Review: The Midnight Witch by Paula Brackston

In Edwardian London, change is on the horizon. War is eminent and the days of the strict Victorian caste system and societal expectations are on their way out….the modern era is upon the world.

For Lilith Montgomery, this new world is not yet a reality. She is the daughter of a duke and engaged to marry Viscount Louis Harcourt, her long time childhood friend and social equal.

Her father has just passed away which means society demands she be in full mourning for a year.

Lilith struggles to adjust to her new life without her father but there is one thing that makes this new life particularly difficult for her…..she is to be the new Head Witch of the London based Lazarus Coven, a coven of necromancers.

Lilith was born a witch. Her father was Head Witch before her and now the position passes to her. Though she was raised for this new responsibility, she is young and anxious that she should fulfill the expectations of the Coven. Her finance is also a witch very high in the Coven ranking.

Together they form a power couple that will usher the Coven into a new century. But at Lilith’s inauguration, a ceremony that should be nothing more than a formality, the unthinkable happens: an anonymous witch challenges Lilith’s claim!

Lilith is shocked at the challenger, but she knows the procedure and spell to prove her claim and she is confident she will succeed. She must summons a demon from and send it back to the Dark Lands unassisted by any of the other members.

Though she succeeds in this challenge, she is deeply troubled by the challenger. She has also been visited by a dark spirit that she has not summonsed, a fact that is equally disturbing in the witch world.

There is a very real threat to the Lazarus Coven and with Lilith a new and inexperienced Head Witch, an ancient rivalry hopes that this is their chance to steal a valuable asset to the Coven.

Meanwhile, in Lilith’s personal non witch life, she is struggling with her engagement to Louis. He is the man her family has chosen for her and in many ways he is an ideal match, but there is one problem….she doesn’t love him.

But then again maybe she does, she’s never been “in love” before so she doesn’t really know what to feel. Her debutante friend, Charlotte, asks is Lilith will accompany her to an artist’s studio as a chaperon. There she meets the handsome and poor artist Bram Cardale.

Bram is immediately taken with Lilith. He is enchanted by her beauty as well as her obvious strength which radiates from her spirit. But their love is impossible.

They are from two different social castes and Lilith must guard her true identity. But how can she keep the fact that she’s a witch from the man that she loves? And why can’t their relationship work? It is after all a new world.

But when Lilith’s dangerous witch life and love life collide, she might not have to choose between the two….the choice might be made for her.

This book was a fun read. I recently read Paula Brackston’s novel The Winter Witch which I absolutely loved so I was eager to read more works by her.

This novel lacked a little of the romance that The Winter Witch had for me. I liked the idea of lovers from different social circles and I hoped that it would have been a stronger, electric romance.

For me it took a little too long for Bram and Lilith to come together and I wasn’t entirely convinced about their romance. It seemed like they met, hung out a few times, kissed once and then boom they were deeply in love. I would have liked to see a little more sexual tension and had it not so drawn out.

Though to romance was a little lacking for me, it didn’t lessen my desire to keep reading. I was intrigued by the plot surrounding the Coven and the Sentinels.

I wanted to know more about the Sentinels and their powers and motives while at the same time I wanted to know more about the Lazarus witches and their coven. I thought there was a lot to love and hold a readers interest in that plot line.

Lilith’s character had great potential. She was likable and I think most readers would enjoy her. I don’t know that she had a great amount of depth, but I did enjoy reading her and could relate to her struggle between love and duty.

She was a little bit cliche as was the romance, but I didn’t dislike it or her character by any means. I would have liked a little more of a fully constructed and slightly flawed heroine, for me she was too perfect.

Bram I felt needed more development. I would have liked to see him come alive. I didn’t really get a sense for who he was, I wanted more richness in his overall character.

That said, I didn’t dislike to novel. I actually enjoyed it very much. It was whimsical and fun to read! It was lighthearted and would probably make a great beach read. The Coven plot held my interest and I thought the story as a whole was well presented.

If you liked Brackston’s previous novels, readers will find many of the same things to love in this book–mystery, love, and a whole lot of witchcraft!

Challenge/Book Summary:

Book: The Midnight Witch by Paula Brackston

  • Hardcover, 352 pages
    Expected publication: March 25th 2014 by Thomas Dunne Books
  • ISBN 1250006082 (ISBN13: 9781250006080)
  • Review copy provided by: Author/Publisher in exchange for an honest review

This book counts toward: NA

  • Hosted by: NA
  • Books for Challenge Completed: NA

Recommendation: 3 out of 5

Genre: Romance, Historic fiction, para romance, witch lit

Memorable lines/quotes:

No one, however handsome, however clever is to be trusted entirely.

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1 Comment

  1. I’ve been meaning to read Paula’s other two books, but haven’t gotten around to them quite yet — I’m really looking forward to this one :) Curious if it will be a 3-star read for me too or if I like it a bit better, I still have high hopes!

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