Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Year of the Witching” as Want to Read:
The Year of the Witching
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Year of the Witching

(Bethel #1)

3.82  ·  Rating details ·  15,723 ratings  ·  3,062 reviews
A young woman living in a rigid, puritanical society discovers dark powers within herself in this stunning, feminist fantasy debut.

In the lands of Bethel, where the Prophet’s word is law, Immanuelle Moore’s very existence is blasphemy. Her mother’s union with an outsider of a different race cast her once-proud family into disgrace, so Immanuelle does her best to worship th
Hardcover, 368 pages
Published July 21st 2020 by Ace
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Year of the Witching, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Ms. Woc Reader Because people like to mistag books on here. I interviewed the author on my blog and she said this is not YA it's Adult with YA crossover appeal.…moreBecause people like to mistag books on here. I interviewed the author on my blog and she said this is not YA it's Adult with YA crossover appeal.(less)
GhostBird There isn't swearing per se, but as it's about a puritanical society there is the occasional use of religious slur words like "whore" and accusations …moreThere isn't swearing per se, but as it's about a puritanical society there is the occasional use of religious slur words like "whore" and accusations of one character "laying with" another, and at least one instance of "bitch."

As for sexual content, there's nothing super overt, but lots of references to sex. There is a vague description of two nude women (referred to as "the Lovers") writhing together, culty-religiousy-phrases like "he will plant his seed in her again and again while she is young enough to bear the fruit," and there is a plot point that deals with sexual abuse of a thirteen year old girl.(less)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.82  · 
Rating details
 ·  15,723 ratings  ·  3,062 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of The Year of the Witching
Nilufer Ozmekik
Apr 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Handmaid’s Tale meets Salem: Born of rebellious feminist resistance by a girl who is branded as cursed because of her mother’s sins and facing the dark powers to make definite and concrete changes at the dystopian, puritanical, secluded society consisted of hypocrisy, ignorance, illogical and unfair laws.

This is another terrifying, fist clenching, soul shivering, mind crushing, heart pounding, forehead sweating, edgy, spooky, bleak, dark journey take you to the dark woods to face the four witch
Melissa ~ Bantering Books
Be sure to visit Bantering Books to read all my latest reviews.

I once read that the key to happiness is to lower one’s expectations in life. That the feeling of happiness is often more dependent upon whether life is better than originally hoped, rather than how well one’s life is flowing along overall. (Or something to that effect.)

True statement? False? I do not know.

But I am wondering if from this point forward, I should apply this theory to all future books I read and just squash any prelimin
Emily (Books with Emily Fox)
I've been wanting to read more books with witches... fingers crossed this one works out for me! ...more
Joel Rochester
fuck this was awesome
Arini ~ Miss Casually Reading
4.5 Stars

Holy shh—Mother of Witches, this book is going straight to my TOP READS OF 2020 list!!!!!

I know, bold statement. I might be tempted to revoke my claim later, but for now can we talk about how bloody PHENOMENAL and REVOLUTIONARY this terrifying wtichy culty puritanical tale is???? Yes, this book is the sh*t I want everyone to rave about.

This is the story of a cursed child born and raised into a society ruled by (holy) men who abuse their power and hide under the protective blanket of law
Alexis Henderson
Jul 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
I mean...I think it's pretty good. :) ...more
Aug 23, 2020 rated it liked it
i feel like this is one of those books where you either really love it or it just isnt for you. and being that my fatal flaw is indecisiveness, im right down this middle with this one.

there are a lot of good things about this - the relevant themes, the relatable characters, and the easy-going writing. i like how this is set in a very distant and dated world, but so much of the story applies to reality. i love immanuelle as a character and i appreciate that she had a determined strength to her,
i love the start SO very much, but the ending just... kept losing me! but still a good read! rtc! <3

Blog | Instagram | Youtube | Ko-fi | Spotify | Twitch

Buddy read with Maëlys!
Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin
UPDATE: $1.99 Kindle US 1/17/21

This book just wasn’t for me. I will tell you the audio version is wonderful so I would recommend listening to it. The cover of this book is beautiful! I wished I loved it just so I could add the hardcover to my collection!!

I also loved the writing style, I would like to read more of this authors future books because of this reason alone!

Happy Reading!

Mel 🖤🐶🐺🐾

BLOG: https://melissa413readsalot.blogspot....
Jul 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: edelweiss
"Love is an act of loyalty."

Immanuelle Moore, raised by her Grandparents and bearing her grandfather's last name bears the shame of being a child out of wedlock, a child with dark powers, a child that follows the rules but has a destiny that will affect them all.

"To be a woman is to be a sacrifice."

