Cover Image: The Age of Witches

The Age of Witches

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There is just something so magical about a book from Louisa Morgan. This book was no exception. Annis comes from a long line of witches, however has no idea of this until she is whisked away to America by her step-mother to find a wealthy groom. Francis uses her dark magic to help aide in magicking the marquis to be bewitched with Annis and tries to use the same magic to propel Annis towards a groom. Unfortunately, Annis' aunt Harriet becomes involved and is able to stop her. Annis was unaware that she was a witch and is immediately drawn toward the freedom that the magic can provide for her. Things definitely go awry in this book, however the story wraps up well in the end. I will definitely be recommending this book to others. Thanks for the ARC, Net Galley.

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***Thank you to NetGalley and Redhook Books for an advance copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Release date April 7, 2020.***

4 stars

I was pleasantly surprised by this book. My first concern was that each chapter followed one of four main characters…I usually don’t like this because the changing POV tends to be abrupt. In this story however, the story still flowed well for me.

The beginning seemed to be a little slow, but to be honest, many books are. After the initial set up, the story really picked up for me. I also enjoyed that there was a fair amount of character development for everyone.

The conclusion was nicely done…to me it leaves *just enough* of an opening that there may be a potential follow-up in the future.

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It was OK, I didn't abandon it.

The Age of Witches by Louisa Morgan features a family of witches with historical roots, some benevolent magic vs manipulative magic for self-interest, a social climbing stepmother, a young woman fighting for independence, a little romance.

Like with ghost stories, witch stories always appeal to me, but rarely satisfy me. Although I didn't want to abandon it, The Age of Witches didn't make me want to seek out the author again. For me, it promised more than it delivered.

Read in December. Blog review scheduled for March 16, 2020.

NetGalley/Redhook Books
Historical Fiction/Paranormal. April 7, 2020. Print length: 448 pages.

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Thank you, Netgalley, for the digital ARC in exchange for an honest review.

The Age of Witches is a tale of magic, ambition, and love set in the Victorian Era. The strong female presence of this book makes it even more magical. Annis struggles between the values of the time, and that of her stepmother, as she wants an independent life, one built out of her wants and desires.

Witchcraft and historical fiction in one book is right up my alley! Strong female characters are prevalent in this book, something that is needed in more literature. The independence and determination that is written throughout the book, making me cheer for the main character to the end. The characters are very well written and crafted, making me want to know more about their story and keep reading. Overall, I enjoyed aspects of this book, and it was a good read. I think that it lacked in some area; however, it did drag along at times and got off to a slow start before I got into it. The relationship between Annis and her stepmother seemed to fit a troupe, but the magical background and world kept me intrigued.

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This was a book that I have some mixed opinions on, but overall positive. Set in the 1890s New York, this focuses on Bridget Bishop’s descendants who have her magic skills. The most enjoyable part of this book for me was the relationships - between the women friendships and the romance which was not THE central part of the story. The writing style was good but there were some parts that dragged a bit and the plot moved a little too slowly for my taste. The antagonist of the story was almost a caricature but there’s just something there that still kept me interested as I was reading. Overall a book you may want to read if you have an interest in witches in a historical setting but probably won’t be a book for everyone.

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Oh my witchy goodness!

The Age of Witches is a neat little tale about three witches in 1890 New York City. Everyone's mother is dead, this has created some T-R-A-U-M-A and each witch deals with it a bit differently. It's a classic tale of good vs. evil but with its own spin. We get some familial drama, a little bit of romance, and a whole lot of MAGICK.

I truly loved this book. The main female characters were interesting and you felt for each and every one of them. Kindness and justice are a huge theme in this book and like, when is the last time kindness was a theme? The story moved along at a good pace to keep my attention and the writing was clean and direct, which I love.

Was it perfect? No, but that's ok. At sometimes it was cheesy and Annis' dialogue made me roll my eyes at some points, but she is a teenager so I guess I can let it slide. James's chapters were dull and I wish it had just been from the women's point of view. If they needed one more perspective, James's mom would have been a more interesting one, I think.

If there was a sequel *wink nudge*, I would definitely read it, and I plan on picking up Morgan's earlier works in the near future.

<b>I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley and RedHook Books in exchange for an honest review.</b>

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The Age of Witches by far my favorite of the three "witch" books; it is a fine blend of Victorian historical romance and a family saga of witches. A compelling read that had me reading until far too late into the night. A good story that had the right amount of fantasy and a suspenseful mystery.

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ARC from NetGalley

3.5

This was a lovely read. I found the herb lore and witchery quite fascinating. The romance was lovely and not over done. The relationships between the women were complex and satisfying, and I quite enjoyed the relationship between Annis and her Bits. It was a good look at what holding grudges and never taking a step out of your past can do to a person. That said, I don't have any sympathy for Frances. She was a horrible person. Growing up poor is not an excuse to be a garbage human.

