The Age of Witches

Louisa Morgan. Redhook, $28 (448p) ISBN 978-0-316-41951-2
Morgan (The Witch’s Kind) sets her robust tale of matriarchal magic in a lushly depicted Gilded Age New York. Frances Allington practices the dark magic of maleficia, driven by ambition and the desire to distance herself from her impoverished upbringing. After gaining wealth through her dark arts, she aspires to elevate herself further by arranging a match between her stepdaughter, Annis, and a poor but title-holding British aristocrat. Headstrong 17-year-old Annis largely reserves her passion for her stallion, Bit, a devotion her father, as Bit’s legal owner, uses to leverage Annis’s cooperation in Frances’s scheme. Meanwhile, Harriet Bishop, Annis’s spinster “aunt” and Frances’s cousin, works to intercede on Annis’s behalf using her lighter strain of magic. Harriet hopes both to keep Annis safe from Frances’s maleficia and to help direct Annis’s own budding powers. By alternating perspectives between the characters, Morgan manages to elicit sympathy for each member of her large cast despite their conflicting desires. Even Frances is humanized beyond the typical wicked stepmother archetype. Readers will root for these powerful women as they struggle to overcome the social limitations of their time, whether through magic or force of personality. Agent: Peter Rubie, FinePrint Literary. (Apr.)
Reviewed on : 01/02/2020
Release date: 04/07/2020
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Horror
Paperback - 464 pages - 978-0-316-41954-3
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