Book Review: ‘The Once and Future Witches’ by Alix E. Harrow

“In 1893, there’s no such thing as witches. There used to be, in the wild, dark days before the burnings began, but now witching is nothing but tidy charms and nursery rhymes. If the modern woman wants any measure of power, she must find it at the ballot box.
But when the three Eastwood sisters join the suffragists of New Salem, they begin to pursue the forgotten ways that might turn the women’s movement into the witch’s movement. Stalked by shadows and sickness, hunted by forces who will not suffer a witch to vote – and perhaps not even to live – the sisters must delve into the oldest magics, draw new alliances, and heal the bond between them if they want to survive.
There’s no such thing as witches. But there will be.” (Amazon)

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for my e-copy of this book.

Review of The Once and Future Witches by Alix E. Harrow

My rating: 5/5

I enjoyed Alix E. Harrow’s The Once and Future Witches tremendously, and it was such a perfect way to spend the evening after a tiring week. Not to mention, that it was such a lovely read for a spooky season. My reading list this month has been full of atmospheric reads, and I couldn’t be happier!

The Once and Future Witches follows three Eastwood sisters, Jupiter, Bella and Agnes, reunited at last in New Salem, and discovering the witchy ways that seem to be long forgotten. And yet, they are not – for that their own grandmother has taught them ways and words, and different women around the city have been taught their own ways, their own secrets. Witches might have been burnt in the purges and the witchy ways might have been (almost) forgotten. They’ve been reduced to the whispers in the shadows, to something that doesn’t seem to be real anymore, and something that you should not talk or even think about it. But strong-headed Jupiter has different ideas.

I loved how different and yet equally powerful were the voices of each sister in Alix E. Harrow’s book, and how engaging the whole story was from the beginning to the very end.  All three Eastwood sisters have been interesting, flawed and real. They all have made mistakes that cost them the close bond they once shared, and it takes the whole book to uncover some things that happened between them, but you can still see how much they care for each other no matter what. 

The Once and Future Witches has such diverse characters, from Jupiter who has permanent damage to her leg and doesn’t let that stop her from achieving anything she sets up to, to some strong BIPOC representation (Cleo is truly one of my favourite characters!), and same-sex relationship. While covering the period starting in 1893, Alix E. Harrow’s book remains positively timely, handling so many issues and giving voices to such a diverse and full cast of characters.

This book is so fast-paced and full of events and troubles for Eastwood sisters, and still remains so beautifully written. I really enjoyed the author’s style, and by the end of The Once and Future Witches, I just wanted more. I was lucky enough to read an ARC of this book, but as soon as I finished reading it, I knew I would be getting a physical copy after the publication date.

Who is the book for: If you are in the mood for witchy read during this spooky season, you will definitely enjoy Alix E. Harrow’s new book, I can’t recommend it enough. The Once and Future Witches is out now, and you can get your copy here.


14 thoughts on “Book Review: ‘The Once and Future Witches’ by Alix E. Harrow

  1. Wow, stories of sisters always stick with me and I am so glad that the 3 sisters are contrasting and yet each hold the same significance! I’m not really into witches (scaredy-cat here) but I might give this a go- thank you for the review. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I get that, but this one is not on a scary side – it’s rather atmospheric and focuses a lot on the rights of women (I somehow I failed to mention that in my review…). Let me know what you think of the book if you end up reading it!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I have ‘The Ten Thousand Doors of January’, but I must admit I haven’t read it. I’m glad you’ve liked it though! I’m planning to read it soon(ish), especially after I liked this one so much! Hope you enjoy ‘The Once and Future Witches’! 🙂


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s