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The Witch's Daughter

(The Witch's Daughter #1)

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3.58  ·  Rating details ·  27,066 ratings  ·  2,776 reviews
My name is Elizabeth Anne Hawksmith, and my age is three hundred and eighty-four years. Each new settlement asks for a new journal, and so this Book of Shadows begins.

In the spring of 1628, the Witchfinder of Wessex finds himself a true Witch. As Bess Hawksmith watches her mother swing from the Hanging Tree she knows that only one man can save her from the same fate at t
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Hardcover, 305 pages
Published January 18th 2011 by Thomas Dunne Books (first published December 1st 2008)
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Maria All Souls Trilogy by Deborah Harkness, to spite some negative comments I really enjoyed the series. Book 1 A Discovery of Witches is a little hard…moreAll Souls Trilogy by Deborah Harkness, to spite some negative comments I really enjoyed the series. Book 1 A Discovery of Witches is a little hard going at first but just persevere, I was glad I did(less)
Angello Adrien The Salem era when she first met that warlock when she saw him dancing that night.and when she was fighting him with that soldier guy she was in love…moreThe Salem era when she first met that warlock when she saw him dancing that night.and when she was fighting him with that soldier guy she was in love with.(less)

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Average rating 3.58  · 
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 ·  27,066 ratings  ·  2,776 reviews


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Farfished9
Nov 27, 2011 rated it liked it
I liked this book. I think it was well written and it moved along at a comfortable pace….like watching a movie that isn’t too slow or too fast. It wasn’t trying to be more than it seemed like it was meant to be…a feel good and entertaining book….not always sunny and bright…not always gloomy and dark…pleasantly imaginative and vividly told.

These kinda books are underrated…I’m not saying they should be overrated either—but there is something very respectable about an author knowing how
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Small Review
I was suckered into this book, despite the negative reviews, because the description sounded interesting and the cover caught my eye. Ugh, I should have listened to the reviews. Or, I wish the reviews had been more detailed as to why people didn’t like the book. I’m going to try to be detailed.

First things first, don’t believe that description. It’s sort of accurate, kinda, but it gave me the complete wrong impression. I was expecting to start out with her mother dead and then follow
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Ben Babcock
You’re just going about your daily business, healing people and whatnot, and then what happens? The plague. Suddenly everyone in town is accusing you of being a witch and clamouring for the witch-finder to hang you for consorting with Satan and dancing naked with demons and whatnot. Isn’t that always the way of things? Don’t you hate how people are just so close-minded, even in as enlightened an age as the 1620s? Just because someone might be a witch doesn’t mean she worships Satan! Witches can be good a ...more
Bark the Overwrought Keyboard Warrior
This review and the rest of the crap I write can be seen @ my blog Bark's Book Nonsense . Stop by and say hey.

I saw this book on Overdrive and chose it for my Halloween Bingo “Witches” square for no other reason than the title and I guess the blurb sounded vaguely interesting to me, even though the reviews weren’t great. Turns out it was a decent read if you can get past the slow as hell start, but I don’t know if it wo
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Lolly K Dandeneau
Jan 17, 2011 rated it did not like it
I had such high hopes, even ignoring the poor reviews that I should have heeded as warnings. The first few pages held promise, but then something happened, the character turned cold, and I didn't feel an intimacy at all in the writing. I do not have an issue, as some seem to, with stories written as a journal after all, my favorite books are Anais Nin's diaries, so long as the emotions are genuine. The only character I remotely liked was the evil villain, as he was the most interesting one. Woul ...more
Julie
Aug 04, 2011 rated it it was ok
It was decent enough that I finished reading it, but The Witch's Daughter was, above all else, formulaic and repetitive. Even though it was a book of 4 stories in one, they were all basically exactly the same, following the same pattern of A then B leads to C. "Plot twists" were predictable, especially after the first two internal stories finished. I kept finding myself asking the main character the question of, "Really? You haven't learned? You're supposed to have lived through all of these dif ...more
Kerry
Jun 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is the second book in the Shadow Chronicles series, however I feel both books stand alone and actually show no link in the storylines. I was a bit disappointed by this but enjoyed both books nonetheless.
This book had two separate narratives taking place throughout. One in the present day and in the form of entries into a Book of Shadows by Elizabeth Anne Hawksmith. The other is her memories as she tells her story of her lives throughout time whilst being pursued by a dangerous Warlock. She
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Erica
Before I start, can someone explain this cover to me? What's with those shoes? I don't understand the shoes. They have nothing to do with the story and they look like 5-inch heeled booties. Well, not booties, whatever the next size up is called. Anyway in what time period did Bess/Eliza/Elise/Elizabeth wear 5-inch booties on a daily basis? Please explain to me the meaning of this cover! It's bothering me to no end!

So I started this and was madly in love by the end of the first chapter. It was exactly
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Katie
Jan 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
For starters I don't understand why people criticize authors for their writing style, it makes no sense. All writers write differently, end of story. Also criticizing a fiction book because of the fictional events in it?? Again pointless. Now onto the book review.

