Jump to ratings and reviews
Rate this book

The Age of Witches

Rate this book
Harriet Bishop, descended from a long line of witches, uses magic to help women in need -- not only ordinary women, but also those with powers of their own. She must intervene when a distant cousin wields dangerous magic to change the lives of two unsuspecting young people... one of whom might just be a witch herself.

Frances Allington has used her wiles and witchcraft to claw her way out of poverty and into a spectacular marriage with one of New York's wealthiest new tycoons. She is determined to secure the Allingtons' position amongst the city's elite Four Hundred families by any means necessary -- including a scheme to make a glorious aristocratic match for her headstrong and reluctant step-daughter, Annis, using the same strange power with which she ensnared Annis's father.
To save Annis from this dark magic, Harriet reveals to her Frances' misuse of their shared birthright and kindles in Annis her own nascent powers. Together, Harriet and Annis must resist her stepmother's agenda, lest she -- and the dashing young lord she suspects she could come to love -- lose their freedom, and possibly their lives.

448 pages, Hardcover

First published April 7, 2020

Loading interface...
Loading interface...

About the author

Louisa Morgan

10 books1,121 followers
Louisa Morgan is the author of A Secret History of Witches, The Witch’s Kind, and The Age of Witches. She's looking forward to the publication of The Great Witch of Brittany in 2022!

Louisa is a yogini, a musician, a mom, and a dog lover. She lives in scenic Northern Idaho with her family and her spirit familiar, Oscar the Border Terrier. Visit her at www.louisamorgan.net.

Ratings & Reviews

What do you think?
Rate this book

Friends & Following

Create a free account to discover what your friends think of this book!

Community Reviews

5 stars
2,002 (30%)
4 stars
2,614 (39%)
3 stars
1,491 (22%)
2 stars
357 (5%)
1 star
104 (1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 701 reviews
Profile Image for Ash.
123 reviews134 followers
December 9, 2020
DNF ~25%.

I read Louisa Morgan’s first book, A Secret History of Witches. It wasn’t a favorite of mine, but I enjoyed it enough that when I saw The Age of Witches on NetGalley, I thought it might at least be worth a read. I went in expecting more of what I got from Secret History: a story that centers female characters and female relationships, a charming writing style, a lackluster plot, and a hint of magic.

The Age of Witches had all those things. The narration alternated between four characters. Harriet is a middle-aged herbalist widow descended from a long line of witches. Annis is the seventeen-year-old daughter of a wealthy entrepreneur with dreams of breeding horses. Francis is her stepmother, another witch who magicked her way into an advantageous marriage. The fourth protagonist is James, who I’d only barely met before I stopped reading. It’s clear he’s meant to be Annis’ love interest.

Frances was the most interesting character by far. I always enjoy a conniving woman. Harriet was forgettable, and Annis was about as cliché as it gets: the privileged young woman who detests parties and social graces and the idea of marriage.

As I mentioned, the plot was not the highlight of this story. It was slow and not particularly high-stakes or exciting. I felt like I could put the book down at any point and wouldn’t miss out on anything major, which is exactly what I did. I enjoyed seeing magic used for a greater variety of purposes than in Secret History, where the protagonists mainly used it to attract men and get pregnant. But overall, I found The Age of Witches underwhelming.

I still think Morgan is a talented writer. She just doesn’t write the type of books I enjoy.
September 7, 2020
3.5 stars

The Age of Witches, a story sweet and gentle, not what I expected.

Blame the bloodthirsty/goth short story collections I read before this title, but I expected a bang with this book. As one of my more anticipated novels this year, it let me down gently, only to envelop me with its tendrils (or witchcraft) to fall for the warmhearted plot.

With that said, the main character in the novel, young Annis, is anything but easy pickings. It's the year 1890 in NY, and the 17-year-old Annis lives with her wealthy father and new stepmother Frances Allington, who thinks she should be spending more time in high society than in the barn or riding horses. To rectify that situation, she persuades her husband to take Annis overseas to England by ship to find a suitable man for her.

Harriet Bishop, the great aunt of Annis is a herbologist and witch. She knows exactly what Frances is really up to, like using incantations and spells that will enchant a suitor to fall for Annis and using her abilities to meddle with any upcoming situation of a possible match. What matters to Frances are money and status.

Annis meets a young man indeed and he too loves horses. However, more than indulging in his time for short outings is as far as he will get with her. That is until Frances puts a spell on them both and it all goes topsy-turvy from there.

Harriet will try to intervene and ousts herself to Annis. An instant bond connects the two and together they forge a plan to stir against Frances's endeavors.

Will they succeed and stop her from casting her bewitching incantations?

That is to be found out when reading The Age of Witches.


Again, much gentler of a novel than I thought it would be. There wasn't a huge amount of witchcraft in all and it felt a bit like a historical romance overall. I enjoyed the characters and the writing, very atmospheric.

Sometime earlier this year, I saw a video that the author had posted to introduce the novel...it was when the pandemic hit I believe and I knew that I would like her writing and passion for the subject.

If you are a historical fiction fan and this novel shows up in your path, read it and enjoy. I will definitely pick up one of her other novels too.

I would like to thank my pal Traveling Cloak for sending me his copy after reading it. You are the bestest!

More of my reviews here:
Through Novel Time & Distance
Profile Image for Amanda Hupe.
953 reviews57 followers
April 12, 2020
Thank you, Louisa Morgan, NetGalley, and Redhook books for the opportunity to read this book!

It is official. I will read anything that Louisa Morgan pens. The Age of Witches by Louisa Morgan is her third book and I hope there are many more. This book takes place in 1890 and introduces Harriet Bishop. Harriet is a descendant of Bridget Bishop of Salem. Harriet has “the knowing” and a very accomplished herbalist. She believes in helping people. Her distant cousin, Frances has used dark magic to work her way up in society by marrying a wealthy widower. But she is determined to make it into higher society by marrying his daughter, Annis to a lord in England. Problem is, Annis has no interest in marriage and only wants to be around her horses. Harriet must stop Frances before Annis is harmed by this dark magic.

