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The Year of the Witching

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A thrillingly brisk and bracing tale of magic and power, I loved this book. It takes the best tropes of horror and witchcraft and gives them a refreshingly feminist twist." – S.A. Chakraborty, national bestselling author of The Daevabad Trilogy To that I would say this book gave me the validation to practice my own wheel and celebrate my own seasons. Though the author does include UPG’s, I found them relatable even if we don’t align personally. I think, we as a community need to recognise the validity of Personal Gnosis and opinions for individuals and encourage critical thinking and personal self awareness rather than blind following and accepting things at face value.

In a year of impressive debut novels from horror authors, Alexis Henderson’s The Year of the Witching rises to the top in more ways than one. The breathtaking, and often terrifying, novel is one that deserves to be savored, though the urge to devour it in one sitting is strong once you’ve begun reading. I honestly don't really know where to start. Or what to think. Or where to start. Or what to think.It’s been a minute since Stephen King put out a short story anthology. But in 2024 a new one containing some original works is getting published just in time for summer. Even the book title “ You Like It Darker,”suggests the author is giving readers something more.

The whole first chapter talks about the importance of intuition and why you don't need to learn the craft. Remind me why I need this book again if I can figure everything out on my own? Intuition is free, and so is the internet where I could get all of the information found in this book and more. She says she regrets trying to do things "the right way" when she first started out, but learning is the first step to being able to make your practice your own. You can't break the rules if you don't first know them. Special thanks to NetGalley and Berkley Publishing/Ace for sharing this intriguing ARC in exchange my honest review. The Year of the Witchingis a dark wood ready to swallow you whole with its tense stakes and beguiling prose. Henderson takes witchcraft to its very depths, unraveling the horrific nightmares of bone-deep ideology and devastating oppression.”— Dhonielle Clayton, New York Timesbestselling author of The Belles series

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Like many, I was really excited to read this book. I am an avid listener of Occultism With A Side of Salt, a podcast which Alden cohosts, and as soon as she mentioned it I knew I had to read this. I agree with some of the other reviewers. There really was a lot of hype built up around this book which led to me being very excited for it and already planning to add it to my book collection. Ultimately I was relieved that I borrowed it from the library before purchasing. Cultural exchange is at the heart of culture. But at the same time, we have to admit that white people's ancestors have done a "great" job at discouraging this heart of culture, and that we need to rebuild these bridges. What does that mean in practical terms? Research, ask, give credit where it's due. And respect it if the answer is "no".

The “Year of the Witch,” as Alexander branded it, was not without its detractors. One Nashville local reasoned that the strange happenings reported in Adams were a result of people’s fear, not the ghost. That same month, a grandchild of John Bell’s daughter Betsy, wrote to the Tennessean to ask on behalf of his relatives that the paper cease publication of “the rubbish that you are publishing.” And Leah was right: It was a good day. It would have been nearly a perfect day, if not for the fact that it was one of the last of its kind, one of the last Sabbaths they would have together.This book often seems like the first step of research has not been done thoroughly enough, and that is a shame. I mean, he spends a significant amount of the story mansplaining oppression to Immanuelle despite the fact that he’s the second-most elite white man in this racist and sexist society and she’s a biracial woman. She relies on him so much – Ezra gets her the books she needs, Ezra gets her the warrant and wagon she needs, etc. And even more than that she spends a large part of this feminist tale of coming to terms with society’s unfairness and malecentriticy thinking about Ezra and how she feels about him. That doesn’t seem quite right to me.

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