Paula Brackston's writing is so beautiful it will have you spellbound all on its own. However, the story line which involves time travel, magic, and a pinch of mystery will also make you want to keep reading. This is the second book in the series and if you haven't read the first one, I certainly recommend doing so, just so you can have more information about what has been happening through the centuries with Elizabeth and Gideon. Also, it has some cool historical fiction scenes as well.
The story continues five years later when Elizabeth has been sent back from the Summerlands to find Gideon who has escaped with the assistance of an unknown person. I found it interesting that in the previous book, it was Gideon who was chasing Elizabeth, but in "The Return of the Witch" the tables have turned and it is now Elizabeth who is jumping through time trying to catch Gideon. Of course she has a very good reason for doing so that not only involves sending Gideon back where he belongs, but also making sure Tegan is safe.
I enjoyed the fact that Tegan and Elizabeth already had such a strong bond from when Elizabeth was teaching Tegan the ways of a hedge witch, so when she suddenly appears after five years, it was as if she never left. Tegan is much more mature even though she is still inquisitive, and it a nice touch to add in her stories about what she was experiencing while Elizabeth was away. A couple of those stories did seem a little drawn out but it doesn't affect the whole of the book because we see how her travels and the lessons she learned construct her to be the witch she has grown into.
Time-Stepping was such a creative way to incorporate the past into this book. I was wondering how it was going to be done in this follow-up. Although I would have liked for them to have traveled to different places, the reasons why they went where they did was explained pretty well.
I greatly recommend this book to anyone who likes stories about witches, or historical fiction readers.
Paula Brackston's debut novel, The Witch's Daughter, was the little book that could--with a captivating story, remarkable heroine, and eye-catching package, it has now netted over 200,000 copies in all formats. Now Paula returns with its sequel The Return of the Witch, another bewitching tale of love and magic, featuring her signature blend of gorgeous writing, a fabulous and intriguing historical backdrop, and a headstrong and relatable heroine readers will cheer for.
After five years in the Summerlands, Gideon has gained his freedom. Elizabeth knows he will go straight for Tegan, and that she must protect the girl she had come to regard as her own daughter. In the time since she the dramatic night in Batchcombe woods, Tegan has traveled the world learning from all manner of witches, and she is no longer the awkward teenager and novice spellcaster she once was. However, her skills are no match for Gideon's dark, vengeful power, and he succeeds in capturing her. Will Elizabeth be able to find her? Will they be able to defeat their nemesis once and for all?
In a breathless journey that takes them through history to the 17th and 19th centuries, witch pursues warlock. Three people steeped in magic weave a new story, but not all will survive until the end.