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This was a fun book to read, albeit one that didn't exactly hold the reader in suspense. Harriet and Annis are descendents of Bridget Bishop and have retained some of her gifts and skills. When Annis is dragged off to England by her evil stepmother to find a husband, Aunt Harriet secretly follows along to keep her safe. Devoted to horses, Annis is willing to offend as many potential suitors as it takes to maintain her freedom. The meddling stepmother, however, is willing to fight back with her own skills to claw her way up in class status via Annis's marriage, regardless of what her stepdaughter wants.

I would have enjoyed the book more if there had been any doubt of the eventual ending with 1/3 of the book remaining.

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I read Louisa Morgan’s first book, A Secret History of Witches. It wasn’t a favorite of mine, but I enjoyed it enough that when I saw The Age of Witches on NetGalley, I thought it might at least be worth a read. I went in expecting more of what I got from ASHOW: a story that centers female characters and female relationships, a charming writing style, a lackluster plot, and a hint of magic.

The Age of Witches had all those things. The narration alternated between four characters. Harriet is a middle-aged herbalist widow descended from a long line of witches. Annis is the seventeen-year-old daughter of a wealthy entrepreneur with dreams of breeding horses. Francis is her stepmother, another witch who magicked her way into an advantageous marriage. The fourth protagonist is James, who I’d only barely met before I stopped reading. It’s clear he’s meant to be Annis’ love interest.

Frances was the most interesting character by far. I always enjoy a conniving woman. Harriet was forgettable, and Annis was about as cliché as it gets: the privileged young woman who detests parties and social graces and the idea of marriage.

As I mentioned, the plot was not the highlight of this story. It was slow and not particularly high-stakes or exciting. I felt like I could put the book down at any point and wouldn’t miss out on anything major, which is exactly what I did. I enjoyed seeing magic used for a greater variety of purposes than in ASHOW, where the protagonists mainly used it to attract men and get pregnant. But overall, I found The Age of Witches underwhelming.

I still think Morgan is a talented writer. She just doesn’t write the type of books I enjoy.

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Fun read about witchcraft in the late 1800s. Harriet and Frances are both descended from Bridget Bishop, a witch burned at the stake. Harriet is an herbalist and uses her powers for good. Frances is a bitter woman, forever scarred from her early life of poverty. When the two of them finds themselves at odds over the fate of their niece, Annis Allington, sparks fly! Morgan does an amazing job of making the era come alive. I will definitely seek out more books by her.

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**Disclaimer: I received an advance review copy for free, and I am leaving this review voluntarily.**

I've been embracing a lot more historical fiction lately. The feelings you experience while reading "The Age of Witches" is how you feel while reading "A Discovery of Witches" - it's mystical and romantic, but more realistic than fantastical. ADoW has Daemons, Vampires, and Werewolves, whereas TAoW has only "hedgewitches," and "herbalists."

The romance between James and Annis leaves much to the imagination - I wish there was more development between the two, but it's understandable that it was rushed due to the predicament and time frames both were under..

Annis, Harriet, and Frances, and Lady Eleanor came off as strong characters - but the relationship between Annis and Frances was annoying with the typical "evil step-mother" act. Annis shows herself to be her own person and to ignore societal standards/expectations; Frances struggled through most of her life and her actions make sense for how she was raised and how she attempted to make a life for herself, albeit the wrong way. Harriet is the middle man, but my favorite out of them all.

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Thanks Netgalley for the digital ARC in exchange for an honest review.

“Witch should be a beautiful word, signifying wisdom and knowledge and discipline, but it isn’t used that way. It’s been made an insult, implying evil, causing fear. The word has been perverted.”

Pick up The Age of Witches for an exciting tale of a girl born to a line of witches with no knowledge of her family history. As she seeks to make her way in a world built for men, her step-mother seeks to use dark magic to manipulate her for her step-mother’s own selfish purposes.

This is a good book for fans of the The Silver Witch or perhaps even The Bear and the Nightingale. I would say the pacing is very similar.

I would say this is more Victorian romance than fantasy. I wouldn’t even put this is in the same category as A Discovery if Witches. A Discovery of Witches includes fantasy characters such as vampires and magic that allows for time travel. This book is very real world with magic that strongly resembles folk magic. It’s very believable and I think even those who are less inclined to enjoy the fantasy genre will enjoy.

The author does a great job of building the magic system, which is one of my favorite things about this book. As I said, it reminds me of folk magic and other real world beliefs. I enjoyed feeling involved in the practice.

This book has a strong female lead. Our main character is very headstrong, independent, and determined to chart her own course in life. This book explored a lot of the powerlessness of women in the Victorian era and imagined how women might have worked around it with magical abilities. I enjoyed the triumph of the main character at the end.

This is a well developed novel that’s great for fans of magic, romance, and strong female characters.

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The Age of Witches is a tale of love, ambition, desire, audacity and, most importantly, magic. The Bishop women have, for centuries, used their magic to achieve a certain end. While most are using that end to help aid others with cantrips and electuaries, potions for health and good fortune. Some use their magic to impose their will on others. Not knowing it, Annis Allington is part of this Bishop bloodline, trapped between her own will, and that of her stepmother. She soon discovers the truth and it becomes a race against purist intentions and that of the malicious.

