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A deeper magic. A stronger curse. A family lost...and found. Persephone May has been alone her entire life. Abandoned as an infant and dragged through the foster care system, she wants nothing more than to belong somewhere. To someone. However, Persephone is as strange as she is lonely. Unexplainable things happen when she’s around—changes in weather, inanimate objects tak A deeper magic. A stronger curse. A family lost...and found. Persephone May has been alone her entire life. Abandoned as an infant and dragged through the foster care system, she wants nothing more than to belong somewhere. To someone. However, Persephone is as strange as she is lonely. Unexplainable things happen when she’s around—changes in weather, inanimate objects taking flight—and those who seek to bring her into their family quickly cast her out. To cope, she never gets attached, never makes friends. And she certainly never dates. Working odd jobs and always keeping her suitcases half-packed, Persephone is used to moving around, leaving one town for another when curiosity over her eccentric behavior inevitably draws unwanted attention. After an accidental and very public display of power, Persephone knows it’s time to move on once again. It’s lucky, then, when she receives an email from the one friend she’s managed to keep, inviting her to the elusive Wile Isle. The timing couldn’t be more perfect. However, upon arrival, Persephone quickly discovers that Wile is no ordinary island. In fact, it just might hold the very things she’s been searching for her entire life. Answers. Family. Home. And some things she did not want. Like 100-year-old curses and an even older family feud. With the clock running out, love might be the magic that saves them all.


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A deeper magic. A stronger curse. A family lost...and found. Persephone May has been alone her entire life. Abandoned as an infant and dragged through the foster care system, she wants nothing more than to belong somewhere. To someone. However, Persephone is as strange as she is lonely. Unexplainable things happen when she’s around—changes in weather, inanimate objects tak A deeper magic. A stronger curse. A family lost...and found. Persephone May has been alone her entire life. Abandoned as an infant and dragged through the foster care system, she wants nothing more than to belong somewhere. To someone. However, Persephone is as strange as she is lonely. Unexplainable things happen when she’s around—changes in weather, inanimate objects taking flight—and those who seek to bring her into their family quickly cast her out. To cope, she never gets attached, never makes friends. And she certainly never dates. Working odd jobs and always keeping her suitcases half-packed, Persephone is used to moving around, leaving one town for another when curiosity over her eccentric behavior inevitably draws unwanted attention. After an accidental and very public display of power, Persephone knows it’s time to move on once again. It’s lucky, then, when she receives an email from the one friend she’s managed to keep, inviting her to the elusive Wile Isle. The timing couldn’t be more perfect. However, upon arrival, Persephone quickly discovers that Wile is no ordinary island. In fact, it just might hold the very things she’s been searching for her entire life. Answers. Family. Home. And some things she did not want. Like 100-year-old curses and an even older family feud. With the clock running out, love might be the magic that saves them all.

