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3.9 out of 5 stars13
3.9 out of 5 stars
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on 26 November 2013
A fun story with a lot of hidden depth. The story ticks many boxes for me; a dark fairy tale, in the best possible Grimm tradition; a subtle Christian allegory, that C.S. Lewis would recognise; an understanding of esoteric mysticism that will resonate with fans of F. Frank Baum.

Branna is born into a pagan Irish family that is grounded in a strong belief in the mystical world. Her religion is quickly being swept aside by the powerful Christian church. Her family keeps to itself in their humble house in the woods, limiting contact with the outside world to the occasional visit to the local village to trade for food and other provisions. Everything changes when Branna encounters a demon from the new religion. Her meeting with the demon sets in motion a series of terrifying events that results in Branna being seriously injured. As she drifts between this life and the next she enters a terrifying would of eternal darkness that is filled with shadowy creatures born out of every imaginable nightmare. Branna brings new hope and new life to the dark other-place with the help of Rufus and D; wise old men who dwell in the otherworld and who recognise the power of the young witch, and how important she is to the eternal battle between good and evil; both in the mortal world and in the hidden realm. Based on his physical description, costume, and the subtle hints to someone with knowledge of the future (some of which are more subtle than others), I suspect that the character of D may be based on Queen Elizabeth I's mystic, Doctor John Dee. Rufus is also not quite what he seems, but I cannot think of an obvious historical personality to peg him on.

Definitely a story that can be enjoyed by many readers at many levels. Kids will love it at one level and adults will read a much more sophisticated tale. The clever use of tense to denote a shift between this world and the next, and to separate one period of time from another, can serve to snag on the brain just a little, but on the second read through, it became fluid and wonderful; like the pieces of a puzzle falling into place.
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on 14 May 2014
An interesting little book but sadly too short
It grabs your attention and you really want to rush to the bottom of the page and turn over to find out what happens next.
Sadly it is too short
I am only assuming it is a taster for a longer novel
I do hope so ! But don't let that put you off.
It really is worth the read
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on 16 November 2013
At one level this is an easy to read, dark fairytale for older children and young adults. At a deeper level there is a beating heart of pure esoteric mysticism. From the obvious references to the teachings of the ancient mystery schools, the pure message of the early Christian church and its subsequent corruption, to the classical numerical code built in to the sentence structure, this is a book with something profound to say, but only if you listen very carefully.
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on 11 August 2014
Been looking for a good book to read and here presto along came The Last Witch really enjoyed the storyline and can't wait to read the next book
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on 22 August 2014
Full of old time magic and a great story . I really enjoyed this book and am looking forward to the next one.
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on 19 August 2014
I enjoyed it. It is a good leisure/break away read.
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on 30 January 2015
I liked it I just don't really feel a connection to the story or the characters. It does have a promising start though and perhaps the next book will be more exciting
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on 27 April 2015
it was a good read the book feels a bit short and reads a little clumsily but nice for light reading :)
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on 11 October 2015
JC is such a good author and brings you back in time and space. Can't wait for more!!!
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on 10 November 2013
There's no author details, so I think this must be a young author. I'm not even sure if the author is an indie, but even so, Google is a god when one needs to check facts to make story continuation flow, plus asking the help of a few good friends who give HONEST opinions would be invaluable.

I found the storyline to be rambling and disjointed, but this could have been a much better tale with some basic care taken. Apart from quite a few grammatical errors, the historic element is ruined by a lack of basic research. The biggest crime to me was in chapter 11, where Rufus commanded Branna to look into his eyes, which went from static tone to swirling around like milk in coffee? Coffee wasn't introduced to Europe until the 17th century.

There are other glaring mistakes, such as a mountain being very Martian in appearance. Yes, astronomers have been around as long as mankind, but Copernicus is our first real accredited Astronomer, and 11th century witches wouldn't have a clue what the heck Martian mountain scapes looked like. Also, the term 'human' is from the Latin word, 'homo', and Samuel Johnson was accredited with the first use of the word in English, a century later than the book's setting. The cover is also terribly wrong for this particular book. What the heck has a modern day woman in contemporary clothing got to do with an 11th century witch, apart from they appear to share a similar taste in boots.

I'm not interested in following any sequels unless the author gives more attention to vital details. I may be doing a huge injustice to this author, as the other book by her/him is given two great reviews. I did actually finish the book, when I have previously discarded books unfinished due to historical mistakes, such as having Vikings eating potatoes (a definite no no in a historic tale of any kind), thus I have given it 3 stars.
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