Cover image for The age of witches : a novel
Title:
The age of witches : a novel
ISBN:
9780316419512
Edition:
1st ed.
Physical Description:
437 pages ; 25 cm.
Summary:
Harriet Bishop, descended from a long line of witches, uses magic to help women in need -- not only ordinary women, but also those with powers of their own. She must intervene when a distant cousin wields dangerous magic to change the lives of two unsuspecting young people... one of whom might just be a witch herself. Frances Allington has used her wiles and witchcraft to claw her way out of poverty and into a spectacular marriage with one of New York's wealthiest new tycoons. She is determined to secure the Allingtons' position amongst the city's elite Four Hundred families by any means necessary -- including a scheme to make a glorious aristocratic match for her headstrong and reluctant step-daughter, Annis, using the same strange power with which she ensnared Annis's father. To save Annis from this dark magic, Harriet reveals to her Frances' misuse of their shared birthright and kindles in Annis her own nascent powers. Together, Harriet and Annis must resist her stepmother's agenda, lest she -- and the dashing young lord she suspects she could come to love -- lose their freedom, and possibly their lives. Previous books by Louisa Morgan: A Secret History of WitchesThe Witch's Kind. --
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Summary

Summary

In Gilded Age New York, a centuries-long clash between two magical families ignites when a young witch must choose between love and loyalty, power and ambition, in this magical novel by Louisa Morgan.
In 1692, Bridget Bishop was hanged as a witch. Two hundred years later, her legacy lives on in the scions of two very different lines: one dedicated to using their powers to heal and help women in need; the other, determined to grasp power for themselves by whatever means necessary.
This clash will play out in the fate of Annis, a young woman in Gilded Age New York who finds herself a pawn in the family struggle for supremacy. She'll need to claim her own power to save herself-and resist succumbing to the darkness that threatens to overcome them all.
From more from Louisa Morgan, check out:
A Secret History of Witches The Witch's Kind


Author Notes

Louisa Morgan is the author of A Secret History of Witches , and a pseudonym for award-winning author Louise Marley. Louise lives in the Pacific Northwest where she and her Border Terrier, Oscar, ramble the beaches and paths of Washington State.


Reviews 4

Publisher's Weekly Review

Morgan (The Witch's Kind) sets her robust tale of matriarchal magic in a lushly depicted Gilded Age New York. Frances Allington practices the dark magic of maleficia, driven by ambition and the desire to distance herself from her impoverished upbringing. After gaining wealth through her dark arts, she aspires to elevate herself further by arranging a match between her stepdaughter, Annis, and a poor but title-holding British aristocrat. Headstrong 17-year-old Annis largely reserves her passion for her stallion, Bit, a devotion her father, as Bit's legal owner, uses to leverage Annis's cooperation in Frances's scheme. Meanwhile, Harriet Bishop, Annis's spinster "aunt" and Frances's cousin, works to intercede on Annis's behalf using her lighter strain of magic. Harriet hopes both to keep Annis safe from Frances's maleficia and to help direct Annis's own budding powers. By alternating perspectives between the characters, Morgan manages to elicit sympathy for each member of her large cast despite their conflicting desires. Even Frances is humanized beyond the typical wicked stepmother archetype. Readers will root for these powerful women as they struggle to overcome the social limitations of their time, whether through magic or force of personality. Agent: Peter Rubie, FinePrint Literary. (Apr.)


Kirkus Review

Three witches attempt to magically alter their futures at the end of the 19th century in this historical fantasy novel.The third entry in Morgan's (The Witch's Kind, 2019, etc.) thematically connected series of witch novels centers on two descendants of real-life Salem witch Bridget Byshop who wage magical war over the fate of a headstrong teenager. Living in New York City in 1890, distant cousins Harriet and Frances trace their ancestry back to Bridget's two daughters. Frances' ancestor inherited Bridget's "maleficia," a book of black magic, which would-be socialite Frances intends to use to force her stepdaughter, Annis, into a loveless union with a British marquess to secure her own place in New York society. Harriet has devoted her life and craft to helping women in need, so when she overhears Frances' plans for Anniswho is also Harriet's great-niece and one of Bridget's descendantsshe follows them to England. Women's inability to control their own destinies is clearly a theme here, but the novel's heavy-handed treatment makes this message more burdensome than enlightening. When she realizes that a forced marriage is set to shatter her dream of breeding her own line of racehorses, Annis melodramatically laments that she is "for sale, like a filly at the horse market." Morgan's failure to differentiate between voicesconversations between Annis and Frances are nearly indistinguishable from those between the marquess and his mother in both subject matter and vocabularymakes it difficult for the reader to connect with the characters' plights, even at the novel's climax, as does a jarring opening that quickly alternates between point-of-view characters and pauses several times for lengthy backstory. For all of Frances' dealings in darkness, an unnecessary attempted rape scene caused by black magic provides the story's only true moment of suspense.An underwhelming novel that often gets too heavy-handed with its theme. Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.


Booklist Review

In Morgan's third witch-centric historical novel, following The Witch's Kind (2019), nearly two hundred years after a woman was hanged as a witch, two of her descendants, who have followed very different paths, clash in Gilded Age New York. Annis, a young heiress, wants to breed thoroughbreds and is not interested in marriage. Her socially ambitious stepmother, Frances, married for money to fit in, but she needs more to raise her social status, and what would be better than taking Annis to London to snag a man with a title? Francis is ruthless in her use of witchcraft to manipulate others to fulfill her schemes. Her adversary is her cousin Harriet, whose intended was killed in the Civil War. Harriet lives in a beautiful apartment in the Dakota, from which she ventures into Central Park to forage for the herbs she uses as medicine and in her magic to help other women. When Annis and Frances set sail for London, Harriet is also on board, taking the battle between benevolent and foul magic to England. Morgan's beautifully conjured tale of three women, social mores, and the sanctity of self-determination is thoroughly enthralling.


Library Journal Review

The latest from Morgan (aka sf author Louise Marley) tells the tale of three women descended from Bridget Bishop, a witch hanged in Salem in 1692. In Gilded Age New York, Harriet Bishop, her cousin Frances Allington, and Frances's stepdaughter Annis Allington are all witches of varying ages and knowledge of the power. The central theme is the struggle between light and dark magic, called malefecia by Morgan. This malefecia, handed down the Bishop ancestral line, corrupts everyone who uses it. Frances uses it to evil ends by trying to force Annis into a marriage with an English duke, while Harriet and Annis work to destroy Frances's dark agenda. Morgan portrays witchcraft as freedom for the practitioners, with Harriet saying witch "should be a beautiful word" that's instead "been perverted." The author continues building mystery and intrigue with her impressive vocabulary, weaving a compelling tale of love and magic in historic America and England. Fans of Deborah Harkness's "All Souls Trilogy" or Ken Follett's The Pillars of the Earth will enjoy reading this. VERDICT This is a must-read for those who like magic, love, and a little bit of feel-good feminism in their historical fiction.--Kay Strahan, Univ. of Tennessee Health Sciences Lib., Memphis