Bravo. I love these books by Louisa Morgan. I saw a lot of reviews that comment on how slow they are…maybe to them, but not to me. I love the detail. I feel so immersed in her stories. I want to be friends with her characters. In fact, it kind of breaks my heart that they are fictional. Sigh…

Anyway, I LOVE Annis! She is spirited and passionate. Her love for horses brought tears to my eyes. I also love how she wants to be loved for herself, not because of magic or because of money. Harriet is also wonderful. I would love for her to be my teacher. She is kind and knowledgeable. Her guidance is heartwarming.

Also. WITCH BATTLES. Oh. My. God. I was on the edge of my seat. My husband said, “Hey—babe, you haven’t blinked in a while.” Yes, it is that good.

Louisa Morgan gets another 5 perfect stars from me! She hasn’t let me down yet. I can’t wait for her next book!
Profile Image for Judy.
1,096 reviews
February 29, 2020
A beautifully written tale of witches in Gilded Age New York. Harriet and Frances are both descendants of Bridget Bishop, who was hanged a century before. Harriet practices herbal magic while Frances practices a darker type of magic. Harriet is a healer and uses her magic wisely, while her cousin Frances uses her magic to get what she wants - a husband who has money and now she wants her step-daughter, Annis, to marry a man with a title to place her in a position to join the elite 400 in New York.

Annis is also descended from from the Bishop line, but knows nothing about her abilities. Harriet wants to teach her, but is estranged from Frances and Annis doesn't know who she is. Harriet becomes involved when Frances starts to use her step-daughter as a pawn.

I likes the characters Harriet and Annis. Frances was the more conniving character which I disliked, but later felt a little sorry for her. The story was good and I really like Morgan's writing style - the prose flows smoothly and fits the story putting you in the setting. I also loved the horses!

Thanks to Louisa Morgan and Redhook Books through Netgalley for an advance copy in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Mogsy (MMOGC).
2,030 reviews2,604 followers
April 28, 2020
4 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum https://bibliosanctum.com/2020/04/28/...

The Age of Witches is the third of Louisa Morgan’s historical supernatural standalone novels about witches, and once more we are treated to a journey of incredible depth and magic led by strong female characters. In this one, readers are spirited away to the late 1800s where seventeen-year-old protagonist Annis lives in New York with her wealthy father and stepmother. But while other upper-class girls her age are concerning themselves with marrying well and being proper, Annis instead has dreams of becoming a horse breeder one day, starting a new line with her beloved stallion Black Satin.

What our protagonist does not realize though, is that she is actually descended from a long line of magical women. But at some point in the past, there was a disagreement in ideology which split the family. Now Annis finds herself in the middle of a secret war of wills between two formidable witches: Harriet Bishop, her great aunt who believes that their powers should be used ethically; and Frances Allington, her stepmother who has thrown her lot in with black magic. Frances had ensorcelled Annis’ father to become the wife of one of New York’s richest and most prominent businessmen, but it’s not enough—chasing a noble title, Frances now wants to drag Annis across the ocean to England where she knows that the Marquess of Rosefield is almost broke and looking to wed a wealthy young heiress.

Annis is furious upon learning about Frances’ plans but has no choice but to acquiesce when her father threatens to sell Black Satin. Reluctantly, she agrees to travel to England and meet the Marquess, but the truth is she has no desire to ever get married. Frances, however, has a secret trick up her sleeve. Using the same type of magic she used on Annis’ father, she concocts a spell to force an engagement between her stepdaughter and the young lord. Fortunately, Harriet is well aware of the depths Frances could sink to in order to get what she wants. Catching up with Annis, Harriet reveals everything about their lineage to the young woman. Together, they work to foil Frances’ agenda while protecting James, the strait-laced but kind-hearted Marquess of Rosefield, whom Annis has decided isn’t actually all that bad.

What I love about Louisa Morgan’s novels about witches is that they each stand out individually, despite sharing many genre elements and motifs. Thematically, they all have a historical component with a focus on multiple generations, not to mention a strong feminist message championed by female characters who chafe against the expectations of their respective societies. In a way, this makes Annis quite typical of the author’s protagonists, but she also sets herself apart with the force of her personality and unique passions. She’s fiercely independent, for one, and can be single-minded to the point of exasperation. This girl also loves horses—and I mean, loves them—to the point where it pretty much drives every single aspect of her life.

But of course, there’s also the magic that shapes Annis. I liked how The Age of Witches was probably the “witchiest” of the author’s books so far, packed with all manner of spells, cantrips and charms. The conflict of “good magic” versus “bad magic” was also explored in an interesting way, pitting family members on two sides of an age-old rift against each other. Still, like the previous books, I felt some of the feminist messages came through a bit muddled. In A Secret History of Witches, for example, it was the frustrating way the women boasted of their powerful magic but seemed only to ever use it to put men under their spell and get them pregnant. Here, Harriet is constantly expounding on the importance of using magic responsibly, yet she and Annis always seem to have a ready excuse for using it to take away someone’s free will—just because it’s minor influence or for payback against some prejudiced idiot shouldn’t make it okay.

Still, I think we’ve made great strides in the characters in this one. While her women are always written extremely well, the author’s male characters in her other books have always struck me as overdone to the extreme with regards to their oppressiveness and abuse, so that they come across like caricatures rather than real people. Compared to them, James in this book was like a breath of fresh air, as he seemed to be written in a way to address those problems. And really, he was a perfect match for Annis, who came to realize that while there are plenty of terrible men like her father in the world, there are also kind souls like James with whom she can build a happy and healthy marriage.

