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.
And 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. Still, he insists on helping Lexi search for them. Something tells her she can trust him.
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.
***I was sent a copy of this book for review. Everything in this review is my own honest opinions.***
I just want to start off by saying that V. E. Schwab is one of my favourite authors and I have read most of her books and I have fallen in love with nearly all of them. When I got the opportunity to read The Near Witch, I jumped at the chance because I wanted to read her first book to see where is all began. The Near Witch has been out of print for some time and has been really difficult to get hold of a copy, but now it’s being republished and it gives everyone the chance to read this long lost story.
The Near Witch is just under three hundred pages so its not a long of difficult read, I found myself reading this in just a couple of sittings. Once I got into the story I thought the story moved along really nicely and before I knew it I was nearly at the end. The start of the book is a little slow but I didn’t mind that because it gave me chance to get to the know the characters and the world before it all got kicked up a notch towards the middle portion of the book. V. E. Schwab knows how to tell and story and how to tell it well and even in a book this size she manages to create such a breathtaking read that is hard to put down.
As usual the writing was superb! It’s really hard to think that this book is V. E. Schwab’s first ever book because the writing is amazing. Normally you are able to tell if a book is an authors debut but for me this reads like any other of her books. V. E. Schwab has a way of creating such interesting and intriguing characters that it’s hard not to become invested in them. But for me the one thing that V. E. Schwab excels at is world building. Even though this book is less than three hundred pages I thought the world was rich in detail and wonderfully magical.
One part of the book I wasn’t too keen on was the love story between two characters. I won’t say who because I don’t like to post spoilers. But I thought it was a big case of insta-love and it didn’t really win me over. I know this is a short book and there isn’t a lot of time to develop a true love story but I just thought that it all happened really quickly and wasn’t really needed.
The Near Witch is a must read for any V. E. Schwab fans because it’s the perfect way to see how a favourite author started off. But I also think that if you are looking for a book to start you on your V. E. Schwab journey then The Near Witch is the perfect book because it will show you a little glimpse of what you have to look forward to in her other most recent books, as well as giving you an entertaining read at the same time.
I rate this book 4/5 stars