The Winter Witch by Paula Brackston

15702859Title: The Winter Witch

Author: Paula Brackston

Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books

Publication Date: January 2013

Pages: 340

Genre: Young Adult Historical/Fantasy

Book Summary (from Goodreads)

In her small Welsh town, there is no one quite like Morgana. She has never spoken, and her silence as well as the magic she can’t quite control make her a mystery. Concerned for her safety, her mother quickly arranges a marriage with Cai Bevan, the widower from the far hills who knows nothing of the rumours that swirl around her. After their wedding, Morgana is heartbroken at leaving, but she soon falls in love with Cai’s farm and the rugged mountains that surround it, while slowly Cai himself begins to win her heart. It’s not long, however, before her strangeness begins to be remarked upon in her new village. A dark force is at work there—a person who will stop at nothing to turn the townspeople against Morgana, even at the expense of those closest to her. Forced to defend her home, her love, and herself from all comers, Morgana must learn to harness her power, or she will lose everything.


I wanted to like this book. I really, really did. The premise sounded intriguing, it was historical with some magic, set in Wales, had witches and romance and seemed like a great novel. And it wasn’t bad. Not really. It was just very. very. s  l  o  w.

It starts off well enough. We’re introduced to the slightly mysterious Morgana the day she is to be wed to a man she’s barely met. She doesn’t speak, and there is a hint that there may be something magical about her. Despite her silence, she has very strong opinions about many things. The character is one that starts out likable, and one I wanted to get to know better. The problem was that I don’t feel like I ever did.

Cai, the man who marries her, is another character that we want to like. He actually seems a little easier to “get to know” than Morgana. I don’t know if that’s because he talks, or because of the way his narration is done, or if its just me. That being said, he never develops as much as I’d like either.

Their relationship is set up to have problems. Its an arranged marriage, he does it because he has to in order to keep his position in town, she does it because her mother talks her into it. They both dance around each other for what seems like hundreds of pages. She can’t talk. He doesn’t understand. She acts like a stubborn child, then feels bad, he forgives her though he’s not sure why she did it.

I actually skimmed and skipped most of the middle of the book. The themes of misunderstanding and guilt and more misunderstanding, mixed in with some comments about how much they are beginning to like the other, are overdone for me. What I’m sure was meant to be a slow build up of a relationship just fell flat. The ending wasn’t bad, but some of the twists are easy to see, and the very ending seems totally unlikely. Enough that I had a hard time feeling horror or threatened at all. The villain and the reasons behind it are very loosely done. For a long time you aren’t really sure if her motives are what you think, and they are easy to figure out. I had a hard time buying into them, personally, so it made it difficult to feel anything for the villain.

Their romance is sweet, and the end is definitely a Happily Ever After, but I must admit to being disappointed by this book. If you enjoy slow romance, with a little magic mixed in, this is a good one. Otherwise, you might want to steer clear.


Where to Find the Book



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Book was purchased by reviewer.


Accordance by Shelly Crane

12667194Title: Accordance

Author: Shelly Crane

Publisher: Self-Published

Publication Date: Sept 2011

Pages: 314

Genre: Young Adult Paranormal Romance

Book Summary (from Goodreads)

In the sequel, Maggie learns much more about all the strange things that happened to her, and has to face new ones. She rebels against it, but ultimately, must face it for her new families sake and maybe even her life. Bish went from being her biggest supporter to her biggest pain in the butt and Kyle’s intentions to attract her interest may not be so innocent. Caleb and Maggie face many new obstacles together and fight to work through them but will one that should be a good thing be too much for Maggie to handle?


I read Shelly Crane’s SIGNIFICANCE awhile ago, and couldn’t decide whether to continue the story or not. ACCORDANCE is a fun, quick read, and I recommend it if you enjoyed the first book.

This time, the book picks up exactly where book one left off (like, exactly) which is actually kind of nice. As long as you don’t need a super huge refresher on what already happened, its great to just jump right back into the story. I enjoy Caleb and Maggie, though some of the same sort of story line appears here. I like the more detailed look at Bish and his interaction. Anyone who reads this knows where the story with Bish is going. (I’m not saying more than that. Honestly, if you read the end of the first book and didn’t guess it, I’d be surprised.) there is a twist involved that I’m interested in seeing how the author deals with that.

Maggie becomes this amazing thing in the story, and it becomes integral to her life as an Ace. And while its a cool thing, it also makes it hard to believe that she’s really and truly vulnerable, outside of Caleb. She can do all these things, and while that takes time to control, she’s still really helpless at times, which drives me nuts. The way her gift affects others is, however, a really nice touch and gives the gift a “downside,” which helps even things out a bit.

Caleb is too good to be true, but you can’t help but like him. The book is pretty predictable, and the few twists that were there, you can almost guess as soon as it pops up. There are a few surprises, and they are good ones.

I don’t know if I will continue to read the rest of the series or not. I feel as indifferent as I did last time. It was enjoyable, but a bit of a fluff read for me. If you want a quick beach read, go for it!



Where to Find the Book



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Book was purchased by reviewer.

We haven’t disappeared!


Just a note to tell you we haven’t disappeared! We’ve fallen behind due to life. Moving into a new place, getting married in a month (!) and the end of school are taking their toll, but there will be updates soon! Don’t worry – we’ve got lots of books on the list to read and post about!

The Window In The Wall by Ginny Merritt

window-in-wall-ginny-merritt-paperback-cover-artTitle: The Window in the Wall

Author: Ginny Merritt

Publisher: JourneyForth Books

Publication Date: August 2013

Pages: unknown (my ereader isn’t particularly accurate with this)

Genre: Young Adult Historical

Book Summary (from Goodreads)

Relates the biblical story of Rahab, the spies, and the fall of Jericho as recorded in the book of Joshua from the perspective of young Talia, whose father Yakesh is one of Rahab’s brothers.


This is a Christian fiction novel. Let me start with that. So if you don’t enjoy biblically based stories, this probably isn’t the book for you. The book is also classified as Young Adult, but I think it would be better suited as a middle grade or children’s novel. Perhaps it was, and I just misread the labeling. Its possible. The language of this book is far too simplistic for any teenager I know. 

That being said, I did not finish the book. It was overly simplistic for me, and I couldn’t quite bring myself to finish. It had more to do with there being other more interesting books out there that I’d started, and I wanted to read them, rather than this. What I did read was good, it just couldn’t hold my attention. If you have younger kids, and you want to introduce them to this story, then it might be a good pick for you.


Where to Find the Book



Book was provided by publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.