This concept sounds fantastic at heart: a battle of witches, good and evil, centuries of power passed down from generation to generation. But The Age of Witches misses the mark. For starters, the book is a bit slow to start and takes far too long to actually get into any of the magic it promises. It continues with this slow pace even through the more intense sections. Despite this, Morgan’s characters are not lacking in passion whatsoever. The characters are beautifully crafted and each seems to compliment another in a specific way. The character that is most connected to the others is Annis. Annis and Harriet, Annis and Mr. Allington, Annis and Frances, Annis and James, and even Annis and supplemental characters. However, I felt the book focused far too much on Harriet and not enough on Annis. Especially at the beginning and the end. Which leads me to believe Harriet is the predominant protagonist, despite the growth and connections Annis has throughout the novel. For this reason, in combination with the slow pace, I felt strongly as though the book suffered some sort of identity crisis in its main character.

A special thank you to Redhook Publishing and NetGalley for the opportunity to read this book. I look forward to the next one!

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This book was really good! It has a great plot and really good characters! It was very interesting and I really enjoyed it. I look forward to reading more from this author.

I received this ARC from Netgalley and the publisher in exchange for my honest review

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“Spellbinding” is the only word to describe The Age of Witches. Reading it was like walking into a gorgeous, living fairy tale. I just loved this book, it’s probably one of the best I’ve read all year and I’ve read A LOT of books this year.

This is a tale of magic, set in a world where one imagines myths and legends can come to life, but it also feels surprisingly grounded at the same time, almost like a fairy tale infused with a bit of realism. These elements gave the world more depth and kept it from feeling too simplistic, but they were also muted enough not to be overbearing or risk completely obliterating the magical nuances. Morgan tackles the craft of world-building meticulously and flawlessly, striking the perfect tone. I’m beyond impressed.

This book made me wonder why I waited so long to pick up something by Louisa Morgan. She writes so beautifully, with every word like an enchantment or spell drawing the reader deeper into the story. There’s a mystery here I couldn’t wait to get to the bottom of, and then as we drew closer to the conclusion I didn’t want this story to end!

Alas, it did. But I’m also glad to see Morgan writing more because I can’t wait until we can return to her storytelling.

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I started reading this book and I absolutely love it. Great writing, great plot. I will add to this review when I finish reading it, but so far it is a winner.
December 19, 2019:
Today I finished reading The Age of Witches and the rest of the book was just as good as the first half. The quality of the writing is maintained throughout the whole book. I am looking forward to reading more from this author.

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I stayed up late reading "The Age of Witches" by Loisa Morgan. While you can see pretty much what is going to happen in the end, this was still a book worth reading. I loved reading about witches and the different lines of the Bishop witches. How one uses their abilities to help others and the other for their own gain. These two lineages are warring against eachother with two young people in the balance. While this wasn't a thriller in that I wasn't on the edge of my seat, I still found it hard to put down. I wanted to read what happened next. I would reccomend this book to fans of historical fiction and witches.

I would like to thank Netgalley and the publisher for providing me with a copy free of charge. This is my honest and unbiased opinion of it.

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A well written book that depicts the treatment of women with special abilities throughout history. Annis defies characterization of her time period because she rejects societal notions that she should behave in a specific way because she is a woman. Her step-mother has a streak of evil but the readers will see how she struggled throughout her life. I enjoyed this book immensely and recommend it wholeheartedly.

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A young independent woman finds herself in the crossfire of spells and love in the latest novel by Louisa Morgan.

It’s the Gilded Age and 17 year old Annis, the heiress to an extremely successful stove company in New York City is ushered overseas to find a husband to secure her step-mother’s status. The arrangement reeks of magicked manipulation and the story takes a dark turn when the innocent become the victims of self-interested witches.

There are dark grimoires, magical spells, amulets, and herbal concoctions, but there are also societal requirements and patriarchal rules that magic must navigate. In this story, magic is empowering because it combines knowledge with choice, something that every character in this novel has to face. I enjoyed the female characters in this story because they found creative ways to wield their powers covertly as they were constantly confronted with issues surrounding free will. Can a woman every truly be independent, no matter how much magic is cast?

The biggest let down for me was that I felt that this book was lacking a sense of mystery. As a reader, I wasn’t left guessing, because the author didn’t hide anything. I wish that I was left guessing as to whether the two main characters were magicked or if they had actually fallen in love? The first meeting between them was too brief to convince the reader that they had any feelings whatsoever. Once we learn that they are victims of an awry love spell, the rest of the story becomes predictable. Almost all of the action is about characters trying to undo spells which was a little disappointing because it lacked suspense. I wish it had more secrets and suspicions.

It’s obvious that there is a feminist message shining through about the conflict between obligation and free will. I finished this book thinking that perhaps magic is the middle-ground between the two? Maybe magic is about learning how to bend the rules using a little bit of personal power and love?

In the end we see the characters grappling with the issues around following one’s heart and following the expectations, but, like any good magical concoction, the right amount of each ingredient can make a successful and tolerable remedy.

4/5 stars from me because it was a good story that had the right amount of fantasy but it lacked a suspenseful mystery.

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