The Once and Future Witches by Alix E. Harrow
Reviewed by Sam!
What I drank prior: Disney power hour with wine
In the late 1800s, three sisters use witchcraft to change the course of history in Alix E. Harrow’s powerful novel of magic and the suffragette movement.
In 1893, there’s no such thing as witches. There used to be, in the wild, dark days before the burnings began, but now witching is nothing but tidy charms and nursery rhymes. If the modern woman wants any measure of power, she must find it at the ballot box.
But when the Eastwood sisters — James Juniper, Agnes Amaranth, and Beatrice Belladonna — join the suffragists of New Salem, they begin to pursue the forgotten words and ways that might turn the women’s movement into the witch’s movement. Stalked by shadows and sickness, hunted by forces who will not suffer a witch to vote — and perhaps not even to live — the sisters will need to delve into the oldest magics, draw new alliances, and heal the bond between them if they want to survive.
There’s no such thing as witches. But there will be.
An homage to the indomitable power and persistence of women, The Once and Future Witches reimagines stories of revolution, sapphic love, motherhood, and women’s suffrage–the lost ways are calling.
Drunk Overview: ok so… I’m trying to figure out which sister is which but there are three sisters and one of them accidentally opens the gates to the tower of Avalon (like Merlin Avalon) and it’s also during the time that suffragettes exist and witches and suffragettes happen to be the same people. There’s the sisters Juniper, Agnes, and Bella. Juniper is the one who’s the most radical, whatever. Basically… don’t get caught. That’s this book.
Spoiler-free Thoughts: This was pretty boring considering the subject matter. How cool would it be to actually have a great story about witches in this time and how they were women’s rights activist but like… it’s only barely that and then they add a People of Color element that was NOT well thought out.
- Biggest thing here is that all the characters felt the same. There was the lesbian one, there was the rebel, and there was the pregnant one. But that’s literally the only way you can destingush them.
- There’s the guy who loves the preggers one: he’s amazing tbh
- There’s the lesbian lover: who’s also black and show us her movement and we love her too
- And then Juniper has no one.
- So like… I wish I had a bigger difference between them but I don’t
Plot: ok so i promise I’m trying because what i really want is to be like… what plot? But ok… so they’re trying to prove that witching is real and that women are actually human all at the same time. They also accidentally open the gate to the toewr of Avalon. So basically the whole book is “try not to get caught and get out once you do” and also squash the bad guy that we 100% knew was the bad guy even though we weren’t supposed to. I’m sorry, I wanted to like this but I knew the story and the part I didn’t didn’t make sense anyway. I was so bored! and it was an audiobook and it’s really hard to bore me in that format but like… bro… what the hell. This book had 7 stories that tried to weave together but didn’t.
Writing Style: what writing style? It was like… at least 5 short stores haphazardly melded together.
World Building: Nope.
What to pair it with: this is like frat part jungle juice. You have no idea what it is or what it’s made of and it either fucks you up or you have a sugar head ache… I had the sugar head ache.
Until next time, we remain forever drunkenly yours,