There were some downers in this book, such as what ultimately becomes of a certain character, but I did appreciate how Morgan was able to make readers feel sympathy for someone who probably doesn’t deserve it, and that’s a clear mark of a skilled writer. But overall, I would say the tone of The Age of Witches is generally lighter, and my heart melted at the happy ending which reminded me somewhat of a regency romance. At the end of the day, I had a very enjoyable time with this novel and would not hesitate to recommend it to fans of the author’s previous novels or if you are keen to try a historical fantasy about magic and witches.

March 13, 2020
There are some books that make their intentions very obvious from the get go. LIKE this character. HERE is the history of our world. THIS is what you should feel. And all that does is make reading feel like a chore, like I'm being lectured or told what to do.

And then there are some books like The Age of Witches that are so beautifully crafted they make reading an immersive experience that is almost effortless. There is no denying that this is expertly written. Louisa Morgan has this phenomenal ability to balance world building and character development that allow the reader to explore and determine for themselves how they feel about it all.

Set in late 1800's, rebellious 18 year old Annis is independent and "un-lady like" and wants nothing to do with marriage. She would rather devote her time to her horses. Her disapproving stepmother Frances is a nouveau riche socialite who uses hidden magic to try to force her to fall in love with a British marquis to settle her down and gain a title for the family. An estranged aunt Harriet, who is the long lost cousin of Frances, and who is also secretly a witch, takes Annis under her wing to try to thwart her evil magic.

I loved this story. It was simple and unexpected and I've never seen the execution of romance quite like this one. Especially since I didn't feel like either one of them was particularly likeable. And they certainly weren't drawn to one another of their own volition. But something about their story made me not want to stop reading. And the use of the evil stepmother trope was perfection. I loved that every character was nuanced., and I even felt bad for and could understand the villain's perspective at times. Nothing felt cartoonish or tacky or overdone. Even the magic itself was something raw from the earth, an invocation of herbalism and intent, nothing flashy or garish. It left it all feeling grounded, like this really could happen without us knowing.

My only criticism is that the structure of the narrative towards the end felt drawn out. The story kind of lingers after the climax, with one or two mini plots introduced and resolved before the end. It felt a little slow and superfluous, but it was still enjoyable.
Profile Image for Stefani.
329 reviews96 followers
April 17, 2020
This book started as a 4-star book, then dropped to a 2-star book and finally by the end is an “it was fine” 3-star. The writing of this book was lovely. I found myself entranced by the prose and would look up to find that several hours had passed. Just last night I was so enthralled with the plot and the writing that I stayed awake reading until 2 a.m. It’s not surprising that the book only took me 3 days to finish.

I love books about witches, probably because I am one. I love books that explore the role of witchcraft in history and how women have historically used this knowledge to empower themselves. The characters were rich and I enjoyed them all. The basic premise is that Harriet and Francis are descended from a witch named Bridget Bishop. Bridget was executed in the 1600’s for witchcraft. Harriet’s side of the family tree has adopted the gentler side of the craft, using it mainly for herbalism and assisting locals with their various ailments and ills. Francis’ side of the family tree had adopted the “bad” side of the craft, manipulating and magically forcing others to do their bidding in order to gain power for themselves. Annis is a young girl from the family tree who is just coming into her powers and for whom Francis has nefarious plans. Harriet endeavors to stop this plot and it culminates in a clash between the two witches with Annis as the prize.

This book was a slow burn with not a lot of action to it, and I was fine with that. The information being presented was largely interesting and once we did get the showdown between Harriet and Francis it was really refreshing and exciting. That portion is what kept me up most of the night.

***Spoiler alert:*** From this point on there will be spoilers.

Reviewed for Written Among the Stars
Profile Image for Emma.
2,435 reviews828 followers
September 16, 2021
Despite being quite predictable, I found myself quite caught up in the story. It is very reminiscent of Alice Hoffman’s Practical magic series- in this- two cousins, one using friendly magic, the other dark. The dark practitioner uses magic to further her ambitions and her cousin and her great niece meet and work together to foil her attempts. I was pleased by the ending and plan to read other books by this author.
Profile Image for Linda.
428 reviews33 followers
October 21, 2021
i’m honestly shocked by how much i hated this. i thought i would merely find it slow and boring, and i do, but wow did the story piss me off for how preachy and hypocritical it is.

it takes a long time for anything to happen. harriet is a fifty year old spinster witch who’s rich thanks to her dead fiancé. frances is the social-climbing evil stepmother. annis is rich and obsessed with horses.

look it’s obvious you’re supposed to like harriet and annis and hate frances. and i agree frances is not a kind or loving person. but ultimately i find her the most sympathetic of the three (even though she does some fucked up shit) and i fucking hate harriet and annis.

annis is idiotic and spoiled and obnoxious. she’s constantly lecturing people about the evils of the side saddle which is annoying enough, but on top of that she takes great pleasure in telling people about how she watches her stallion fuck mares. and when they’re clearly uncomfortable, she decides they’re uptight and sexist and not because people should be allowed to not enjoy having that particular subject forced on them. the fuck?? it’s so incredibly rude and selfish and gross. i can’t believe i’m apparently supposed to think it quirky and charming.

frances grew up poor and hated it. she was taught not to use evil magic because of the darkness in her blood, but she wanted her heritage and learned it on her own anyway. she uses the evil magic passed down by her ancestors to secure herself a wealthy widower. harriet is pretty judgmental about it and it’s hard to blame frances for not wanting much to do with her - after all harriet’s never shown much empathy or compassion for her. i mean, as much as harriet is all doom and gloom about it, things are working out pretty well for frances despite the evil magic use. i like her because she actually takes matters into her own hands, and she doesn’t pretend to be a good person when she’s not (unlike some people).

harriet didn’t annoy me immediately, but wow could i sympathize with poor frances when i learned more about harriet. she’s so sanctimonious and hypocritical. she judges frances for her bitterness and for coming from a long line of darkness but literally never does anything to help.

one time harriet used dark magic and it killed her fiancé. did she bother to tell frances about it so frances knows the risks? nope. did she try to empathize with frances and offer to help frances achieve her goals without using dark magic? also nope. all she did was judge frances for the darkness she inherited from her ancestors, for wanting wealth and status, for using magic to get what she wants. but it’s ok when harriet does it.

