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  • Writer's pictureEmma

Book Review: The Near Witch

"The Near Witch is only an old story told to frighten children.

If the wind calls at night, you must not listen. The wind is lonely, and always looking for company.

There are no strangers in the town of Near.

These are the truths that Lexi has heard all her life. But when an actual stranger, a boy who seems to fade like smoke, appears outside her home on the moor at night, she knows that at least one of these sayings is no longer true. The next night, the children of near start disappearing from their beds, and the mysterious boy falls under suspicion.

As the hunt for the children intensifies, so does Lexi's need to know about the witch that just might be more than a bedtime story, about the wind that seems to speak through the walls at night, and about the history of this nameless boy.

Part fairy tale, part love story, V. E. Schwab's debut novel is entirely original yet achingly familiar: a song you heard long ago, a whisper carried by the wind, and a dream you won't soon forget." (Blurb taken from the book itself. All credit to the author, V. E. Schwab, and the publisher)

I've said it once, I'll say it a million times. V. E. Schwab is a master. Every book she writes is gold, in my eyes anyway. As an author, I envy her. I don't know how she does it. The Near Witch was everything it promised to be: haunting and achingly beautiful. The tone and atmosphere of the book was done so well along with the suspense and twists. The characters were so human, even the antagonists, so that even though you didn't like their choices, you understood them. The only thing I have to say against this book is that it's not part of a series. I'm not even sure what the actual genre of this book is, but I love it and it's actually the sort of thing I was planning to write next, so it's a learning experience too. All in all, The Near Witch gets a solid 5/5 stars.

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