Happy Wednesday y’all! Man, this week is running by so much faster than I expected- which means it’s almost Labor Day! Woop woop long weekend!!! That also means that I need to get through the like 6-8 books that I’m running behind on, but we’ll focus on those later- today, we’re going to focus on The Witch Haven, because today’s my stop on the tour with Turn the Page Tours! Thank you so much to them for having me as a part of their tour and thank you so much to Simon Teen for sponsoring this tour! This book came out yesterday, August 31, so make sure y’all go out and grab it after you’ve read my review, but first! If you’re in the US, Turn the Page Tours has a special giveaway where you can win one of two finished, hardback copies of The Witch Haven, so make sure you go enter that now! That giveaway is open until September 6th.
The Witch Haven 5/5 Stars
Summary from Goodreads:
The Last Magician meets The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy in this thrilling and atmospheric historical fantasy following a young woman who discovers she has magical powers and is thrust into a battle between witches and wizards.
In 1911 New York City, seventeen-year-old Frances Hallowell spends her days as a seamstress, mourning the mysterious death of her brother months prior. Everything changes when she’s attacked and a man ends up dead at her feet—her scissors in his neck, and she can’t explain how they got there.
Before she can be condemned as a murderess, two cape-wearing nurses arrive to inform her she is deathly ill and ordered to report to Haxahaven Sanitarium. But Frances finds Haxahaven isn’t a sanitarium at all: it’s a school for witches. Within Haxahaven’s glittering walls, Frances finds the sisterhood she craves, but the headmistress warns Frances that magic is dangerous. Frances has no interest in the small, safe magic of her school, and is instead enchanted by Finn, a boy with magic himself who appears in her dreams and tells her he can teach her all she’s been craving to learn, lessons that may bring her closer to discovering what truly happened to her brother.
Frances’s newfound power attracts the attention of the leader of an ancient order who yearns for magical control of Manhattan. And who will stop at nothing to have Frances by his side. Frances must ultimately choose what matters more, justice for her murdered brother and her growing feelings for Finn, or the safety of her city and fellow witches. What price would she pay for power, and what if the truth is more terrible than she ever imagined?
OMG y’all, this was such an amazing book! Like I expected to like The Witch Haven, but I definitely did not expect to like it nearly as much as I did! Frances was such a fun main character and I loved Lena and Maxine. There was a little bit of a love triangle, but it wasn’t the defining aspect of the book- so much more of the book was about Frances trying to come to terms with her power and learn more about it and figure out who killed her brother. There were so many twists and turns and while I guessed some of them, all of them were done so well. I also really love how the ending left it where there could definitely be more books if the author decided to write them. And let’s talk about the villain y’all- the villain was so evil but also so good at hiding the evil because they didn’t think they were evil. They thought that what they were doing was right, and isn’t that the worst kind of evil out there? Pacing wise, I felt as though this book was really great- I wasn’t ever bored or left feeling like things were being dragged out. I also loved the setting- New York City in the early 1900s is magical in itself, so adding actual magic to that was amazing! As you can tell, I really loved this book and there’s so much more I want to talk about, but all of those things are plot things and if I talk about them, you’ll be spoiled and I definitely don’t want that! So go out and grab The Witch Haven as soon as possible (and then come back after you’ve read it so we can talk all about all of the things- like where the Haxahaven cats were- Maxine mentions them when Frances shows up but then the cats are like never in the book!) Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Book Depository | Indiebound
Here are some of my favorite quotes from the book (and I’m going to try and pare it down some because I definitely marked out 13 quotes in the book, but y’all don’t need 13 quotes right now)
“My mother once told me a girl’s success in this world was dependent on how well she could pretend. Right now, I am pretending I don’t want to scream.”
“A grisly murder is easy entertainment for bored fishmongers’ wives.”
“Girls borns into tenements on the Lower East Side don’t have the privilege of being dreamers.”
“At dinner Lena laughs a little at one of my jokes. Maxines shares a piece of cherry pie with me. I smile, and for the first time in four months, it doesn’t feel like I’m pretending.”
“‘Women are supposed to be competent at everything but experts at nothing. Haven’t you heard?'”
“There’s something invasive and intimate about the idea that he’s been witnessing my dreams for years, even more so that he followed me once he made it to New York. But instead of squirmy discomfort, there is the fizzy warmth that comes with being special to someone.”
“The world is broken in so many ways. What good is having magic if we can fix none of them? What good am I if I’m so self-absorbed if I don’t even notice?”
“I’ve just walked into a lion’s den with no way out.”
“She shakes her head sadly. ‘How do you kill an entire people? You take away their children; you take away their language and their stories and their culture.'”
“The women in this room exist only in thier relationship to men: mothers, daughters, wives. But the men are simply men, and their power is never stronger than when they give themselves a fancy room, a podium, and a seemingly endless supply of cash.”
Sasha Peyton Smith grew up in the mountains of Utah surrounded by siblings, books, and one very old cat. She attended the University of Utah and the George Washington University where she studied biology and public health. She is not a witch, though she does own a lot of crystals and always knows what phase the moon is in. She currently lives in Washington D.C. with her partner and collection of porcelain hands. She is the author of THE WITCH HAVEN, coming fall 2021 with Simon and Schuster. Website | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads