Speculative Fiction Reviews, Interviews, Art and Whatever Else!
Narrative: Third person present and First person present.
It has been some time since I have read a third person narrative set in the present tense. I've never been a great fan of the style, I usually find it a bit jaunting if not written with great skill and with careful consideration of the readers perspective. So, it did take me a while to settle into The Silver Witch, but once I did, I was extremely glad I didn't let it pass me by. This is actually, one of the better TPP narratives I've seen written. Brackston has been able to involve the reader incredibly well with the story line and there was never really a point where I felt like I was sitting on the outside of the novel (which I find I usually do). It was never he says/she says on repeat, it flowed really nicely and I genuinely forgot my misgivings and in turn completely forgot that I was even reading in the perspective.
The interweaving and coming together of the two narratives, a potter living in present day Wales and a Shaman living in medieval Wales at the time of the Mercian invasions (where it switched to first person present), was nicely handled and they didn't drift too far away from each other. The links which connected the two were always well maintained with little tidbits of information, fact, magic and mythology, to keep both pov's relevant to the storyline. The history was really well researched, you can see the amount of time Brackston put in to making this as close as possible to the reality of the region in medieval times.
The imagery in this book was really beautiful. The descriptions of even the simplest things, like snow on sheep, were magical in themselves. I sighed a few times just taking in the words! I wrote down they were 'edible words'. I can't compliment those special moments enough.
There was the occasional time where I felt that things occurred a bit to instantaneously, a little rushed and didn't quite have enough impact due to the rapidness in which they were dealt with. I can see how it's happened, possibly more time spent on peripheral occurrences rather than focusing on the main plot. There are only so many jogging scenes I need, to see that she is a runner, or people to stare at her, to see that people find her different; that sort of thing. It needed some evening out in places to create a more stable sense of progression. (There also seemed to be a problem with the narrative about the 'accident', hopefully that's fixed before publication?)
Despite that, this was a beautiful book. Magical, historical, gorgeous wordery and extremely un-put-downable. Those who enjoy the interplay between the past and present, will find this book a fantastic addition to their reading lists.
Harcopy Worthy? I'd actually like to explore the whole series (standalones, but all witches!)