Set in Colonial New England, Slewfoot is a tale of magic and mystery, of triumph and terror as only dark fantasist Brom can tell it.
An ancient spirit awakens in a dark wood. The wildfolk call him Father, slayer, protector.
The colonists call him Slewfoot, demon, devil.
To Abitha, a recently widowed outcast, alone and vulnerable in her pious village, he is the only one she can turn to for help.
Together, they ignite a battle between pagan and Puritan – one that threatens to destroy the entire village, leaving nothing but ashes and bloodshed in their wake.
“If it is a devil you seek, then it is a devil you shall have!”
This terrifying tale of bewitchery features more than two dozen of Brom’s haunting paintings, fully immersing readers in this wild and unforgiving world.
“Brom has made a convert out of me with Slewfoot, which takes hold of the maxim 'sympathy for the devil' and yanks hard on that literary taproot, unearthing a far more elemental and complex truth. Demon or no, evil or not, the mighty stag Slewfoot deserves our love and devotion. He's got mine now. All hail Brom, all hail Slewfoot!” —Clay McLeod Chapman, author of The Remaking
Praise for Brom's previous novels:
"Brom is that rare breed: a person who is skilled in more than one area of artistic expression." —Christopher Paolini, New York Times bestselling author of To Sleep In a Sea of Stars
“[Brom’s] a storyteller with his artwork, and in a very elite class.” —R.A. Salvatore New York Times bestselling author of The Legend of Drizzt
“Terrific. A wild ride….I loved it. It hooked me and I couldn’t put it down.” —Mike Mignola, creator of Hellboy
“A gruesome and darkly fantastical twist on a classic tale. Brom injects pure horror into fantasy.” —Holly Black
"Lost Gods is … the kind of story lovers whisper in stolen cars burning rubber from this world down to the very edge of the Abyss." —Richard Kadrey, New York Times bestselling author of the Sandman Slim series
"Brom effortlessly weaves classical mythology with modern nightmares in this beautifully twisted hell ride. Heartwrenching, operatic, and stunningly illustrated, Lost Gods is a dark gem of a novel." —Christopher Golden, New York Times bestselling author of Red Hands
“Wickedly poetic, The Child Thief makes me want to believe.” —Kim Harrison
“Beautiful and authentically dark.” —Sci-Fi
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- Author Website: https://www.bromart.com/
- Active on Twitter: @GeraldBrom (5K Followers)
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Available on NetGalley
The Puritans. Or as we in the historical profession refer to as ‘the worst thing to come out of Early Modern Europe’. These people were so toxic, even the relatively tolerant Netherlands didn’t want them. If you are interested in hate-reading about some Puritans, I have found you a book. In case you weren’t aware, Puritans were hardcore Christian zealots who were driven out of not one, but two polities before ending up in the “New World.” They were, as you may have guessed, totally ill-prepared for life in the colonies. Number one, these people were paranoid, and I mean paranoid in that special way that all uber zealots are paranoid. They saw threats everywhere. Number two, Puritans were super freaked out by the woods. They absolutely believed that the woods were where evil dwelled. So where did they choose to settle? You guessed it—they settled in areas surrounded by forest. The aphorism “know thyself” comes to mind... Well with the mini history lesson out of the way, let’s dive into the plot. Slewfoot follows a young woman, Abitha, who is the hero we need. She does not mess with the Puritan lifestyle. She and her husband are finally seeming to get ahead, when he dies, under mysterious circumstances. In the woods. **a Puritan shivers in his grave**. On a completely unrelated note, an entity called Father or Slewfoot just woke up from a long winter’s nap. Just kidding, these events are totally related. I won’t tell you much more but if you’ve ever wondered what the Puritans would do if they actually met the devil, read this! This book certainly filled up my Puritan novel bingo card. Religious zealots, the Devil, violence against women, hysterical girls, witchcraft.... BINGO! Slewfoot certainly had all the things that make for a solid piece of early American horror. Much of this novel didn’t surprise me. But then again, Slewfoot was totally unique in some aspects. Ultimately I would characterize this plot as one long misunderstanding. Let me explain. The entity Slewfoot, to my reading actually represents a pretty fascinating historical moment—when paganism and organized religion met. The misunderstandings and mischaracterizations sparked by this meeting were ultimately awful and violent, but make for compelling historical and sociological study. This novel explores these themes through the lens of fiction. In short, it’s absolutely worth a read, especially for my nerdy and witchy friends—my nerdy witches (witchy nerds?) Thank you to Netgalley, Brom, and Nightfire for giving me an opportunity to read this novel!