Growing up in the town of Bethel, where the Prophet rules, Immanuelle tries to follow the father, she tries to worship, be devoted, submissive and conform as all the women of the village do. U
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
S.A. Chakraborty
I tore through this book in a single day. It's the exact kind of witchy tale I've been looking for. The kind of achingly tense, terrifying atmosphere you get in horror with the "tear it all down" politics of today's best fantasy. Highly recommend! ...more
Nov 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
So. Horribly. Awesome!
Didn’t think I could love something so grotesque. But this was such a fabulous story and so fast paced, I flew through it. It had me hooked from start to finish.
This wasn’t particularly horrifying for me but was surely morbid, dark and grim. But hey, it’s a book of witches! Save the grisly details, I really enjoyed every part of this book.
I loved the characters and totally ship Immanuelle and Ezra.
I’m so glad this wasn’t another disappointment of 2020.
Brenda ~Traveling Sisters Book Reviews
Year of the Witching is a dark feminist fantasy and not one I would have picked up on my own. I decided to download this one after it was mentioned in the sister group, and I read it with my reading sister Debra. I am so glad I read this one and had Debra to discuss this one with.

I often get lost when reading stories with fantasy or supernatural elements to the story, so it took a while to get into this one, and I had to go back and reread some parts. Once I got into the flow of it, I couldn't
monica kim
Oct 18, 2020 rated it liked it
imagine if the new sabrina series followed prudence instead of sabrina. that’s the year of the witching. anyways, this story felt so fresh and is truly a perfect autumn read. it’s deliciously spooky and eerie, definitely akin to the creepier parts of the new sabrina series.

i do think it’s weird that people don’t think this is horror?? not every horror novel needs to scare the pants off of you to be part of the genre - have yall never read gothic horror or classics like dracula??
Lucy Langford
Aug 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
”The Maiden will bear a daughter, they will call her Immanuelle, and she will redeem the flock with wrath and plague.”

4.5***** rounded up.

This book was fucking amazing! This delivered witchy, twisty and dark themes that I absolutely thrive on. This tackled themes of family, belonging, oppression, misogyny and race as well.

Previous reviews to this compared it to “The Handmaids Tale” and as much as I thought that book was great, it was a very uncomfortable read and I wasn’t so sure if I wanted to
Shelby *trains flying monkeys*
ETA: I'm changing the rating I gave this book from a 3 to at least a 4 because I just can't get it out of my head.
I'm feeling all kinds of ways about this book. I'm just gonna high light the stuff I liked and hated. You can go read the blurb or another review if you want to know more of what the actual book is about.

Liked list:
Witches!! Some of my very favorite things.

These witches aren't the kind that just want a boyfriend either. These are some dark heifers.

It's very readable. I liked the
Holly (Holly Hearts Books)
Jul 21, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: own, review-copies
"The forest is sentient in a way man is not. She sees with a thousand eyes and forgets nothing."

Gothic, dark, bloody, and sinister. The Year of the Witching is a non stop horror thrill ride from the very first pages. It is just twisted enough to make you fall in love with all of the madness. So, should you read it? Here is my answer! All the pros, cons, and my personal opinion discussed in this video.
Sep 29, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2020
Well wasn’t this the historical horror/fantasy story that we’ve all been secretly craving?? A dark and twisting novel about religion, patriarchal structures, othering and reclaiming your power, The Year of the Witching was quite a debut from author Alexis Henderson.

Immanuelle has lived in Bethel all her life. Isolated from the rest of the world, her repressive religious town is surrounded by a sinister forest known as the Darkwood, where no person is permitted to enter. And nobody has, not since
Lady H
Apr 06, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: read-in-2020
The Year of the Witching was pitched as being inspired by The VVitch, so perhaps it's on me for allowing my expectations to climb sky-high due to the association with one of my favorite movies of all time. The VVitch is disturbing and unsettling and claustrophobic; The Year of the Witching is standard YA fantasy fare, and this despite the fact that it is not YA fantasy, but adult.

Immanuelle is a character I struggled to get a grasp on, and perhaps that is because she is so...generic, almost as
Aug 30, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 4-stars
3.75 stars

Before I read this book, I had no idea what it was about. I just know two things that made me want it; that it has witches and it got such an aesthetic beautiful cover. And I was sold!

This was such an enjoyable book to read. Starting from the gothic atmosphere, the sinister dark vibe, the relevant theme, the feminism, the cute love story, and the relatable realistic topics. I really liked both the main characters, even though they were kinda basic, I was still cheering for them the who
The Artisan Geek
So excited!! :D This will be one of the books which I'll be doing a live show for during the Fortnight Frights read-a-thon and Alexis will be joining in!! Currently the penultimate live show book (The Only Good Indians) before it's time to DIG IN :D

You all! 2020 is going to be MY Year of Witching! Me flying into the new year:

Heck yeah! There are so many dark fantasies coming out soon, it's wild. I don't know, I just feel blessed!

You can find me on
Youtube | Instagram | Twitter | Tum
Amy Imogene Reads
3.5 stars

What do you have when you add Salem Witch Trials, plagues, cursed witches, polygamy, oppression of women, fantasy settings, racial commentaries, and religious allegories together?

