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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Recommended Reading
Another spell binder from Paula Brackston. One of the most interesting and better written books I have read in a good while. The author creates a fascinating and beautifully drawn world of historic Mid Wales that's really worth reading in itself, added to that you have romance and relationships between some really well-crafted characters that reader can empathise with,...
Published 20 months ago by Claire

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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars dull
This one was a real snoozer. I'm a fairly tolerant reader, especially when it comes to historical fiction, but at the half-way mark I was bored with a capital "B". The premise sounds promising, but the mystery and magic is buried in thick scenes of cattle herding, horse-shoeing, animals dying and pastoral walks and rides. If you're a horse lover, perhaps this will...
Published 15 months ago by Paul Stewart


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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Recommended Reading, 27 Sept. 2013
Another spell binder from Paula Brackston. One of the most interesting and better written books I have read in a good while. The author creates a fascinating and beautifully drawn world of historic Mid Wales that's really worth reading in itself, added to that you have romance and relationships between some really well-crafted characters that reader can empathise with, then you have the mystery of the story with a few twists and turns plus the excitement of the supernatural or magical side of the story. I would thoroughly recommend it. If there is a problem it is that once you pick the book up you get hooked so prepare for evenings spent reading until 2am or later!
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Winter Witch, 28 Oct. 2013
This review is from: The Winter Witch (Shadow Chronicles) (Kindle Edition)
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It is set, mainly, in the wild hills of early nineteenth century Wales which are vividly described by the author who, I understand, has lived in the region for many years. The story revolves around Cai, a drover and Morgana who came together through an arranged marriage. I had known little about the life of a drover before I read this book and was fascinated to learn of their improbable journeys, driving cattle, sheep and other livestock from West Wales to the lucrative markets in London, a journey which would take many weeks. And then, of course, there is the titanic battle between good and evil, witch against witch. JG.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars dull, 3 Feb. 2014
This one was a real snoozer. I'm a fairly tolerant reader, especially when it comes to historical fiction, but at the half-way mark I was bored with a capital "B". The premise sounds promising, but the mystery and magic is buried in thick scenes of cattle herding, horse-shoeing, animals dying and pastoral walks and rides. If you're a horse lover, perhaps this will interest you, but I found the logistics too tedious, killing any action that occurred. I dreaded these scenes and reluctantly began thumbing through the pages hoping that the story would pick up. I'm not certain why some of the lengthy details were important other than to quench the interest and knowledge of the author. In writing, there is always a fine line between completing the character by developing their legitimate expertise and life-style, and detailing diarrhea. I do respect the thoroughness of the characterization; however, it just didn't appeal to my area of interest. I was hoping for more strangeness, mystery, magic and witchy goodness. Instead, I got rugged mountain scenes, how to drive a herd and horse shoeing.

Since the lead female is mute, the entire POV is told from inside her head, thus, cutting out any dialogue. This could be creatively interesting if relieved with well-placed humor, but she is rather serious all the time, which lends to a rather depressing and intense read with little or no break in monotonous tension. She lacks dimension and because of this, ruined the appeal for me. The approach was deficient and the thoughts of the character stumbled towards purple prose rather than true thoughts and perspective. When choosing to be inside a character's head for that length of time it is important to fully explore what goes on there. To be honest, people simply do not think as this character does at all times. The grit was withheld and by doing so, resulted in a boring female character that was too Disney for my liking. At times, I was waiting for the blue bird to land on her shoulder and for the entire cast to break out into song as she danced around the horse pasture.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Drawn out and strange narrative, 20 Sept. 2013
Witches are one of my favourite subjects in books because there are so many different variations of how they are written so I was really looking forward to The Winter Witch.

To start with, The Winter Witch is told from a very strange point of view. Part of the story is told in the first person through Morgana but then also in the third person at times, which is mostly when the story surrounds Cai. I have to be honest and say I absolutely hated this. I found it very confusing for the narrative to change so often and I just couldn't get on with this way of the story being told. I would have much preferred for either one or the other to have been picked and for the author to have stuck with that throughout.

I really enjoyed the beginning of The Winter Witch. Morgana is a woman with many secrets and she has a great air of mystery surrounding her. She hasn't spoken a word since she was a child and no one really understands why. She hides away when things bother her and she's only really got a friend in her mother. But, that all changes when her mother attempts to hide Morgana's secrets by marrying her off to a stranger called Cai, believing that it is in her best interests. What really intrigued me was what Morgana could have possibly done to make her mother want to send her away.

So not only did I get to learn of Morgana to start with, but also of what the book may bring. As soon as she is married to Cai, Morgana must start a new life in a strange place with a strange man. They know nothing about each other and it's not as though they can even have a normal conversation. I really enjoyed watching Morgana and Cai's thoughts about each other change over time but I do wish there had been more in-depth interaction between the two. It appeared that although they didn't really spend much quality time together, their feelings for each other still deepened. I wanted more between the married couple and to see more of them together.

Unfortunately, after the beginning, I began to lose interest very quickly. The Winter Witch is quite drawn out and there wasn't a lot to keep my interest. Morgana's getting to know herself and her magic was a long time coming and by that point, I felt very disconnected from both her and Cai. I do think this was partly due to the plot not giving them enough time together though and this could have been something easily rectified. Obviously, being a story about a witch, I was expecting more magic from the beginning and this wasn't something I got either. The magic aspect of the book was extremely slow and I wanted to know more instead of being kept guessing for so long.

The Winter Witch had a great load of potential but it just didn't live up to expectations for me. I got quite bored after the first third or so and found myself not caring at all about what would happen in either the plot, or to the characters.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, 9 Dec. 2013
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This review is from: The Winter Witch (Shadow Chronicles) (Kindle Edition)
Really enjoyed the book. The historical aspect was very interesting as well as the 'witch' story line. It was well written and I am looking forward to reading another novel by this author.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Winter Witch - an interesting read, 16 Mar. 2014
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This review is from: The Winter Witch (Shadow Chronicles) (Kindle Edition)
I enjoyed this - an interesting storyline, well written in a style I enjoy. I guessed what would happen at the end but - it didn't matter - still finished the book satisfied.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars brilliant, 29 Jun. 2014
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This review is from: The Winter Witch (Shadow Chronicles) (Kindle Edition)
I adored this book so much that I read it in two sittings, barely leaving my house. It is a wonderful story about witch craft, love, acceptance and the never ending battle against evil. Morgana must fight to save those she loves, while all the world seems to be turning against her. I struggle to imagine how anyone could read this book and not be captured by it, it is so beautifully written. I'm going to purchase the authors other work immediately as I am certain it will not disappoint.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars This was ok, 6 Feb. 2014
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This review is from: The Winter Witch (Shadow Chronicles) (Kindle Edition)
I was expecting more paranormal that romance in this book, but what I got was the other way around. In saying that, it was a nice gentle read, very evocative of the time and place. Not something I would've chosen to read if I'd known the balance was more in the romance arena, but still a decent enough way to pass the time. The writing managed to draw me in despite my best efforts - a very good sign!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Fantasy witch, 29 Dec. 2013
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This review is from: The Winter Witch (Shadow Chronicles) (Kindle Edition)
The story is a simple one, but well written. The characters are as uncomplicated as the tale. The witch content isn more complex but wanders into the realm of silly horror once or twice, which made me impatient.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The winter witch, 21 May 2014
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This review is from: The Winter Witch (Shadow Chronicles) (Kindle Edition)
This story was amazing I could not put it down, her story also included the drovers, which was very interesting, plus the farm life and how it all worked. I would definitely recommend this book.
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