The Year of the Witching Review

This was completely different to what I was expecting.

The daughter of a union with an outsider that cast her once-proud family into disgrace, Immanuelle does her best to worship the Father, follow Holy Protocol and lead a life of submission, devotion and absolute conformity, like all the women in the settlement. But a chance mishap lures her into the forbidden Darkwood that surrounds Bethel – a place where the first prophet once pursued and killed four powerful witches. Their spirits are still walking there, and they bestow a gift on Immanuelle: the diary of her dead mother, who Immanuelle is shocked to learn once sought sanctuary in the wood.

I really liked Immanuelle’s character right from the start. She was that little bit sarcastic and resistant to all the rules and regulations she has to live by. Even though she complies most of the time she still questions the decisions and isn’t afraid to break the rules and dig a little deeper into the history of Bethel. We see her evolve over the course of the storyline and come to terms with who she really is and how she can change the way things are run in this town.

I would of really been more invested if this story was a dual perspective and we got to see more from Ezra’s point of view. Having him deep within the institution as the Prophet’s son and seeing what he has had to endure over the course of the years to make him rebel would of given me a lot more context I think. I appreciated how committed he was too helping Immanuelle but I think their relationship could of been drawn out a little longer. I just wish they would of had a few more scenes together in more of a group setting where we could see the tension and attraction between them.

This was a lot more religious and pious than what I was expecting. It took me out of the story a little, granted this is my own fault for going in blind. I was expecting witchiness and spells and magic and this very different to that. I’ve seen this pitched as The Handmaid’s Tale for a new generation and I completely agree with that statement. It’s definitely thought provoking and starts a conversation but I was thinking it would be a more fantastical tale.

โญ๏ธ3/5 highly engaging and original, just not what I was expecting!