Writing: ★★★★
Concept: ★★★★
Pacing/Plot: ★★★
Characters: ★★★
Enjoyment: ★★★ 1/2

In the lands of Bethel, where the Prophet’s word is law, Immanuelle Moore’s very existence is blasphemy. A biracial girl in a town of only white people, her very existence brings shame to her family as it reminds the settlement of her d
Lyn❤Loves❤Listening #AUDIOBOOKADDICT
Audio 3.75 Stars
Story dnf @ 78%


"I won't listen to this in the dark!"😬 turns into "I fell asleep while listening to this and didn't have any nightmares."😕


Going from "I wonder how this is going to end?" 😯🤔 turns into "When is this going to end already?"😑

It's time to DNF....
Ashleigh (a frolic through fiction)
*Rated 3.5/5 stars

I did enjoy this book, though have a surprising lack of thoughts about it. It’s strongest point is definitely the eerie atmosphere, and the chilling views influencing their society. It was complex in how it presented an authentic corrupt society, with people using beliefs to find loopholes within their own laws. But sadly I just didn’t feel a single one of the relationships built between characters in the book, which in turn meant the crucial plot point fell a tad. All these sa
Wow....this was such a powerful book. I cannot wait for the sequel. 4.5 Stars. Trigger Warnings: abuse (physical and emotional), blood ritual, pedophilia, graphic violence

I had been hearing about the buzz of The Year of the Witching for a while. I think for the most part I had been seeing good reviews. I didn't really know much about the book prior to going into it except that most viewed it as a cross between The Handmaids Tale and The Salem Witch Trials. Both of those are intriguing to me so I
Jul 22, 2020 rated it really liked it
ARC received in exchange for an honest review.

The Year of the Witching is a dark, deeply moody and atmospheric read that follows the story of Immanuelle. Born as the result of an illicit love affair, she is seen as an outcast within her cloistered village. Trying to blend in, she spends her days devoting herself to the Father and practising the religious law as directed by the all-powerful Prophet to atone for her family’s sins. However, the pull of the mysterious Darkwoods – a forbidden place h
Feb 12, 2021 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: readers looking for a quick, gothic horror-ish read without much substance
Recommended to jade by: lists with the new horror releases for 2020
“she dreamed of scarecrow witches burning like torches in the night, tangled limbs and stolen kisses. in her nightmares, she saw the lovers toiling in the dirt, grasping at each other, teeth bared, pale eyes sharp with moonlight.”

a witchy fantasy-horror about a teenage girl trying to break a curse while living under the yoke of an oppressive patriarchal regime.

firstly: this book was not for me. loved the prose, but disliked almost everything else. now that we’ve got that out of the w
Irena BookDustMagic
Oct 31, 2020 rated it it was amazing

Review to come.
Ellen Gail
May 31, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Blood. Blight. Darkness. Slaughter.

Fuck yes! This is what I’m here for. A lot of things about 2020 suck, but this book, she ain’t one of them.

No one could know what she had found in the woods. Not if she wanted to live.

The Year of the Witching is a stunning debut novel, packed to the edges of its pages with bewitching detail and dreadfully good writing. Think The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly meets The VVitch set in a Puritan inspired fantasy world. Our protagonist Immanuelle doesn't fit in
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Shine & Shadow: The Year of the Witching- Spoilers Galore 17 26 Jun 14, 2021 05:35AM  
Creepy Book Club: END OF BOOK DISCUSSION 6 30 May 02, 2021 07:23AM  
Creepy Book Club: Part 1: Blood 7 24 Apr 28, 2021 09:03AM  
You'll love this ...: April 2021 - The Year of the Witching 64 28 Apr 27, 2021 08:58PM  
Shine & Shadow: The Year of the Witching- Initial Thoughts 19 32 Apr 26, 2021 05:18PM  
Play Book Tag: The Year of the Witching/Alexis Henderson/4 Stars 1 7 Apr 22, 2021 10:56AM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • Tiny Dino Worlds: Create Your Own Prehistoric Habitats
  • Harley Quinn: Breaking Glass
  • Chosen Ones (The Chosen Ones, #1)
  • Royal Holiday (The Wedding Date, #4)
  • Wilder Girls
  • The Undefeated
  • The Lie Tree
  • A Princess in Theory (Reluctant Royals, #1)
  • A Duke by Default (Reluctant Royals, #2)
  • The Scholomance
  • The Witch of Willow Hall
  • History Is All You Left Me
  • The Reptile Room (A Series of Unfortunate Events, #2)
  • Magical Midlife Madness (Leveling Up #1)
  • Infinity Son (Infinity Cycle #1)
  • Suddenly Psychic (Glimmer Lake, #1)
  • Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret
  • Milkweed
See similar books…
See top shelves…
Alexis Henderson is a speculative fiction writer with a penchant for dark fantasy, witchcraft, and cosmic horror. She grew up in one of America’s most haunted cities, Savannah, Georgia, which instilled in her a life-long love of ghost stories. When she doesn’t have her nose buried in a book, you can find her painting or watching horror movies with her feline familiar. Currently, Alexis resides in ...more

Articles featuring this book

If you love the fantasy genre, this is the season for you! Some of the biggest books out this fall promise to be epics full of magic, adventure,...
196 likes · 50 comments
“Good people don't bow their heads and bite their tongues while other good people suffer. Good people are not complicit.” 34 likes
“True Evil...wore the skin of good men. It uttered prayers, not curses. It feigned mercy where there was only malice. It studied Scriptures only to spit out lies.” 18 likes
More quotes…