Published by Macmillan, St. Martin's Press on April 21st 2015
Genres: Fantasy, Fiction, Historical
ARC provided by St. Martin's Press
A year after her husband's sudden death, ceramic artist Tilda Fordwells finally moves into the secluded Welsh cottage that was to be their new home. She hopes that the tranquil surroundings will help ease her grief, and lessen her disturbing visions of Mat's death. Instead, the lake in the valley below her cottage seems to spark something dormant in her - a sensitivity, and a power of some sort. Animals are drawn to her, electricity shorts out when she's near, and strangest of all, she sees a new vision; a boatful of ancient people approaching her across the water. On this same lake in Celtic times lived Seren, a witch and shaman. She was respected but feared, kept separate from the community for her strange looks. When a vision came to her of the Prince amid a nest of vipers she warned of betrayal from one of his own. Prince Brynach both loved and revered her, but could not believe someone close to him wished him harm, even as the danger grew. In her own time, Tilda's grief begins to fade beside her newfound powers and a fresh love. When she explores the lake's ancient magic and her own she discovers Seren, the woman in her vision of the boat. Their two lives strangely mirror each other's, suggesting a strong connection between the women. As Tilda comes under threat from a dark power, one reminiscent of Seren's prophecy, she must rely on Seren and ancient magic if death and disaster are not to shatter her life once more.
The Silver Witch is a brilliant combination of old Celtic mythology and a modern witch coming into her own. This book covers duel timelines, and POVs, with ease. I found myself loving the story of a modern witch discovering the history of her magic.
Tilda is a recent widow who moves to the house her and her husband bought before his death. She is a bit of a recluse, and doesn’t drive due to her fear. Her seclusion makes her a bit reliant on the people she meets in town where there is a dig going on next to the lake by her home. Seren is a seer and a shaman living in old Celtic times. She is the Prince’s seer and she also has his undying affection. Seren’s only concern is to keep her Prince safe, even when evil threatens to take his life. It is up to her to protect him, but she ends up being the one in need of protection from a woman scorned. These two stories are told as the dig in town progresses digging up an ancient curse. Tilda finds strange things happening and she might be the source, but she must uncover the mystery of what happened to Seren before they unearth whatever is buried at the lake.
I really enjoyed the writing style in this story. Although, at first the two women seem to have no connection, both stories were well told. This book held my interest, I couldn’t wait to unravel the mystery once the connection was revealed. There were some questionable parts, and the author skipped over the timeline a bit. Maybe I just wanted all the details, I am greedy like that.
Tilda was a lot of fun. She moves into this house and then she has some strange things happen to her. She is an artist and an albino, and so her eccentricities make sense. She begins by being told of the history of the lake, through visions. She consults a local historian and the leader of the dig to help her figure out if what she is seeing is true, or she is just crazy. At the same time we read all about Seren, an ancient albino witch, and how she accepted her fate. Their stories both have to be told as their circumstances demand the truth come out.
I really don’t want to give away the whole story. This was a good book. The author did an excellent job of combining old and new stories. I will definitely be reading more from this author.
About the Author
Paula Brackston lives in a wild, mountainous part of Wales. She has an MA in Creative Writing from Lancaster University, and is a Visiting Lecturer for the University of Wales, Newport. Before becoming a writer, Paula tried her hand at various career paths, with mixed success. These included working as a groom on a racing yard, as a travel agent, a secretary, an English teacher, and a goat herd. Everyone involved (particularly the goats) is very relieved that she has now found a job she is actually able to do properly.
When not hunched over her keyboard in her tiny office under the stairs, Paula is dragged outside by her children to play Swedish tennis on the vertiginous slopes which surround them. She also enjoys being walked by the dog, hacking through weeds in the vegetable patch, or sitting by the pond with a glass of wine. Most of the inspiration for her writing comes from stomping about on the mountains being serenaded by skylarks and buzzards.
In 2007 Paula was short listed in the Creme de la Crime search for new writers. In 2010 her book ‘Nutters’ (writing as PJ Davy) was short listed for the Mind Book Award, and she was selected by the BBC under their New Welsh Writers scheme.