the dumbest thing is that harriet has this magical knowing power and it’s always used as a convenient plot device to absolve harriet of any wrongs. harriet uses the evil magic she’s not supposed to use? she “knows” there was no other choice. harriet uses magic to bring james and annis together? she “knows” they will be happy together and it’s the best outcome. harriet feels bad she killed her fiancé with evil magic? annis “knows” it wasn’t harriet’s fault after all so she doesn’t have to feel guilty.

basically every time harriet or annis uses evil magic, or uses regular magic to “persuade” people to do what they want, it’s justified and there are no consequences to themselves. but frances is not supposed to use evil magic because it’s evil, and she has darkness in her because she comes from a dark line. harriet and annis are good and come from the good line, so nothing they ever do with magic is considered bad. god no wonder frances fucking hated harriet.

the story begins with all three of them doing nothing interesting whatsoever. this changes when frances decides to take annis to london to marry an aristocrat. i’m pretty sure i’m already supposed to hate frances by this point but she’s the only one who has clear ambitions and takes action.

anyway she uses evil magic to make annis not embarrass herself in london. and i sympathize because annis is indeed very embarrassing. i mean it’s obviously wrong, but frances doesn’t pretend to give a fuck about morals unlike the self-righteous harriet.

then she uses evil magic to make james and annis attracted to each other so they’ll get married. it would be convenient for everyone - james needs money, annis can send her horse over and start the breeding program she’s been obsessed with, frances gets the aristocrat connection she wants. but annis is able to resist the evil magic because she has her mom’s good magic protecting her so she refuses to get married.

apparently she’s opposed to marriage on principle and doesn’t recognize what a sweet deal it would be for her to marry a young, decent guy who also loves horses and has the resources necessary for her to breed horses like she’s always dreamed of. she’s a naive and idealistic idiot who says she will refuse marriage and breed horses for a living but has no feasible plan for how she expects to pull this off. anyone with any ounce of intelligence or sense or practicality would’ve snapped up the opportunity, but annis has none.

anyway it doesn’t matter because after shit happens and annis goes back fo new york, harriet uses her magic powers to summon james there and “encourage” them to get together and then they get married. well geez annis could’ve save everyone a lot of trouble if she’d gone for it from the beginning. no i do not give a fuck about them supposedly “falling in love” because i don’t buy the romance at all.

basically frances was right all along but the only problem was she used evil magic. if she had used good magic to “persuade” annis and james to get married it would’ve all been perfectly fine… but no she can’t do that because she’s evil. ugh i hate this story. they don’t even appreciate that none of this would be happening if not for frances!

the worst thing is when harriet tells annis to stay away from evil magic because it killed her fiancé, and also because it’s wrong to impose your will on other people. annis nods and then goes off and “persuades” her dad to give her the money he already decided he wasn’t going to give her, and then instead of having any problems with that, harriet is proud annis is so good at magic. they impose their will on other people all the time with the flimsiest of justifications (“i love that horse more” being one of them) and i hate that they don’t just admit to being just as fond of using magic for their own selfish gains as frances, instead of insisting on their supposed superiority and benevolence. then annis tells harriet the evil magic didn’t kill her fiancé after all… so then what’s even the point of avoiding it?!

literally the only reason evil magic “backfired” on frances was because harriet also decided to use evil magic to fight frances. frances suffered so horribly because harriet is a stronger witch and used worse evil magic on frances than frances used on james, who recovers. but of course they don’t see it like that - they see it as frances being victim to the natural consequences of evil magic. ridiculous.

anyway i’m fucking pissed that the story clearly expects me to side with harriet and annis but i fucking hate their guts. 1 star.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Aoife.
1,288 reviews547 followers
May 10, 2020
I received a copy of this book from the publishers via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Harriet Bishop is born from a long line of witches, and now practices her art of magic as a herbalist in New York City in 1890. Harriet has no children, and is keeping an eye on her great-niece Annis, who doesn't know Harriet exists for signs of power. But Annis is under the control of her stepmother Frances who practices a much darker kind of magic and has plans to use Annis for her own selfish needs, meaning Harriet may have to step up and do battle against a particular brand of evil.

This was a wonderfully written book that completely captured me from the start and swiftly carried me through the entire story, and I didn't want to let the characters go. Louisa Morgan's type of witchcraft that she hones in her novels, and I previously read about in A Secret History of Witches, is absolutely fascinating and focuses a lot more on herbs and cantrips than sparks and explosions. I really love the methodical parts of this novel when Harriet would explain what type of herbs and plants she was using in her medicines and why she was using them. I think Louisa Morgan should bring out her own special herb/potions book as it would be fascinating.

I loved the character of Annis as she was a horse girl after my own heart - she stood up for what she wanted, and was hard pressed to allow Frances or her father into forcing her into a marriage she didn't want. The relationship between Annis and James turned from sour to sweet in a very compelling way, and I enjoyed how Annis's character really grew during her stay in Rosefield Hall and how we, as readers, could see how much she fit in even if she didn't see it herself.

There were some bits in this book that felt a little bit unfinished. We heard about Bridget Bishop who was burned for witchcraft in Salem at the start of the novel, and who is the witch Harriet, Annis and Frances are all descended from. Harriet mentions Bridget once or twice but then that's it. I was expecting more from Bridget's spirit at some point - particularly with Frances's brand of magic as it turned more potently evil.

I also would have liked to see more from Frances as I felt her storyline kind of dwindled into nothing, and I really felt like there was so much more her character could give. I just didn't believe that that was all there was left of Frances.
Profile Image for Lizz (Beer, Books and Boos).
381 reviews103 followers
March 30, 2020
I really wanted to like this book because I loved the concept was great. I love stories about powerful women and witches. This was just very slow to me and it was hard to keep my interest going. I didn't feel a connection to any of the characters and I really didn't care what happened to them.

