Review: Witch by Finbar Hawkins

I received an eARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Blurb: After witnessing the brutal murder of her mother by witch-hunters, Evey vows to avenge her and track down the killers. Fury burns in her bright and strong. But she has promised her mother that she will keep Dill, her little sister, safe. As the lust for blood and retribution rises to fever pitch, will Evey keep true to the bonds of sisterhood and to the magick that is her destiny?

Title: Witch

Author: Finbar Hawkins

Publisher: Head of Zeus

Genre: Fiction, YA, Fantasy, Historical


Evey’s mother is brutally killed by a group of witch hunters, men seeking to bring evil to trial. But those they see as witches, other see as healers and wise women, pillars of the community. Evey vows to track down her mother’s killers one by one and seek revenge, while, somehow, keeping her little sister Dill safe from harm.

Set in 17th century England in the midst of witch hunts, young Evey’s life is changed forever. With her mother killed by witch hunters and her younger sister now her sole responsibility, she’s faced with a need to exact revenge on the men who took her mother away. The world building was particularly well done in this book, despite there not being much intense description, I felt as though I was riding alongside Evey on her quest for revenge. Hawkins picks his words well, nothing is redundant and succeeds in painting a vivid mental image for the reader. I couldn’t help but root for Evey in her mission, even when it changed from exacting revenge to rebuilding her relationship with Dill. Without spoiling anything, I enjoyed the twist that comes near to the end of the story when we realise how the witch hunters are able to track down the women they put on trial. This definitely made the story (at a point where things were wrapping up) more interesting and gave it another dimension. The pacing moves fairly quickly which I appreciated as Evey’s always moving forward, learning new information or progressing. This means that it’s a great book if you’re looking to dedicate an afternoon to reading as you’ll get through most of it.

As for what I disliked, it was mainly the writing style. While I’ve said, and maintain, that the world building was brilliantly done, I found that the Old English style was confusing at times. It took me a while to get used to it and I felt it left little opportunity for rich descriptions that I would have loved to see. However, it did lend an authenticity to the setting of the story and was the main thing that drew me in. I’d also note that while I understand the importance of Anne’s character, I couldn’t help feel that it was rather convenient for Evey to stumble across the one person who knew her mother and would help her without prejudice. This might not be anything of note to other readers but if a story is about a revenge mission I like the character to really go through some struggles. Maybe I’m just mean 😂

Overall, I’d recommend this book to anyone who enjoys historical depictions of witch trials and doesn’t mind a more authentic writing style.

Rating: 3/5

Recommend?: Yes

Have you read this book? Or maybe you’ve read something similar? What did you think? I’d love to know!

You can always find me over on Twitter if you’d like to discuss this book (or any others that I’ve featured) in more detail 😌

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