Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.
That’s right, Halloween (aka the best holiday ever) is right around the corner and we get a freebie!
Of course I’m going to pick witches. Although I could have just as easily picked werewolves or vampires, since those are also kinda spooky. But right now as I’m writing this (I like to schedule my posts) I’m reading The Once and Future Witches and I have witches on the brain.
So here are some books about witches (or other magical ladies that are kinda witchy) that I’ve been thinking about or looking forward to. The blurbs are from Goodreads, the bold writing is me 🙂
The Midnight Bargain by CL Polk
Beatrice Clayborn is a sorceress who practices magic in secret, terrified of the day she will be locked into a marital collar that will cut off her powers to protect her unborn children. She dreams of becoming a full-fledged Magus and pursuing magic as her calling as men do, but her family has staked everything to equip her for Bargaining Season. The Clayborns are in severe debt, and only she can save them, by securing an advantageous match before their creditors come calling. I LOVED THIS BOOK! I just love CL Polk anyways. Her writing is just *chef’s kiss*
The Once and Future Witches by Alix E Harrow
In 1893, there’s no such thing as witches. There used to be, in the wild, dark days before the burnings began, but now witching is nothing but tidy charms and nursery rhymes. But when the Eastwood sisters–James Juniper, Agnes Amaranth, and Beatrice Belladonna–join the suffragists of New Salem, they begin to pursue the forgotten words and ways that might turn the women’s movement into the witch’s movement. Currently reading and…it’s filled with overwritten lyrical prose. The jury is out but I’m pushing through where I would normally DNF because I’m still intrigued?
The Factory Witches of Lowell by CS Malerich
Faced with abominable working conditions, unsympathetic owners, and hard-hearted managers, the mill girls of Lowell have had enough. They’re going on strike, and they have a secret weapon on their side: a little witchcraft to ensure that no one leaves the picket line. This has a 3.0 rating on Goodreads from 14 users, and I’m kinda curious by that? Apparently there’s something where it dehumanizes people in the way it relates genius to slavery according to one reviewer, and the others just said it was short (it’s a novella) and unfleshed out (it’s a novella). Gonna check the ARC out and get back with you all.
We Ride Upon Sticks by Quan Berry
In this tour de female force, the 1989 Danvers Falcons are on an unaccountable winning streak. In chapters dense with ’80s iconography–from Heathers to Big Hair–Quan Barry expertly weaves together the individual and collective journeys of this enchanted team as they storm their way to the state championship. Helmed by good-girl captain Abby Putnam (a descendant of the infamous Salem accuser Ann Putnam) and her co-captain Jen Fiorenza, whose bleached blond “Claw” sees and knows all, the DHS Falcons prove to be as wily and original as their North of Boston ancestors, flaunting society’s stale notions of femininity in order to find their glorious true selves through the crucible of team sport. Yes, that was all one sentence, and yes, I did DNF this book at 7%. The premise was intriguing as fuck but first person plural POV is generally a no-go for me and especially not when it’s filled with circumlocution.
Dead Witch Walking by Kim Harrison
All the creatures of the night gather in “the Hollows” of Cincinnati, to hide, to prowl, to party… and to feed. Vampires rule the darkness in a predator-eat-predator world rife with dangers beyond imagining – and it’s Rachel Morgan’s job to keep that world civilized. A bounty hunter and witch with serious sex appeal and an attitude, she’ll bring ’em back alive, dead… or undead. Oh, to the world of early 2000s urban fantasy! I loved this series (although I stopped reading around book 7), and one of my goals for 2021 is to reread The Hollows series. Or at least the first two books, just to see if I want to continue. There’s so much nostalgia wrapped up in this one.
Witches Steeped in Gold by Ciannon Smart
Iraya has spent her life in a cell, but every day brings her closer to freedom—and vengeance. Jazmyne is the queen’s daughter, but unlike her sister before her, she has no intention of dying to strengthen her mother’s power. Sworn enemies, these two witches enter a precarious alliance to take down a mutual threat. But revenge is a bloody pursuit, and nothing is certain—except the lengths they will go to win this game. Jamaican. Inspired. Fantasy. *squeal* My lone YA pick on the list, but I am really excited about this one! The premise feels a little Three Dark Crowns to me (bleh), but fingers crossed we get some blood and little romance!
Circe by Madeline Miller
In the house of Helios, god of the sun and mightiest of the Titans, a daughter is born. But Circe is a strange child—not powerful, like her father, nor viciously alluring like her mother. Turning to the world of mortals for companionship, she discovers that she does possess power—the power of witchcraft, which can transform rivals into monsters and menace the gods themselves. Threatened, Zeus banishes her to a deserted island, where she hones her occult craft. I’ve never read a Madeline Miller book, nor am I particularly enthralled by Greek mythology (that phase left me in fifth grade), and let’s be real: the thought of ~lyrical prose~ makes me want to run in the other direction. BUT. Everyone—and I mean everyone—has raved about this book. So I guess I’ll give it a try. Eventually.
Deadline by Stephanie Ahn
Disgraced witch Harrietta Lee has made a lot of mistakes in her life; there’s a reason she’s got a sizable burn scar slapped across the side of her neck and a formal letter of excommunication from the international underground magical community. But who has time to dwell on the past when you’re trying to make rent in New York? I am intrigued, both by THAT cover, the intriguing premise, the promise of hints of BDSM and butch witches.
Unnatural Magic by CM Waggoner
Onna can write the parameters of a spell faster than any of the young men in her village school. But despite her incredible abilities, she’s denied a place at the nation’s premier arcane academy. Tsira is a troll who never quite fit into her clan, despite being the leader’s daughter. She decides to strike out on her own and look for work in a human city, but on her way she stumbles upon the body of a half-dead human soldier in the snow. Soon, unbeknownst to each other, Onna and Tsira both begin devoting their considerable talents to finding out who is targeting trolls, before their homeland is torn apart. I generally don’t read books about trolls (my luck with them—in fiction—has been…awful), but the premise looks fantastic and a number of my Goodreads friends really loved it. And I was weak in B&N and bought a copy a couple months ago.
The Chosen and the Beautiful by Nghi Vo
Jordan Baker grows up in the most rarefied circles of 1920s American society―she has money, education, a killer golf handicap, and invitations to some of the most exclusive parties of the Jazz Age. She’s also queer, Asian, adopted, and treated as an exotic attraction by her peers, while the most important doors remain closed to her. But the world is full of wonders: infernal pacts and dazzling illusions, lost ghosts and elemental mysteries. In all paper is fire, and Jordan can burn the cut paper heart out of a man. She just has to learn how. I am SCREAMING. I loved The Empress of Salt and Fortune, and a historical fiction set in the 1920s about an Asian socialite who’s a magician? YES YES YES.
Are any of these on your TBR?