Disclosure: I received this book from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review
Profile Image for Yogaa Lakshmi.
87 reviews5 followers
May 11, 2021
First of all, the cover is very appealing and appropriate for the story. The language is easy to under unlike most of the historical fiction novels. Life during of the different sections of the society during the Gilded age in New York has been elegantly described in the novel.
The story is interesting and alluring, told through four different perspective- Harriet, Annis, Frances and James.
A witch named Bridget Bishop was hanged 200 years ago in Salem. Her two lines of legacy through her two daughters, have different motives.
Annis is a strong, vivacious and independent girl who has immense passion for horses against her family's interests and the social taboos. But, her stepmother, Frances, has other plans for her that she wouldn't like.
Frances has always lived in poverty until she met a affluent widower, George Allington. After getting him under her control through some dark magic, she marries him and lives a wealthy lifestyle. She only has one more desire- she wants to climb higher in the New York society, that is, she wants to become one of the four hundred most prosperous families. And acquiring a title in the family would make the difference she had wanted.
Harriet is dedicated to use her power for good purposes like healing. She also keeps an eye on her cousin and her great niece. On seeing that her cousin is up to no good, she arrives to rescue Annis, her great niece.
James's father, the old marquess, has just died living James the title and also, debts. The whole estate is in danger due to the debts. James must find a solution quickly or lose them all. To make matters worse, his mother thinks the best way to get out of the problem is by forcing James to marry money.
As all of their lives intervene, the story is takes us through a rattling journey of love, power, ambition, feminism and most importantly magic.
I thank NetGalley and Little, Brown Publishing (Orbit Books) for giving me this wonderful opportunity to read and review this book.
P.S.- I would love a sequel of this book.
Profile Image for Lauren Stoolfire.
3,565 reviews259 followers
March 13, 2020
I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

DNF'd @ 25%

The Age of Witches by Louisa Morgan has so much potential and the concept is quite intriguing. Unfortunately, it ended up not being for me because it's so darn slow. As of a quarter of the way through this 448 page novel, next to nothing at all happens. While the writing itself is beautiful, I simply ended up losing interest. Thanks anyway, NetGalley.
Profile Image for Kirsty.
614 reviews106 followers
June 10, 2020
I received a free digital copy of this book from the publishers via NetGalley.

You can watch my video review here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YsVKG...

This novel follows a family of witches who each practice magic and different types of magic to various degrees, and who use it for both good and bad. The main story focuses on a young woman named Annis, whose stepmother Frances is obsessed with using darker magic in order to better her own position. While the reader gets to read from both of these perspectives, we also get to read from another perspective, Harriet, who is Annis's aunt. As Frances becomes more of a threat to Annis, we also get to read from another perspective, whose existence is also at risk due to her obsession for increasing her position within society.

This is the second book I have read by this author now, and I can't wait to pick up more. Her writing is captivating! There is something about the way Louisa Morgan crafts her characters that makes me fall head over heels for them, especially the characters who aren't innately evil. Unlike a book of hers I'd read previously, A Secret History of Witches, this book follows just this generation of witches for the entire novel. I missed the aspect of jumping through generations at first, though now I am glad the we got to follow just these characters in this novel. It was a pleasure to spend time with these characters, indeed I couldn't put the book down.

I also enjoyed the other aspects of this novel that didn't just focus on witchcraft. I enjoyed the romance aspect in this book particularly, and how something cannot be forced. The friendships in this book were also great to see, especially that of between Annis and various other side characters, but especially her maid Velma. This doesn't always come across as a friendship, but there are some truly beautiful moments between them. I'd go as far as to say, Velma is one of my favourite characters in the novel. She is brutally referred to as not being particularly bright many times, yet I think she shows a great awareness for situations and for peoples characters, and I adored her loyalty. Another strong friendship is that of one between Annis and her horse Black Satin, which was adorable to see. It made me miss horse riding a lot, and if you are a horse lover, there are plenty to be seen in this novel.

I would love one day to see some little easter eggs within Louisa Morgans books that create subtle links between her novels, that would be the ultimate dream for me. That said, it has been a while since I read A Secret History of Witches, so maybe there are some and I just didn't spot them. I just love the idea of all these witches that I love all existing in the same universe.

If you loved A Secret History of Witches, you definitely need to pick this book up. If you're looking for a book with witchcraft and romance, then you need to give this book a chance.
Profile Image for Connie.
1,465 reviews24 followers
September 1, 2021
I own this book.

The Bishop girls are witches, descended from Bridget Bishop who was hung for witchcraft in the 1600s but they are divided. Harriet sits on one side, practising herbalism and helping the local women. Harriet is content with her simple life, more modest than her cousin Frances. Frances is power-driven, she grew up poor and she is determined she will have everything she wants in life or else. She sits on the darker side of witchcraft, using dark spells and manikins to lure a rich husband and his daughter. She wants a title in the family and plans to marry off her stepdaughter to a marquess from England but Annis isn't so easily sold. Annis is a Bishop and the Bishop girls don't go down without a fight, although originally unaware of her power, Harriet helps guide her to defeat Frances' evil plans.

I enjoyed this book. I was sceptical at first when I read that it was set in 1896 in New York, it was aristocratic at times and a little bland in places but the author was talented enough to hold my attention. I found it a nice story about power, family and corruption but I feel like it probably could have been shorter. It didn't need to be nearly 450 pages, probably about 300 would have been great. I will say I liked Annis, she was determined and strongwilled and I loved getting to see her and James (the marquess) develop a genuine connection outside of status and money.
Profile Image for Tammy.
834 reviews138 followers
April 13, 2020
I received this book for free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.The nitty-gritty:  History, witchcraft and romance collide in Louisa Morgan's beautifully written story about a secret family lineage.

