2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
The very long witchfinder,
This review is from: The Last Witchfinder (Paperback)
In early 18th century England, a time when scientific and philosophical discoveries are beginning to change the way the world thinks, 11 year old Jennet Stearne is being raised - daughter of Walter Stearne, Witchfinder-General, and educated by her aunt Isabel. Jennet is an intelligent girl, but doesn't quite grasp the discrepancy between her father's profession and her aunt's lessons in philosophy and physics, until the day Walter's job leads him to his own sister-in-law who suddenly stands accused of witchcraft, for her scientific studies. Using all the techniques which have always stood him in good stead - the devil's mark blemishes, the rejection of the water when thrown into the river - then trial by jury, Walter finds he has greater allegiance to his principles as witchfinder than to the woman who has helped him raise his own children, and Isabel is burned at the stake.
The story follows the rest of Jennet's unexpectedly 'colourful' life, through Salem witch trials, kidnap by Indians, and romance with Benjamin Franklin. She is horrified by her father's actions, but despite dedicating her life to creating what she believes to be an irrefutable argument against demons and witchcraft, she decides that the only way she can prove her case once and for all is to stand trial accused of witchcraft herself. It's then a question of whether she will suffer the same fate as her aunt Isabel, or if logic, reason and science can save the day...
Very funny in places, and interesting, too; but the second half dragged a bit and I did get a little fed up of the constant adventuring. I think this would have been a much better story with some brutal editing throughout, but it's a good entertainment, nonetheless.