sequel. You might as well call it a second book, not a sequel.

The main reason I don't like the book is the character Conn. He's not likable. In fact, he's hatable in every way I can imagine, and he has a ridiculous prope
P. Kirby
Nov 29, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: historical, ya
Circa the year 964. Corban Loosestrife, his wife Benna, their four children and Corban's half-mad sister Mav, are living on an island somewhere off the coast of the Americas. He brought his family there to escape the political machinations of his homeland in Ireland. Previously, (in The Soul Thief), nearly all his family was slaughtered by Vikings; his sister taken and raped by Eric Bloodaxe. Corban did what any sensible man of the 900s would do--he killed Bloodaxe to redeem his sister's honor.

Jan 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-2015
These books have really brought this time and the Viking culture alive for me! I’m so glad I randomly picked up the one book at the library last year. I find Corbin and his wife Benna’s relationship one of the best ones I’ve ever read. They are so loyal, supportive and loving of each other it warmed my spirits reading it. At first I didn’t understand why Benna did what she did, and I was so angry at Holland for it and crushed for Corbin…but then Holland made it right with the just a tiny touch o ...more
An Odd1
Jun 22, 2011 rated it did not like it
* (bits engage) "The Witches' Kitchen" (Soul Thief 2)refers to behind the scene women, all magic, who push/ pull men from situations where they don't belong, into deadly native and Viking battle scenes. Cecelia Holland lets out the secrets of Mav's slavery and rape from the prequel in dribbles and bursts, like real-life adults reveal the past to children. The final mishmash of focuses is uncomfortable to try to sort out. The main plot, political intrigue and Viking battles, diverts to Christian ...more
Apr 25, 2013 rated it really liked it
I really liked the first book, The Soul Thief, so I was really excited to pick up the second book. I certainly enjoyed The Witches’ Kitchen, but it wasn’t as good as the first one.

For one thing, I feel like Mav’s character changed. She kind of winds up being the crazy woman in the woods and I just don’t really understand how she got to that point from where she was at the end of The Soul Thief. For another, the first part of the book was really slow. It just didn’t move and I found it to be rath
Sep 03, 2011 rated it really liked it
This book is the middle of a fine historical fantasy series dealing with the clash of Viking, Celtic and German civilizations across northern Europe in the 10th century. In this novel, Corban and his family have settled in an island off the North American coast and come into conflict with Native American tribes. The majority of the action happens back in Europe, however, where Corban goes to try to overcome guilt from his past. He and his son Conn and nephew Raef get caught up in political turmo ...more
Bruce Nordstrom
May 24, 2014 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: history fans.
Shelves: historic-fiction
I really liked this book. It begins in the 10th century A.D. with a family of Vikings in Vinland. Then it moves to Europe, where the adventures never end. Very interesting side plot involving witchcraft and ghosts, that not only sounded very realistic, but added a great deal to the plot.

Loved this book. Looking forward to next volume in the series.
Jul 27, 2011 added it
Such a horrible horrible book! I should've known since it was the sequel to The Soul Thief which I also disliked, but I was desperate for something to read! Plot was confusing and boring at the same time, characters didn't see true, facts were messed up, and it was not engaging at all. I do NOT recommend!
Nov 23, 2013 rated it liked it
I enjoyed picking up the story of Corban Loosestrife. This does have quite a bit more of the fantasy element with a shape shifting witch as one of the characters. Still, Corban continues to interact with the great events of his day. If you are interested in the period, late 900's and don't mind some fantasy with your historical fiction, I recommend.
May 14, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

This,the second of The Soul Thief trilogy presents itself from the hearts and minds of the characters far more than many of her other books. That being said it does not lack for action, witches, shape shifters and Vikings on the prod.
Deanna Drai Turner
Mar 12, 2012 rated it really liked it
Ending of Soul Thief. mmmmm Loved how Benna lives on his back. I wonder can we do this? I love stories like this. John hated the ending. I however did not.
Oct 21, 2013 rated it really liked it
I cannot stop reading this series. Well done!
Laurie Pringle
Aug 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Another excellent Corban Loosestrife book!
rated it really liked it
Dec 15, 2015
Aaron Moats
rated it liked it
Jan 20, 2017
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Jan 13, 2014
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Jan 17, 2014
Trujillo Francisco
rated it really liked it
Apr 22, 2014
rated it really liked it
Feb 16, 2008
rated it liked it
May 06, 2014
Lynn Christiansen
rated it liked it
May 09, 2014
rated it it was amazing
Oct 02, 2011
rated it liked it
Oct 12, 2017
rated it really liked it
Jun 23, 2011
rated it it was ok
Jun 29, 2009
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Pen name used by Elizabeth Eliot Carter.

Cecelia Holland is one of the world's most highly acclaimed and respected historical novelists, ranked by many alongside other giants in that field such as Mary Renault and Larry McMurtry. Over the span of her thirty year career, she's written almost thirty historical novels, including The Firedrake, Rakessy, Two Ravens, Ghost on the Steppe, Death of Attila,
More about Cecelia Holland

Other Books in the Series

The Life and Times of Corban Loosestrife (6 books)
  • The Soul Thief (The Life and Times of Corban Loosestrife, #1)
  • The Serpent Dreamer (The Life and Times of Corban Loosestrife, #3)
  • Varanger (The Life and Times of Corban Loosestrife, #4)
  • The High City (The Life and Times of Corban Loosestrife, #5)
  • Kings of the North (The Life and Times of Corban Loosestrife, #6)

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