The Near Witch is beautiful, full of stunning descriptions that make readers feel as though they’re actually there. It’s been a long time since I’ve read something where the words could visually paint pictures in my head in such vibrant detail. Victoria Schwab creates her own folklore in a way that feels realistic, from bedtime stories to children’s nursery rhymes. The novel has ghost-story elements as well; at times, my skin crawled from the creepiness of the descriptions. The Near Witch is fluid and builds at a steady pace, pulling readers in until it’s possible to put the book down. The writing is so strong; it’s hard to believe this is Schwab’s debut novel. I wish there was a backlist of titles to delve into next.
(because you need to see just how beautiful/life-like these descriptions are. I won't share my favorite description, though--It's too close to the end!)
“Outside, the night is still and streaked with silver threads of light, and the wind is breathing against the glass, a wobbling hum that causes the old wooden frame to groan.”
“His form is smudged at the edges, blurring into the night on either side, as if he’s moving very fast, but it must be the weathered glass, because he’s not moving at all.”
“The air around us seems to shiver, and the wind brushes cool against us. I take a sharp breah in as the wind coils around his outstretched hand. It spins faster until it looks like his fingers are bleeding into it. Then they grow thinner until I can see right through them, until there is no difference between the swirling wind and his skin.”
And finally, would you like a touch of creepiness to really get you craving this book?
"She climbed up and out onto the moor.
Now her skin is really made of moor grass.
Now her blood is made of moor rain.
Now her voice is made of moor wind.
Now the Near Witch is made of moor.
And she is furious."
-All pages from nook edition of e-arc; changes may be made before book launches in print
Check back soon; the amazingly-talented Victoria Schwab was kind enough to do an interview for Fairy Tale Fortnight!