St. Martin’s Press, $24.99, 305 pages
Bess Hawksmith’s world is torn apart when a plague comes to her village with subsequent charges of witchcraft. When Bess finds herself jailed and awaiting execution, she makes a bargain with warlock Gideon Masters for her life. This choice is not without sacrifice, however, and Bess spends the rest of her life running from Gideon and his attempts to possess and ultimately destroy her.
In The Witch’s Daughter, Paula Brackston blends historical fiction with elements of fantasy. She recounts Bess’s story with vivid description and detail that brings both the story and historical timeframes to life. The characters, particularly the character of Bess, are well-written and engaging. The fantasy elements of the novel aren’t the primary focus but serve as enhancements to Bess’s journey and her attempt to be free from Gideon. Overall, this is an engaging, well-written novel that will appeal to fans of historical fiction and fantasy alike.
Reviewed by Barbara Cothern