I’m a big fan of Louisa Morgan’s “witch” books, and it’s a given that I’ll read every one she writes. The Age of Witches is another winner, with a wonderfully immersive story and solid writing. I fell into this book as easily as diving under a cozy blanket, and I absolutely loved being back in one of her stories. This book was a bit on the slow side compared to The Witch’s Kind , but it really didn’t bother me that much, because I was riveted by the lives of these characters and all their emotional drama. The Age of Witches felt almost like a fairy tale, with it’s theme of good versus evil, a wicked stepmother, two innocents caught up in a battle between two powerful witches, and a satisfying, happily-ever-after romance.

The story begins in 1890 and alternates between New York and England. Annis is a headstrong seventeen-year-old who loves horses and has no interest at all in getting married. Her dream is to breed her beloved stallion Black Satin and develop a strong line of horses, but her parents are obviously against this idea, mostly because that is not at all what proper girls do. Despite her protests, her stepmother Frances is determined to arrange a beneficial marriage between Annis and a titled bachelor, and Annis’ father threatens to sell Black Satin if she doesn’t comply with Frances’ wishes. 

When Annis and Frances arrive in England to be introduced to the Marquess of Rosefield, Annis is immediately smitten by the Marquess’ stable full of Andalusian horses, but her meeting with James, the Marquess, is anything but smooth. James is put off by Annis’ frank talk of breeding horses, and Annis is unimpressed with James’ stuffy attitude about women.

Unbeknownst to James and Annis, however, is the fact that Frances is a practicing witch, and she plans on using a type of witchcraft known as the maleficia to compel the two to fall in love. Luckily, Annis’s great aunt Harriet Bishop, who is also a witch, has gotten wind of Frances’ plan and has followed them to England in order to save Annis from her fate. 

The Age of Witches has a lighter tone than Morgan’s last book, which isn’t a complaint but merely an observation. I have to admit I’m often drawn to darker themes, but this was a nice change of pace. Although there are some very dark elements in this story, Morgan didn’t go nearly as dark as she did in The Witch’s Kind , which I guess says a lot about me as a reader! I found the strongest elements in this story to be the relationships between the women, which doesn’t surprise me because that is one of Louisa Morgan’s specialties. This is also a much more linear story than some of her other books, so readers who don’t like time jumps should definitely consider this.

Morgan dips back into the past to give us some history about the Bishop family and how siblings Mary and Christian split the family line into two types of witchcraft. Mary’s descendants practiced herb lore and healing, focusing on the positive aspects of the craft, while Christian’s family started using a form of witchcraft called the maleficia in order to manipulate people into doing their bidding. Harriet is saddened by the fact that her cousin Frances continues to use the maleficia , especially when her beloved grand-niece gets caught up in Frances' evil schemes. Even though this wasn’t a multi-generational story per se, I did love that the author showed us how these branches of witchcraft evolved over the years. She also touches on how witches have been feared and persecuted through time, and even Harriet, an herbalist who uses her powers for good, is lonely because everyone is scared of her.

As much as I loved the witchcraft in the story, the characters and their relationships steal the show. I loved Annis and her fiery passion for horses and her complete lack of interest in getting married. Her relationship with James was actually pretty funny at times. Even though it’s obvious they’re perfect for each other—they both love horses and want to breed them—James just can’t get past the fact that Annis is interested in something so unseemly. And she rides “cross saddle” instead of side saddle, which is a sure sign that a woman is wanton, lol. Their relationship is resolved a bit too neatly at the end, but it didn’t bother me because I actually liked James and I wanted things to work out. 

Frances is the perfect evil stepmother who wants nothing more than to improve her lowly status by having her daughter marry a wealthy man with a title, and she does some horrific things to Annis and James. But I was surprised to find myself feeling sorry for her later in the story. Annis turns out to be much more compassionate than I expected her to be, even though Frances was rarely kind to her. 

But my favorite thing about this book was the relationship between Harriet and Annis. Morgan excels in writing mother/daughter–niece/aunt–grandmother/granddaughter relationships, those relationships where an older woman mentors a younger girl. I loved the scenes where Harriet is teaching Annis about her own abilities as a witch and how this shared secret helped form an unbreakable bond between them. 

Overall, I really enjoyed this book. I can’t say that the plot surprised me much—I figured out everything that was going to happen, more or less—but there was something comforting about the story that made me very happy. If you haven’t read Louisa Morgan’s books, and you love historical stories with strong female characters and a touch of witchcraft, you really are missing out.

Big thanks to the publisher for supplying a review copy.This review originally appeared on Books, Bones & Buffy
522 reviews3 followers
August 8, 2020
Good period piece - 1890's. Fast read.
Profile Image for Jordan (Forever Lost in Literature).
818 reviews105 followers
June 18, 2020
Find this review at Forever Lost in Literature!

This is the third book I've read from Louisa Morgan and, much like the previous two books, it immediately enveloped me with an enchanting story of witches and intrigue. Morgan has proven to be a consistent writer who always delivers stories that combine strong characters with an engaging magic and a compelling narrative.

The Age of Witches was such a comforting book to fall into during these uncertain times, and since I just read this at the end of March when everything was feeling chaotic, it was really something that fit my reading and attention needs perfectly. This book let me just lose myself into this world of witches and magic, as well as the conflicts and struggles that our main characters where struggling with.

Harriet and Annis are the two main characters and POVs that we follow, though we also occasionally get chapters from Annis' stepmother Francis and the young Lord James. I loved the willfulness and stubbornness that both Harriet and Annis embodied as women in a time in which women still struggled to gain their independence from the men in their lives. Annis in particular is passionately attempting to follow her dream of one day becoming a breeder of horses, a career that provokes looks of shook at the mere mention of a woman knowing what breeding is. Harriet, on the other hand, is older and has had time in her life to forge ahead with her own independent path, something that she cherishes and hopes that Annis can also one day have.

All three of Louisa Morgan's books have a slower overall pace, but The Age of Witches seems to be the slowest of the three with a plot that felt as though it had a really slow but steady build-up. I enjoyed the slow build, but I did feel as though there were more than a few places where it could have been moved forward at a slightly quicker pace. That being said, I had no problem keeping my attention and I wasn't ever bored by the slowness because I enjoyed all the different scenes Morgan incorporated into the story.