Puritans fear the devil. Wait until they meet the woman who's cat they killed. Dark, gory and every thing I want in a witch story. I absolutely LOVE the idea of a woman who's been whipped again and again by Puritan society genuinely making friends with the "devil" and coming into her power. Every part of the woman inside me who's been beaten simply for being a woman was screaming for blood through this whole book.
I absolutely loved this book! I had been wary about starting it for some reason, but as soon as I picked it up, I couldn't put it down. It was historical fiction/fantasy at its finest, and I loved it. First off, Abitha was such a strong character. Her transformation over the course of the story was absolutely amazing, she held so much power. I'm not even going to pretend that I don't have entire paragraphs highlighted, they were that epic. I also loved how delightfully witchy this was. Abitha was the type of witch I long for, she cast her spells, and she made her charms. The book was slow enough that she had time to develop and grow, without being too slow. I also really loved Samson. Sure, he was the devil, but I loved how he wasn't all bad. His portrayal was super unique, and it was a spin of religion and paganism I hadn't read before. Very rarely do I run across a book I want to rave about, but this is one of them. It was amazing, and I'll definitely be rereading it. Thanks to Netgalley for providing a free copy in exchange for an honest review
This book was so unique. I've never quite read anything like it. The heroine Abitha was so strong, she was an outcast but not because she was odd. It was more that everyone else around her was so starkly religious that it made her seem so outlandish for simply showing her hair or reading a book. Every chapter was full of heartbreak and rage. The progression of the characters was really the main point of this book. The plot was just a device to get them to the end where they were resplendent rageful forest gods. I really had no idea what to think of this story, I was so curious when I picked it and I'm so very glad that I did because it was amazing. Abitha and everything she went through was heartbreaking, beautiful, and let me feel her strength. Im going to heartily recommend this one.
Seven years ago I saw the film THE WITCH and became obsessed. I wanted to live deliciously, too. When I read the synopsis and saw the cover of SLEWFOOT: A TALE OF BEWITCHERY by Brom, I knew this book was for me. I devour stories about strong witches, but SLEWFOOT was so much more! Set in Colonial, New England, this novel follows two characters: Abitha, a young woman with a mind of her own, and a reawakened ancient spirit trying to remember who he is. They become friends; Abitha goes on trial for witchcraft, and all hell breaks loose. Brom's novel is rich and dark, with a streak of impishness. I was captivated by the world in SLEWFOOT. The story is enthralling, the characters are fantastic, and the writing is superb. I didn't want this book to end! Thank you NetGalley and Tor Nightfire for a chance to read this ARC! I can't wait to buy a copy when it's released this September. I need to see Brom's paintings in context with his story! SLEWFOOT: A TALE OF BEWITCHERY is going to have a special place on my witchy book shelf!
