Today on the blog Renny de Groot reviews His Last Witchhunt by Deborah C Foulkes, set in the midst of the English Civil War.
And there's a giveaway!
The author has kindly offered a signed paperback copy as a prize. To be in with the chance of winning, simply leave a comment below or on our Facebook page. Good luck!
It is 1646 and England is in the middle of a civil war, but Matthew Hopkins is fighting another war. One against witches, but where he once was seen as a saviour, now the tide is turning against him. Dying, Matthew has no other choice to place his reputation into the hands of one girl, whose witch trial could make or break him forever.
Jared Wilson has been sent across East Anglia to find Matthew Hopkins and destroy his reputation. Too many have died at Hopkins’ hands and now it’s time for it to stop. Tracking him to a small village, a young woman has already been arrested for witchcraft and Jared makes a deal with her to help destroy Hopkins in exchange for saving her soul.
Sinead Crowley is an outsider in Hopton Village. Hated and feared, by many, but when her only friend dies unexpectedly, she finds herself accused of witchcraft and face to face with the Witchfinder General. But Jared wants to destroy Hopkins and with the promise of a clean soul, she now must decide on whose side she will stand on for her freedom.
With this synopsis Deborah Foulkes introduces us to the key characters in the historic drama of His Last Witch Hunt. I found the characters intriguing and my heart went out to the young girl, Sinead in her struggles to find love and acceptance in her small village. Ultimately those common human desires are dwarfed by the even greater fight for her very life. Accused of witchcraft, she finds herself a pawn between two powerful men and must draw on all her resources to navigate her way.
I found the complex story line interesting as Foulkes keeps the reader guessing until the very end about the possible outcome. The male characters have been imagined well, embroiled in the politics and power struggles of the times. As her end notes explain, Matthew Hopkins was a true character that Foulkes has woven into a story that will keep you turning the pages.
At times Foulkes created real magic, with images that gave life to the characters and setting, such as this one:
“The cold river chilled her bare legs as she waited for breakfast to make an appearance.”
With this introduction to Sinead, I immediately could see the young girl, fishing for her breakfast. My sense of her unique‘one-ness’ with nature came across cleanly and set the stage for the trials to come.
I feel that the book would be enhanced by a further editorial polish. There were times where I was pulled out of the story by certain weaknesses that would be resolved by a strong editor; however, I still enjoyed the read and learned something about a period in history with which I am less familiar.
Thanks to the author for providing me with a complimentary ebook.
About the Author: Deborah C Foulkes
About the reviewer:
Renny deGroot is a first generation Canadian of Dutch parents. Her debut novel, Family Business, was shortlisted for the Kobo Emerging Writer Prize, 2015. Her second novel, After Paris, has also been well received, with the current interest in all things WW1. She is working on a new Historical Fiction called Asunder which is expected out for Christmas 2018. Renny has a BA in English Literature from Trent University, Canada.
Renny lives in rural Ontario with her elderly Chocolate lab, Great Pyrenees and young Golden Retriever.