As much as I enjoyed The Age of Witches, I can't ignore that there was still something about this particular book that didn't grab me as much as the previous two I've read. I'm not sure if it was simply because my mind was all over the place given the current global circumstances, but I just didn't quite connect with the plot in the same way I did the previous two. The stakes were technically pretty high, but things just felt a bit too subtle and easy for me at various points. It's hard for me to really describe where my struggle came from with this book, but there was some sort of lack of connection present that disappointed me a bit and made me think this book was sort of going through the same motions as the other books. But, just to contradict myself, I also loved the familiarity of this story because it really felt like coming home to something that I know and love.

The last minor issue I have was that the last portion of this book dragged a bit. After the final climactic moment, there were more than a few additional sort of plot lines that were still left to wrap up or that were added that felt unnecessary and only there for the sake of extending the story. I didn't necessarily mind the extra content, but it just made the story feel like it had overstayed it's welcome when it could have wrapped up a bit quicker. The main reason this didn't cause more of an issue with me is simply because I enjoy the characters and spending more time with them.

Overall, I've given The Age of Witches four stars. As I've mentioned, there were definitely some issues, but overall I still really enjoyed this story and I am thankful that it was able to be a book that took my mind off of things and let me just enjoy the story before me. Louisa Morgan crafts some truly magical books that are filled with the most incredible female characters, all with different personalities, goals, and values, and they are a genuine joy to read
Profile Image for Anne Monteith.
547 reviews21 followers
January 27, 2020
I received a free digital ARC through Netgalley in exchange for a honest, unbiased review. I sincerely thank Netgalley, author and/or publisher for giving me this opportunity.

This is a story of three generations of witches and two different types of magic. They are all descended from Bridget Bishop who was executed for witchcraft during the Salem Witch Era. Furious at her fate, she vowed to watch over her descendants and through them punish all men who think they can control women.

A century later, Harriet is the oldest surviving member of the Bishop family, she considers herself a healer and steers away from the darker arts of the practice.

Her cousin Frances, however has been seduced to the darker side and uses the art to get what she wants. She used it to marry a wealthy man and become the step-mother of his young daughter and now she wants to become a member of the elite 400 and in order to do this her step-daughter Annis must marry one of them or marry into royalty in England.

Annis has no idea that she has inherited any abilities or that she is related to Harriet. Her mother died when she was very young and once the wedding was over Frances refused to allow Harriet into the house and Annis has never seen her except in passing. She doesn’t want to ever marry; she wants to raise and breed horses an idea which is considered scandalous for a woman during that late 19th century

This is a novel with three strong women, one who uses her powers to help and heal others, one who uses hers to get what she feels she is entitled to and the other who comes to realize that she has abilities and must decide which path to follow. It starts out slow but the pace picks up and I found that I could not put it down. I have read all the novels that this author has written and while some are better than others, she has become my favorite author for this type of novel.

Profile Image for Rebecca Woodward.
275 reviews151 followers
January 15, 2022
Love love love! Coming of age for a witch in training. This story was intense and imaginative. Strong will female learns how to control her wants and desires. Using the craft can be scary if not used properly. Her love for owing her future reveals in pain and happiness. Author takes you back in time to an era where women were only meant for marrying for money and station in life. Enjoyed reading from page one till the end.
Profile Image for WS_BOOKCLUB.
331 reviews11 followers
March 27, 2020

Thank you to Orbit Books and Angela Man for providing me with this book in exchange for my honest opinion. This book will be available on April seventh, 2020.

Reading this book, I found myself in a “it’s not you, it’s me” situation. It was well written, but I just really didn’t care for it. Possibly, it was because the book didn’t seem to match its blurb. When I read the description, I expected a lot more action than there is in the book. I guess I failed to take into account the time in which this book takes place.

Annis comes from a long line of witches, but she is unaware of it. Her stepmother, Frances, is also imbued with powers. She decides to use them selfishly, in an attempt to gain herself notoriety. Here’s the first thing in the book that I wasn’t a huge fan of: the whole “evil plot” consists of making Annis marry someone with station so that Frances can be a part of the upper class. That’s a reason that just isn’t all that interesting to me, personally.

I also didn’t really connect with the characters at all. Annis only cared about her horses and, when she thought about marrying rich, it was with an eye toward the horses she’d own and be able to breed. James, the other part of the duo, was a prude who didn’t think women capable of anything. It made it difficult for me to care about either of them. The slow-building possible-romance just didn’t work for me.

The world was well-realized, however, and the writing was top-notch. Louisa Morgan wrote with an eye to detail that made it incredibly easy to visualize the settings. She told the story using four different points of view, but the switch-off was smooth and easy to follow.

Despite the author’s obvious skill, this book just didn’t butter my biscuit.
Profile Image for Monika.
703 reviews47 followers
November 3, 2020
Two magical families that have century long power struggle. One young witch, Annis who is torn between love & loyalty. This book is everything you’d expect in a witchy novel + a heroine centred story. Its got everything - romance, magic, mayhem and action. Some parts moved slow for me but I’m glad this book got me out of the reading slump!


Thank you Netgalley, Redhook books and Louisa Morgan for the ARC. This review is my own and is not influenced in anyway!
Profile Image for Traveling Cloak.
275 reviews39 followers
July 8, 2020
Honestly, I had some trepidation about reading this book, at first. Was a late-19th Century Period Piece about Witches for me? Author Louisa Morgan answered my question right away and put my mind at ease with her writing. More than just being “worth reading”, The Age of Witches is a fantastic book.