“If it is a devil you seek, then it is a devil you shall have!” Set in Colonial New England, the story follows the journey of one woman in a society that is hell bent on destroying her and her fight until her very last breathe. Abitha is very against the puritan ways, but endures it since she was essentially sold off and wed to a gentle man named Edward. However Edward’s brother Wallace is determined to force Abitha to become his servant and steal back the land that is her husbands. After an incident Abitha finds herself newly widowed.... and suddenly she is given the freedom of owning the land and she will fight tooth and nail to keep it out of Wallace’s hands... except his greed goes beyond what she could imagine and soon his devious plans will become more dangerous until her own life is at risk. While this is all happening, a ancient spirit awakens in the woods, and the wildfolk call him Father, Slayer Protector, while the colonists call him Slewfoot, Devil, Lucifer... but he does not recall who he is and finds himself drawn to Abitha. Now Abitha and Father (or as she calls him, Samson) find themselves intertwined. Samson offers to make Abitha’s dreams come true and Abitha offers to help Samson recover his memories, and in their relationship they find true friendship and understanding between two people who are so lonely. However, in a society where a woman is so restricted, and even the slightest sense of will will cause her to be punished, Abitha will soon be faced with many challenges that maybe not even Samson can protect her from. This is a story of witchcraft, of pain, of will, and of endurance in a unforgiving world. I absolutely loved this story. I was so fully invested and my god did I enjoy it when Abitha finally gets her revenge. That ending was perfection. I absolutely loved the relationship between Abitha and Samson, their bond and friendship was just so endearing. I felt Abitha’s pain, her anger, her hatred, and the injustice she felt. She never backed down and stood her mark, regardless of what society demanded of her. She was resilient and strong, but kind and sweet. This was a story that I would absolutely recommend! *Thanks Netgalley and Macmillan-Tor/Forge for sending me an arc in exchange for an honest review*
Slewfoot by Brom is the tragic tale of Abitha a young widow trying to survive in colonial Sutton, Connecticut in 1666. In the opening of the novel Abitha still has her husband, Edward, but not long into the story Edward tragically dies leaving Abitha to try to fend for herself and their farm. Abitha comes from a long line of cunning women. Her mother was a cunning woman that showed her the healing properties of herbs and making tinctures and charms. Unfortunately, in colonial Connecticut any type of "healing arts" was frowned upon and looked at as a form of witchcraft, no matter how much it might have helped the receipitent. Abitha continues to practice her herbal remedies just very secretly and passes them off to young girls as charms. When Abitha tragically loses her husband she must rely heavily on all her cunning to save herself from his brother Wallace trying to take her and Edward's farm. Unbeknownst to Abitha she has had the magic in her blood the whole time she just had to learn to call upon it. I greatly enjoyed Slewfoot. The combination of Native American folklore mixed with colonial witch hysteria was a winning combination for a fantastic story line. Stories about witchcraft in colonial America are always heartbreaking and Slewfoot was no exception. The extent that "the righteous" tortured men, women, children and animals was pure evil, there is no other way to describe it. Those times in our early history need to be remembered forever as a lesson to all of us to make sure to examine each situation for ourselves and not jump on the opinions of others, leaders or not, as solid truth. So many individuals lost their lives during our countries early history just because of the hystieria that was whipped up by religious leaders not understanding early herbal remedies/medicine. If you enjoy a good folklore story Brom has created a magical tale with Slewfoot! Thanks to Netgalley and Macmillan-Tor/Forge for an advanced copy for an honest review.
As a HUGE fan of Brom, it doesn't surprise me that I loved this book. In typical Brom fashion, Slewfoot is dark, and the story is sometimes painful; nobody's feelings are spared (including the reader's). Brom has a way of showing you the harshness of humanity, but at the same time threading a deep connection between the reader and the characters, which is one reason I love his books so much. This particular tale was extremely timely for me, as I've been developing my witchy path over the past few years, and I've recently been studying the Horned God(s). Watching Slewfoot's self discovery and his growing relationship with Abitha (as well as her own personal growth) was just beautiful to behold, and I appreciated that this reflected the shadow and the light within ALL of us (including gods). I enjoyed the mystery of some characters, and at the same time I enjoyed hating the villains (omg they were AWFUL, as expected). I'm a chandler by trade, and I will be creating a candle inspired by Slewfoot! I truly can't wait for my pre-ordered physical copy to arrive, so I can see all of the illustrations inside, and display it in my home library on the shelf with all of my other Brom books!
Witches, puritans, devils, gore... it's all here in this dark, gothic, and beautiful book. It starts out a bit slow but It's worth sticking with it because it ends strong. The characters are riveting, especially Abitha whose transformation throughout the story was incredibly epic. Highly recommended! Thank you to NetGalley and Macmillan-Tor/Forge for the opportunity to read an ARC of this amazing book.