It started out dry.. Really dry but it picked up quick enough and by chapter 5 of Bess's story I was hooked and didn't want to put it down. It was very well written, easy to follow, easy to picture the places and characters
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BAM The Bibliomaniac
Book flips between several time periods because, you know, true witches don't die. Which reminds me of someone is going to turn me into a witch or vampire he or she better get a move on because I'm getting old
Anyway Bess makes a friend and an enemy
Practices her magic and does her best to avenge a wrong done. That's about it
Racysteed
Jan 20, 2013 rated it liked it
I feel like this author has a lot of potential, but it wasn't quite realized in The Witch's Daughter. The characters were compelling, yet I consistently found myself wanting more: more depth, more backstory, more understanding of their motivation. Ms. Brackston has a talent for creating characters who draw the reader in and I really enjoyed the beginning and the diary entry format. Even the flashbacks worked for me, although it's becoming a worn format at this point. However, she undermined her ...more
Amanda
Aug 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019-reads
I just had the most lovely weekend lost in time. I participated in the Page Promise Read-A-Thon and I decided to have a Paula Brackston weekend. The first book I read is The Witch’s Daughter. This book introduces Elizabeth Hawksmith, a young girl who lives with her family in the year 1628. When a plague hits the village, her family is destroyed. However, the plague is not the worst to come through the village. A witchfinder comes to town and her mother pays the ultimate sacrifice for her. In ord ...more
Dena (Batch of Books)
Nov 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy, adult-books
I loved this book! It was captivating from start to finish. It was very dark, so I wouldn't recommend it to anyone that has qualms about witchcraft, magic, or the dark arts. Bess is a great character, who turns into a witch in a moment of desperation and spends the rest of her long life making retribution for it by caring for people. Gideon is a completely horrible person, and I loved how scary and relentless he was.

The book is told in alternatively from the present day journal of El
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Deanna Sletten
Feb 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
My 5 Star Review

In 1628, Elizabeth Anne Hawksmith (Bess) is a young woman when she loses her family to the plague and then watches her mother swing from The Hanging Tree, accused of being a witch. Scared and alone, she reluctantly follows her mother's wishes and goes to Gideon Masters' cottage in the woods to seek his protection and become his student. What Bess soon learns is that Gideon is a warlock—one who practices dark magic. Soon, a mob comes after Bess, proclaiming her to be a
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Mimi
Changed my mind. Not rounding up. But still interested in exploring Paula Brackston's other witchy books.

* * * * *

2.5 stars, rounding up because I did like a good chunk of it before the rest of it wore me out.

While I liked Paula Brackston's writing and her takes on the history of witches and modern hedge witches, I felt the book went on for too long, far past the point it should have stopped, and so things (particularly the plot and characters) got a bit borin
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Paula
Sep 16, 2012 rated it did not like it
I usually love books with this premise but I only finished it because it was a book club pick. The story has an intriguing enough premise: a witch, hundreds of years old, meets a present day young girl and shares the story of how she became a witch and hopes to train the young girl as an apprentice. Through tales told to the young girl, we learn the tragic circumstances of her life and how she is constantly on the run from the man who made her what she has become. Each of her histories becomes r ...more
Erin Arkin
Having been a history major in college, this book was perfect for me. It is a wonderful mix of historical events, great characters, and a moving story. I really did like this book and if you enjoy a little bit of magic mixed in with real history, you may like this one too.

The book opens in 1628 and Elizabeth/Bess is the main character. In present time she is 384 years old but at this time she is the teenage daughter of a farmer and lives with her parents, her older brother, and young
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Erica
Mar 30, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, fiction, pagan
This story is about a solitary Wiccan named Elizabeth Anne Hawksmith, turned immortal by the one creature she spends nearly her entire existence fearing and loathing, the warlock Gideon Masters. Nearly four hundred years old, she finds a new place to settle turning out to be near to her first home when she meets a young teenaged girl named Tegan. Unknowingly at first, Elizabeth becomes attached to her as if she were her own daughter. Tegan obtains a huge interest in the craft and all she's accom ...more
Mary
Mar 11, 2014 rated it it was ok
Well this was a HUGE disappointment to me. I love historical fiction, witchcraft, the supernatural....but this wasn't thrilling, this was a SNOOOOOZE. It started off promising enough, and then went quickly downhill. I enjoyed the beginning of the book, especially meeting the adult Bess and hearing her tell of her poor tragic childhood. Tegan as her side kick just irritated me, made it a bit Charmed-ish for me. Once we left the days of the plague and ended up in Ripper time London, and then to wa ...more
Helen
Sep 07, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I had this on audible and the narrator was very easy to listen to.

It started well but I felt it was somewhat drawn out. This could be due to my previous audio being witchy. I also watched something on the theme so perhaps badly timed. I will read/listen to more.
Angel
Dec 23, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"If you will listen," I said, "I will tell you a tale of witches. A tale of magic and love and loss. A story of how simple ignorance breeds fear, and how deadly that fear can be. Will you listen?"

I was pleasantly surprised by this book. I was hoping that I would like it but didn't really know what I was in for. This is historical fiction intertwined with supernatural wonder to birth a compelling story of a witch who is just trying to live her life but has been on the run for hundreds of years.

