BookMusings: (Re)Discovering Pagan Literature

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Book Review: American Witch


Title: American Witch

Publisher: Teddy Harrison LLC

Author: Thea Harrison

Pages: 420pp

Price: $5.99

Molly Sullivan has the perfect life: a handsome, powerful husband; a fat bank account; and a wide circle of friends. Or, at least, she tells herself that she has the perfect life. But then her husband cheats on her -- again -- and she has a very public meltdown. And that is when her Power manifests. It turns out that Molly isn't just a witch -- she is an incredibly powerful witch with ties to the moon and the ocean. On top of that, it turns out that her husband has been involved in some very illegal activities and there is a powerful, malevolent witch who now has his eye on Molly. If she is to survive and learn to use her Power, she will need to learn to trust a new unexpected ally ....

I love Harrison's Elder Races series, in which humans, witches, griffins, fae, and assorted other creatures live side by side (mostly in harmony). American Witch is technically part of the larger Elder Race universe, but it can be read as a stand-alone.

Molly is awesome. Nearing forty, she is a woman finally coming into her own. Once she leaves her stifling marriage, it is not only magic that she discovers, but herself. Josiah Mason is a good foil for her: ambitious, focused, and dangerous -- but also honorable and passionate. Josiah has been obsessed with tracking down a malevolent witch for nearly a century; but, just when he is zeroing in on his prey, Molly comes into his life, and she is everything he never realized that he needed.

The supporting characters are just as interesting and well-rounded. Sarah, the old witch who becomes a second mother to Molly, and her many times great-nephew, Sam. Anson, Josiah's right-hand man, steady and grounding. Maria the seeress. Even Austin Sullivan, Molly's despicable (ex)husband; he's awful and gets exactly what he deserves, but he's still interesting.

The magic in American Witch is deeply elemental. More than once, Molly casts a spell which draws on earth, air, fire, and water. Her strongest connections are to the ocean and the Moon; using those elements and her own well of Power creates incredibly powerful castings (including a very neat silver energy whip). But, while some of Molly's magic is offensive, she is primarily a healer; denied children and close friends for years, she is now able to express the deep core of compassion and love that lives inside her.

American Witch is a romantic, magical adventure. More importantly, it is a coming-of-age, coming-into-herself story that many woman with recognize. Highly recommended to fans of Harrison's other books, as well as Ilona Andrews, Rebecca Chastain, Helen Harper, Lynn Kurland, and Annette Marie. 

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Rebecca Buchanan is the editor of the Pagan literary ezine Eternal Haunted Summer. She is also the editor-in-chief of Bibliotheca Alexandrina. She thinks it is incredibly unfair that she must work for a living rather than being able to read all day. In her next life, she would like to be a library cat.


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