January 3, 2014

Review of The Winter Witch by Paula Brackston

Fledgling witch Morgana must defend her love, her home, and her life in this enthralling tale perfect for fans ofDiscovery of Witches

In her small Welsh town, there is no one quite like Morgana. She has never spoken, and her silence as well as the magic she can’t quite control make her a mystery. Concerned for her safety, her mother quickly arranges a marriage with Cai Bevan, the widower from the far hills who knows nothing of the rumours that swirl around her. After their wedding, Morgana is heartbroken at leaving, but she soon falls in love with Cai’s farm and the rugged mountains that surround it, while slowly Cai himself begins to win her heart. 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 expense of those closest to her. Forced to defend her home, her love, and herself from all comers, Morgana must learn to harness her power, or she will lose everything.

Paula Brackston’s debut novel, The Witch’s Daughter, was the little book that could—with a captivating story, remarkable heroine, and eye-catching package, it has now netted over 40,000 copies in all formats. Now Paula returns with The Winter Witch, another enchanting tale of love and magic, featuring her signature blend of gorgeous writing, a fabulous and intriguing historical backdrop, and a headstrong and relatable heroine readers will cheer for.

add to goodreads
The Winter Witch by Paula Brackston
Publication Date:  December 24, 2013
Publisher:   St. Martin’s Griffin

Available for Purchase:

[youtube_sc url=”″ color=”white” autohide=”1″]

** This title was provided to us by the Publisher for an honest review.
We were in no way paid for our opinions *


After reading author Paula Brackston’s The Witch’s Daughter (which was really flipping awesome) I had very high hopes for The Winter Witch and as an end result I was very pleased with it. It was an exciting, refreshing novel that included paranormal aspects that were woven into historical fiction. It was an imaginative read that kept me hooked.

In The Winter Witch we are given both a new main character and a new setting: Morgana, a strange mute-girl who lives in a small Welsh town. When Morgana’s mother’s worries get the better of her she marries Morgana off to widower Cai Jenkins. What Cai doesn’t know is that his new bride is unique in her own away, apart from her mysterious silence, she holds immense power and magic inside of her. After their wedding Morgana is quickly taken to a new home and a new life with Cai. Cai does not want to rush Morgana into anything, trying to be respectful of her and cherish the memory of the first wife he lost.

The last thing Morgana wants is to be involved with her new husband however the farm and wilderness surrounding her new home quickly enchants her. Slowly, Cai begins to try to win Morgana’s heart and prove to her that a life with him won’t be all that bad. Just when things seem to be going good for the both of them the townsfolk begin to notice how out-of-place Morgana is. When somebody more powerful than Morgana can imagine chooses to target her she learns that she must control the power inside of her to keep the people closest to her safe and to defeat this new threat.

Unlike The Witch’s Daughter which told a story that alternated between the past and the present, The Winter Witch is a story that takes place solely in the past. I personally preferred this, however as a reader who has difficulty with getting into historical fiction I was a bit hesitant. As the story continued I quickly noticed that I had nothing to be worried about and that like The Witch’s Daughter this would be a story that would be written in a way that wouldn’t confuse me.

In The Winter Witch my only real complain was with the pacing. There was a lot of times where I would be reading an exciting scene that would be overtaken by descriptions or an exciting scene would pass and be followed by a series of low-points that left my mind wandering away from the story and onto other things. This wasn’t the case in The Witch’s Daughter which left me very surprised while reading The Winter Witch.

A lot of readers who are big fans of realisticly written historical fantasy are going to like The Winter Witch. Multiple times while reading I would actually believe that I was in the time that the story was written in as weird as that sounds just because of how Brackston writes it. Especially in the dialogue where I found the realism to be most potent. Not only do the characters sound like they’re from that time but they also use a lot of Welsh words that made me have to go straight to google-translate so I’d know what I was reading.

Fans of The Witch’s Daughter will enjoy the main cahracters Cai and Morgana. I personally liked watching their romance grow from an arranged-marriage with no involved to slowly become something else entirely. Cai is a brave man who will do anything for his wife despite the barrier between them involving Morgana’s being a mute. When I first got reading I was deterred by the idea of my main character not having any dialogue at all but trust me—Morgana is a memorable character who doesn’t need to speak.

I would recommend The Winter Witch to fans of historical fiction, readers who are interested in a novel that weaves fact and fiction together are going to love The Winter Witch. Fans of The Witch’s Daughter should give this read a shot.




Paula Brackston is the New York Times bestselling author of The Witch’s Daughter, The Winter Witch,and The Midnight Witch(2014). 

Paula has an MA in Creative Writing from Lancaster University, and is a Visiting Lecturer for the University of Wales, Newport. 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.

Paula lives in Wales with her partner and their two children.


Connect with the Author:  Website | Facebook | Goodreads



  1. Kris

    This sounds like a great story. I love historical fantasies. I’ll add this to my TBR list. Great review!

  2. It’s totally worth checking out if you’re into historical fantasy, I’m usually not but this series has pulled me in. Thanks for stopping by :)

    – Gabby :)

  3. Ann

    o0o0oooo Historical fantasies… This sounds like a great book. Thanks for the review

  4. It’s awesome, totally worth checking out. Thanks for stopping by :)

    – Gabby :)

  5. Megan

    When I read the blurb, I was worried about having a mute main character, so I’m relieved that you thought it definitely worked.

  6. It definitely worked and made the novel all the more unique too.

    -Gabby :)

  7. Is this like the female version of Harry Potter?

  8. I’ve been seeing people say that it is, but in my opinion what with the time the novel’s set in, the setting and how the main character is– I personally would have to answer no.

    – Gabby :)

Leave a comment

Your comments make us smile!