Bess es
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Kelly
Nov 01, 2011 rated it liked it
I love historical fiction, especially anything about witches and witchcraft, so I was especially glad to find this book. It's similar to the Daughters Of the Witching Hill, The Heretic's Daughter and The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane, but less about the witch trials and more about the life of an immortal witch as she traverses through history in her 300-some odd years of life.

The first few chapters were slow and I wondered if the book would get better, which it did, only when the author star
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☽•☾ Emilia-The-Witch-Lover ☽•☾
Wow! What a powerful experience reading this book was.
I will do a full review later on but I am almost moved to tears by now emotional Elisabeth's story is.
A really beautiful story, come back soon Bess. xxx
5/5
Shelby *trains flying monkeys*
Decent story but the ending did disappoint. I kinda knew where the story was going but overall it kept me interested.
Sadie Hartmann Mother Horror
I enjoyed this book for quite awhile. It gave me all these warm, cozy feelings perfect for a Fall read. It had this Little House in the Big Woods feel at first-with the protagonist of our story, Bess, moving into a cottage and gardening, getting her house all set up, etc.
I love stuff like that.
Then Bess meets Teagan, a modern day teenager and the stories of Bess' life over 300 years begin. The first story was *really* intriguing. We have a sleepy town, a family farm, the BLACK PLAGUE
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Branwen *of House Targaryen*
Feb 03, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Contemporary fantasy fans, people who don't mind inaccurate 'witchery' books
I'm...really torn about this book.

I was really impressed with it for the first 150 pages or so. The story starts with Elizabeth, an immortal witch who has just moved to a beautiful pastoral town in England. The setting and descriptions of the scenery and landscape are jsut absolutely gorgeous. The story starts out in the present, but then goes back and forth a bit for Elizabeth to recollect the different places and time periods in which she lived. Critical to her past, is her mentor
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Donna
Feb 15, 2013 rated it liked it
The Witch's Daughter was a fairly enjoyable read that made up in the evenly paced writing what it lacked in character and plot development. The writing flowed so beautifully that it was easy to lose myself in the story even when I felt that many of the characters lacked depth and the direction of the story was often confusing. For example, Gideon's obsession with Bess was never sufficiently explained which meant that his following her all of those years made little sense. It seemed beyond reason ...more
Cam
May 31, 2019 rated it liked it
I wanted to read something with witch craft and this was available on kindle.

It was a ok book. A young girl grows up in the 1800 during the rise of the witch trials. Her mother is hanged for being a witch and she is suspected that she carries the same powers. She is taught by a warlock how to harness her powers and is able to live throughout the centuries (aging 5yrs for every century she lives). She can’t die but neither can the warlock that follows her through the centuries.
Alexia Moon
This is a very nice read and the atmosphere is AMAZING. I swear to the Gods I loved the description of the places and especially Elizabeth's house and her works, the interior and IT'S SO PRETTY, I loved it!

The story is very well written and it captivates the reader, you just want to keep reading and reading to learn more about what happened and what will happen. The ending was not what I had predicted and I wish I'll be able to read the sequel as soon as possible because I am very interested in
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Nikki
This reminded me quite a bit of Chocolat in the opening, but with a less personable main character. I didn't mind that so much, as I've been told this is a witch story where there really are dark powers, shades of grey, etc, etc. Once I got to the storytelling part, too, that was tolerable historical fiction, though not anything really surprising. (For a similar story about plague, for example, there's Year of Wonders, by Geraldine Brooks.)

In the end, it just fizzled out for me. Which is unfortunate, since I also had The Wihad Thethere's Yearof in
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Witchy Fiction: Identity 1 1 May 01, 2019 05:19PM  
Witchy Fiction: Revulsion VS Attraction 1 2 Apr 29, 2019 10:07AM  
Witchy Fiction: Adjusting and Adapting to our world 1 1 Apr 24, 2019 09:27AM  
Madison Mega-Mara...: This topic has been closed to new comments. #63 The Witch's Daughter 1 2 Oct 29, 2018 09:18AM  
Bookworm Bitches : October 2013: The Witch's Daughter 29 320 Aug 12, 2018 10:10PM  
Read With Me: Members BR: The Witch's Daughter 17 9 Jun 04, 2018 12:40PM  
Gideon- caution, spoiler alert! 24 246 Sep 14, 2017 10:52AM  

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2,696 followers
Paula Brackston (aka PJ Brackston)is the New York Times bestselling author of The Witch's Daughter, The Winter Witch, and The Midnight Witch(2014).

Paula has an MA in Creative Writing from Lancaster University, and is a Visiting Lecturer for the University of Wales, Newport. In 2007 Paula was short listed in the Creme de la Crime search for new writers. In 2010 her book 'Nutters' (writing as PJ Davy) was short listed fo
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Other books in the series

The Witch's Daughter (2 books)
  • The Return of the Witch (The Witch's Daughter, #2)
“Better foolish and honest than clever and false.” 55 likes
“To learn, you must be humble. You must be prepared to admit your ignorance. You must allow yourselves to be filled with the vital information presented to you via the skills and dedication of those who have gone before you down the long path to enlightenment.” 25 likes
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