“Slewfoot” by Brom is a mixture of horror, historical fiction, and fantasy. It’s a unique perspective of the Puritan culture, witchcraft, and devilry that may inspire an interest in the dark arts to meet a creature such as Samson. **May not be suitable for squeamish audiences** The story of Slewfoot is original and fascinating in both idea and delivery. Brom has a natural talent for turning the most horrific and beastly of creatures into something humane enough to feel sympathy for. While Samson is no doubt a monster of nightmares—of which no fool would dare draw its eye to them—something akin to kindness lurks within the darkness of his being and sparks a war against his violent nature. His story is also intertwined with Abitha’s, a young Englishwoman only barely managing to keep her sanity in the Puritan community. She is a fierce, resilient woman who bows to no man—the complete opposite of what a Puritan woman ought to be. Caught in the snares of a community that enforces its teachings and way of life on others, Samson and Abitha must embrace the nature of who they are or perish under the rule of a controlling society. Everything about this novel was addictive. Those spine-tingling moments of horror when a particularly intense or suspenseful scene creeps up out of nowhere and makes the heart pound with adrenaline. The scenes of witchcraft and magic brought back feelings of power, resilience, and ancient healing that prove a woman scorned is a force to be reckoned with. Even the monsters and creatures that roamed within these pages were fascinating beings despite their violence and cruelty because of their unique unnaturalness that spoke volumes of their ancient intelligence. More than anything, the story of Samson and Abitha is beautiful, heartbreaking, bizarre, and mesmerizing. Though the story moves at a quick pace, time is given to watch these characters develop and evolve as the tale progresses. Their transformation is incredible, their personalities an exquisite match, creating an unforgettable tale. It is no surprise as a fan of Brom’s work to be gripped by an insatiable hunger within the first few pages to devour Abitha’s and Slewfoot’s story in one sitting. Prepare folks, this is a story that will hold you in a death grip and any attempt at breaking free will result in failure. A chilling tale of witchcraft, religion, and devilry that will captivate and thrill its audiences over to the dark side. Add it to your reading lists, share it with friends, and look for it on its expected publication date: September 21st, 2021. Thank you to Netgalley and Macmillan-Tor/Forge (Tor Nightfire) for providing me with a free e-arc of this novel and the opportunity to share my honest opinion in this review.
I wasn't exactly sure what to expect when I began reading Slewfoot. I wavered between thinking "This is kind of boring." and "What a stuffed pig! Slap him silly!" to "Okay, this is kind of an original take on things." and "If that man doesn't get his just rewards, this will not end well." Slewfoot follows the heartwrenching tale of Abitha, the man she loves, the devil who killed him, and the evil man who ruins her life. This journey from young immigrant and new-to-Puritianism wife to witch starts out slowly but ends with a bang. It's definitely worth trudging through listening to men command all those around them, scheming and conniving along the way. Thank you NetGalley and Macmillan-Tor/Forge for the opportunity to read an advance reading copy.
Abitha hadn't planned to be married to Edward, she hadn't planned to be betrothed to him either, or to travel here to the new world and all the restrictions of Puritan life, but she was doing her best to live her life all the same, She hadn't chosen Edward, she hadn't been raised to be married into Puritan life, nor was she suited to all of these rules and hardships, but she felt like she might be happy here if she could make do just a little longer. Except every time she thinks she has things figured out, that she's made just a little more room in the world for someone like herself, that she's gotten Edward to stand for them and their needs despite his meekness, everything seems to fall back into the harsher places they always do- particularly just when she needs it least and especially when the choices they make carry them out of the control of Edward's controlling and spoiled elder brother Wallace. Especially now that Edward, a good man she was just beginning to love a little bit more, is dead and she's all alone. Or is she? Someone in the dark of the cavern where Edward died there is a new voice and the whisper of something new, something that picks at her past, the mother she lost, and the hope she has to finally live her life for herself and no one else. Soon she'll find herself discovering so much about herself, the woods, the animals, the men all around her, and the religion that binds them all-if she lets it. There is a lot to enjoy about this book and I hope that you'll agree it's more than worth the time invested to let it unravel word by word, revealing more and more about it's characters, the setting, the people, fate, and destiny. This could've been a book that followed all the same paths, told the same old stories about women who choose freedom, men who bend others to their will, the nature of religion and power, and all the old myths about what it is to be human and all too imperfect., instead we have so much to understand, fresh perspective, interesting connections, self-exploration, and a very well crafted narrative that is anything but what you're expecting as it plays out. Highly recommended for fans of myth, magic, mystery, and the nature of good versus evil.