The Year of the Witching by Alexis Henderson

The Handmaid’s Tale meets The Village in this stunning debut from an important new voice in feminist fiction  . . .

Born on the fringes of Bethel, Immanuelle does her best to obey the Church and follow Holy Protocol. For it was in Bethel that the first Prophet pursued and killed four powerful witches, and so cleansed the land.

And then a chance encounter lures her into the Darkwood that surrounds Bethel.

It is a forbidden place, haunted by the spirits of the witches who bestow an extraordinary gift on Immanuelle. The diary of her dead mother . . .

Fascinated by and fearful of the secrets the diary reveals, Immanuelle begins to understand why her mother once consorted with witches. And as the truth about the Prophets, the Church and their history is revealed, so Immanuelle understands what must be done. For the real threat to Bethel is its own darkness.

Bethel must change. And that change will begin with her . . .

My Review

This has to be one of, if not, my favourite book of the year!

This is a really hard book to review without revealing spoilers and spoiling the unraveling of the story for readers so I will keep this brief. It is a book you need to enjoy all its surprises and twists for yourself. It is a fantastic, empowering read, so immersive that you can hear the whispers calling to you from the heart of the Darkwood!

Set within the fictional town of Bethel, the town and its residents live cut off from the rest of the world, isolated from outsiders, locked in by the Darkwood, a forbidden place haunted by the spirits of the coven of witches killed by the first Prophet and a locked gateway.

Bethel is a strict religious community ruled over by the Prophet and his apostle’s. They pray to ‘The Father’, live abiding by and reading the holly scriptures and attending the Sabbath slaughter, the ritual sacrifice of a lamb.

Some of the community have ‘Gifts”. Only the Prophet has the Gift of Sight, some of the apostle’s have the Gift of Discernment, a Gift that allows them to be able to tell truth from lie and some midwives have the Gift of Naming. But since the Holly War and The Dark Ages these Gifts are becoming scarcer. But rumour has it that Immanuelle has A Gift. But if that is true, is she capable of witchcraft? Does she consort with the coven of witches in the Darkwood as her mother had before her?

Bethel is the epitome of everything you think of when you think about what a cult is!

This is so much more than just a story about witches, set in the era of witch craft, the story takes you on the journey of Immanuelle and her journey to understand her self and the power women can possess.

Grab yourself a copy now, you won’t regret it and let yourself be pulled into the flock of Bethel!

A massive Thank you to the author Alexis Henderson, publishers Bantam Press and Random Things Tours for my copy of this incredible book and spot on the blog tour.

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