I mentioned the idea that it is set in the late-19th Century, and that can be a source of uneasiness for me at times. Books that are set 100+ years ago do not always hold my interest, oftentimes being too slow-paced and, frankly, they come off as boring. But, while the narrative of The Age of Witches is slow-paced, it is far from boring. The writing was really good, and I enjoyed the plot. This is my first Louisa Morgan title, and I can tell I would probably love anything the author writes. This book has an immersive quality to it; once I was in it I just wanted to stay there. I can sometimes be a fast reader, ramming through words and phrases to absorb as much story as possible in one sitting. This is not that kind of book. I took it slow, let the story come to me, enjoying the atmosphere.

While I speak of “atmosphere” and “immersive writing”, I do not want to misrepresent: this is very much a character-driven book. Much of the reader’s time is spent with Annis, the main protagonist. A young witch just coming into her own, who for much of the story is battling family expectations at the time of marriage and money and legacy. But she is strong and independent, fighting to find her own way. Annis’ stepmother, Frances, does not make it easy for her. Frances is a socialite who plans on using Annis and her availability to climb the social ladder. Frances also happens to be a strong witch, and is not afraid to use her powers to get what she wants. Enter Harriet, one of Frances’ cousins. A powerful witch in her own right, Harriet considers herself a magical gatekeeper of sorts. Having experienced the downside of misusing magic for personal gain, she steps in to defend Annis from Frances’ spells. The result is enthralling. What we end up with in this story is three witches fighting for power, each with their own motives. There are spells and manikins and ALL-OUT MAGIC WITCH BATTLES. Reading this book was an enjoyable experience, and I could not put it down.

The thing that put this book over the top for me was how unique the story is. This is not your typical turn-of-the-century, burn-them-at-the-stake story about witches. This is a feminist-themed story of a woman coming of age at at the turn of the century, with elements of family and loyalty and love. The fact that they are witches that use magic is more of a backdrop to the main plot line. I love the magical element of it because it that brings a component to the plot that I find enjoyable, but make no mistake: it is the push-and-pull aspect of Annis’ storyline that makes the book great.

In the end, I had nothing to worry about. I loved this book. From the great storytelling to the characters that were easy to connect with to the magic… what’s not to like? Honestly, the moment I finished I went looking for my next Louisa Morgan book to add to my TBR. The Age of Witches undoubtedly comes with my recommendation.
Profile Image for Kelly.
1,312 reviews502 followers
June 29, 2020
The Age of Witches is a book I put down shortly after reading 20%, not because I wasn't enjoying it, but because I wasn't completely invested in the story. However, I already could see it had promise but I tend to put down books easily and get back to it later on. As soon as I started reading it again, the romance aspect of this book was introduced and I was hooked! I loved the story and the romance kept me interested. Overall, I'm so glad I finished it. My only regret is to be late since I read an ARC and The Age of Witches was published three months ago.

In this book, we follow four perspectives : Harriet, Annis, James and Frances.

Harriet is an herbalist and a witch who helps people (rich and poor) with her remedies and magic. She lost her husband during the War. Even if she has to be discreet with her powers, she still manages to do good around her.

Annis is related to Harriet even though she doesn't know it at the beginning of the book. She's a seventeen year old girl who wants to breed her horse to start a new bloodline. Unfortunately, being a female breeder isn't something that is being done at the time. Men would react badly and would be shocked that a woman would know how reproduction happens... Annis seem to shock people without even trying and James was no exception. At first, he was a bit old-fashioned and "prude" as his mother liked to call him once, and he and Annis didn't start on the best of terms.

Frances is Annis' stepmother and also a witch. She decides to use her magic not to do good but for her own selfish reasons to obtain more power. After she bewitched Annis' father, she decides that it's time for Annis to get a husband and a title. Turns out, James and his mother have financial problems after the death of James' father and a wedding would give them just the solution... Frances will not stop until this marriage is done, even if it means controlling James and Annis against their will...

Aaaand, that's all I'm going to say. I feel like I've already said a lot but honestly, if you're looking for a story about witches and with a romance inside it, then this book might be for you.

(Thank you for letting me read and review an ARC via Netgalley)
Profile Image for Rebecca.
249 reviews24 followers
April 21, 2020
This was the perfect book for me. It had everything in that I love: strong female characters (especially in a time period when they were expected to be seen and not heard), historical setting (Victorian London & New York), witches, magical realism and a happy but realistic ending.

It was un-put-downable and very easy to read. It is written beautifully. The characters are likeable and realistic with flaws. Their magic is natural and developed into the more enchanted. Harriet is a herbalist, Frances practices maleficia (dark magic) and Annis is discovering her strengths. Annis was my favourite character, refusing to conform to the stereotypes that were forced on a young lady of her birthright.

Full review https://bexcapades.com/2020/04/21/age...
Profile Image for Ann.
85 reviews35 followers
September 7, 2020
I was very entertained. It was an easy read and in fact felt a bit YA to me, but it suited my mood so I didn't mind. All the horsey details were fun!
Profile Image for Ally.
82 reviews8 followers
January 18, 2020
Oh my witchy goodness!

The Age of Witches is a neat little tale about three witches in 1890 New York City. Everyone's mother is dead, this has created some T-R-A-U-M-A and each witch deals with it a bit differently. It's a classic tale of good vs. evil but with its own spin. We get some familial drama, a little bit of romance, and a whole lot of MAGICK.

I truly loved this book. The main female characters were interesting and you felt for each and every one of them. Kindness and justice are a huge theme in this book and like, when is the last time kindness was a theme? The story moved along at a good pace to keep my attention and the writing was clean and direct, which I love.

Was it perfect? No, but that's ok. At sometimes it was cheesy and Annis' dialogue made me roll my eyes at some points, but she is a teenager so I guess I can let it slide. James's chapters were dull and I wish it had just been from the women's point of view. If they needed one more perspective, James's mom would have been a more interesting one, I think.

If there was a sequel *wink nudge*, I would definitely read it, and I plan on picking up Morgan's earlier works in the near future.

I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley and RedHook Books in exchange for an honest review.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 701 reviews

Can't find what you're looking for?

Get help and learn more about the design.