My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Victoria Schwab or V.E. Schwab is an author with a huge fan following but unfortunately until now I have never got around to read any of her works. But after reading The Near Witch, I understand why she is such a popular author. I loved this enchanting but dark tale of witches in both good and bad forms.
Lexi Harris has grown up learning to walk in the path of her hunter father. She is proficient in tracking like her father and follow the signs of nature. Growing up with the local legend of the Near Witch, she knows to give respect to the moors as it deserves. Lexi is lovingly putting her younger sister Wren to sleep retelling the story of the Near Witch when she spies upon a stranger in the moor and the next morning, even stranger things begin to happen. The wind carries a new melody like the Pied Piper and children who are sound asleep in the beds begin to vanish one after the other.
When the whole village focuses on the stranger amongst them and the old women who has given him shelter, Lexi uses all her skills and beliefs that has been taught to her by her father to find the truth of the missing children. Incredibly well-written this dark fairy tale has a beautiful romance also mixed in the story and the inevitable fight of seeking the truth with the help of some strong women including Lexi’s mother was brilliant.
And Cole was a superb character so much that I wanted the story from his POV.
Honestly can’t wait to read more by Victoria Schwab.
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The Near Witch is only an old story told to frighten children.
If the wind calls at night, you must not listen. The wind is lonely, and always looking for company.
And there are no strangers in the town of Near.
These are the truths that Lexi has heard all her life.
But when an actual stranger — a boy who seems to fade like smoke — appears outside her home on the moor at night, she knows that at least one of these sayings is no longer true.
The next night, the children of Near start disappearing from their beds, and the mysterious boy falls under suspicion. Still, he insists on helping Lexi search for them. Something tells her she can trust him.
As the hunt for the children intensifies, so does Lexi’s need to know—about the witch that just might be more than a bedtime story, about the wind that seems to speak through the walls at night, and about the history of this nameless boy.
Part fairy tale, part love story, Victoria Schwab’s debut novel is entirely original yet achingly familiar: a song you heard long ago, a whisper carried by the wind, and a dream you won’t soon forget.