Synopsis according to 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."
The Winter Witch was an okay read. It's definitely more romance than anything else, and (once again) Brackston embraces the black/white dichotomy of magic. That makes for a thrilling showdown, I suppose, but I'm a gal who is fascinated by the grey in life, so about 3/4 of the way through I was getting very frustrated. As you know, characters who are evil for the sake of being evil and with absolutely no human qualities....are boring.
Anyway, I digress. I loved the including of Welsh custom, and the concept of droves and country life in the...well, I have no idea, really. 1800s? 1700s? 1600s?
I also like the concept of a mute heroine, who accepts and embraces her muteness, although that's never actually explained.
Her Hamlet-esque hedging gets a bit redundant, especially when it continually causes problems and yet to she continues to do it, and there's a phrase she uses that loses its cleverness after about the 40th time. But in all, Morgana is a fun character, Cai is awesome, and everyone else is two-dimensional.
As a quick read without much meat, this is good for fans of witchcraft, Wales (and Great Britain in general), pastoral settings, and romance.
Labels: book review, historical fiction, literary friday, magic, paula brackston, romance, the winter witch, welsh, witchcraft