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Now She is Witch: ‘Myth-making at its best‘ Val McDermid

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Now She is Witch opens with a the stark image of our protagonist Lux burying the remains of her mother in a poison garden. I was looking forward to sinking into her newest novel, but I found myself distanced from it throughout. The book also has good dynamics; there are no boring pages; even though the author focused more on the development of the main character, which is one of the reasons why this book is so good.

Again, this is hard to explain, and all I can really do is tell you to read it to find out, but there’s something magical about it, combined with the occasionally experimental nature of it (there are entire sections which are someone telling their part of the story, for example), which adds to the folktale feeling. The plot in general is quite mysterious, strung together in a way that means you can’t quite tell what is truth and what is metaphor. As they travel we get to know Lux’s past and we meet many different and colourful characters who to me felt almost like; ghosts.From the snowy winter woods to the bright midnight sun; from the horrors of plague to the relief of healing; from lost and powerless to finding your path, Now She is Witch questions the oppositions that shadow our lives.

On every level, from the poetry of the prose to Lux’s courage and sheer canny-ness, it’s absolutely essential reading.There’s also a folkloric nature to the whole thing, particularly the recurring motif of the players.

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