Description (from cover):
‘Paula Brackston transports readers to the windswept mountains of Wales in this beautifully written, enchanting novel–an enthralling tale of love and magic.
In her small, early-nineteenth-century Welsh town, there is no one quite like Morgana. She is quick and pretty enough to attract a suitor, but there are things that set her apart from other girls. Though her mind is sharp, she has not spoken since she was a young girl. Her silence is a mystery, as well as her magic–the household objects that seem to move at her command, the bad luck that visits those who do her ill. Concerned for her safety, her mother is eager to see Morgana married, and Cai Jenkins, the widowed drover from the far hills, who knows nothing of the rumors that swirl around her, seems the best choice.
After her wedding, Morgana is heartbroken at leaving her mother and wary of this man who she does not know and who will take her away to begin a new life. But she soon falls in love with Cai’s farm and the wild mountains that surround it. Here, where frail humans are at the mercy of the elements, she thrives, her own wild nature and her magic blossoming. Cai works to understand the beautiful, half-tamed creature he has chosen for a bride, and slowly he begins to win Morgana’s affections. It’s not long, however, before her strangeness begins to be remarked upon in her new village. A dark force is at work there–a person who will stop at nothing to turn the townspeople against Morgana, even at the expenses of those closest to her. Forced to defend her home, her man, and herself from all corners, Morgana must learn to harness her power, or she will lose everything.’
Give me a book about witches and put it in a historical setting and I am all over it. I picked this one simply because I read Brackston’s previous novel, The Witch’s Daughter, and fell in love with the story and the writing. So when I heard that this one was going to be released, I was excited and knew that I soon would be reading it. However, I was thwarted when I got a copy from the local library and it was missing the first two-and-a-half chapters due to a printer error. So I returned it to the library and told them about the error. I just happened to be at the library the other day and came across an available copy that lo and behold had all it’s chapters and I immediately checked it out.
From page one I was wrapped up in Morgana’s character and her struggles to adjust to a new life and find out who she was. The setting on the wilderness of Wales was absolutely beautiful to read about and the author has a way with words that makes the scenery come to life. I learned a lot about cattle droving and the occupation as it was in the nineteenth-century. The world that comes with working with the wilderness was all new to me and it was interesting to see the hardships the people before us had to go through in order to make ends meet. On top of all this is my favorite element of all, magic. Morgana possesses the ability to do magic and in those times being a witch or even being suspected of one was treacherous. I loved the magic in this story as it is not overwhelming, but beautiful weaved into the story.
Cai and Morgana struggled to find out how to get along with each other in this strange new life they have embarked on and the whole time you are rooting them on. With evil forces and even wicked people out to harm them and their dreams of a future together, they must stick together and use their wits in order to survive with their lives. There is betrayal, death and fear at every turn and they must make the best of their circumstances in order to prevail against evil. A good read from start to finish that will keep the reader truly engaged and captivated in Cai’s and Morgana’s struggles.
Overall Rating: 4
Disclaimer: This book was selected from the library by myself and I reviewed this book without compensation of any kind. All thoughts and opinions are solely mine.