30 review for The Orphan Witch

  1. 5 out of 5

    Nilufer Ozmekik

    Happy book birthday to this delicious fantasy thriller🥳🎈 Alice Hoffman’s Practical magic series meet Midnight Library with claustrophobic island vibes! This is another mind blowing combination of fantasy meets thriller fans should be prescribed to consume at least three times in a day. Poor Persephone May is doomed! She’s outcast, loner, abandoned, orphan, forced to live in the shadows, changing locations, working at odd jobs to make ends meet, cannot form a true friendship or lust for anyone be Happy book birthday to this delicious fantasy thriller🥳🎈 Alice Hoffman’s Practical magic series meet Midnight Library with claustrophobic island vibes! This is another mind blowing combination of fantasy meets thriller fans should be prescribed to consume at least three times in a day. Poor Persephone May is doomed! She’s outcast, loner, abandoned, orphan, forced to live in the shadows, changing locations, working at odd jobs to make ends meet, cannot form a true friendship or lust for anyone because as soon as she makes eye contact: the person she sets eyes on gets mad or tries to kill himself/ herself! She’s cursed! She gotta resign from the last place she has been working at and leave the town immediately. Because another guy she truly likes nearly died as he looked into her eyes! As she ponders about where she has to go, the universe answers her prayers by sending her a letter from an old friend / or someone she may be called so close to friend as you consider she couldn’t have real one: Hyacinth wrote her letter to invite her to the Wile Island. A mysterious, strange, eerie place she never heard before seems like best match for her to lay low till she plans for her next escape. Persephone has nothing to lose and this unexpected invitation seems like a sign for her that she finally finds the right place to settle. As soon as she sets her foot on the island, she gets different vibes. She feels like she’s finally found her lost home and she realizes Hyacinth and her sister grumpy Moira are her cousins see her as their last hope to break the curse that hunts the witches at the island for centuries. There is prophecy tells only a time walker can be powerful enough to break it and all the signs indicates that Persephone is the one who can achieve this impossible mission. But the other witches of the island: Ellison, Amara and Ariel are adamant to stop her , showing hostility from the beginning. Hyacinth acts supporting from the beginning, helping Persephone feel like at her home as rigid, stern sister Moira ( don’t worry this is only the facade. She’s so tender hearted and protective like crunchy caramel covered in chocolate) feeds with herbal teas, helping her sharpen the culinary skills instead of teaching to use her powers and control them. But Persephone is not only witch as like her cousins, she can also travel between worlds, walking through different time zones where she finds herself at the Library of Lost and meets with hazel eyed, charismatic and challenging librarian Dorian who isn’t afraid of making eye contact with her. Could be finding love at the most unexpected place affect her important mission? Is she powerful enough to break the curse? Will this place help her to find the roots of her real family and learn more about who she is, where she is coming from and what her real purpose is. Incredible world building, surprising twists, detailed, layered characterization and great combination of fairytale meets fantasy and thriller genres. Of course Persephone, Moria and Dorian are my favorite characters. And the outstandingly engrossing and riveting storytelling skills of the author made me wish there would be more books. I rooted for the characters so much. Overall: I’m giving my magical, witchy, mysterious, heart pounding, mesmerizing, enchanting, fascinating five stars! Special thanks to NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press/ St. Martin’s Griffin for sharing this digital reviewer copy with me in exchange my honest thoughts.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Tina

    Let's first just admire that gorgeous cover that drew my attention! That and the premise had me really looking forward to a nice "seasonal' read for me. 🎃🧙🏻‍♀️ Persephone May (just love her name!) is a lady who has drifted in and out of foster care from a young age. She was abandoned by her family. All of her life she has felt like she has never belonged anywhere. She always felt "strange." If someone stared too hard or too long at her something bad would happen to them. So she kept people at bay Let's first just admire that gorgeous cover that drew my attention! That and the premise had me really looking forward to a nice "seasonal' read for me. 🎃🧙🏻‍♀️ Persephone May (just love her name!) is a lady who has drifted in and out of foster care from a young age. She was abandoned by her family. All of her life she has felt like she has never belonged anywhere. She always felt "strange." If someone stared too hard or too long at her something bad would happen to them. So she kept people at bay. Now, at 32 she finds herself leaving her cafe job once again. She has kept in touch with a lady named Hyacinth (another great name!) by email since meeting her a while ago. The lady in question invites her to visit Wile Island in North Carolina where she resides. Since Persephone has no where to go or be she accepts the offer. This is where her world will change forever! This book is about finding a place where you belong and a meaning to your life. There's sisterhood, family curses, magic spells and witchery plus another world (in The library of the lost.) This alone should have captured my attention but I'm sorry to say that this book was very slow for my liking. In the beginning the chapters are very long and drawn out. The elements of the different world were sometimes confusing to me. The dreadful language (swear words) used by the witches just didn't feel right. The book lacked excitement throughout but towards the end there was some. Unfortunately for me this was probably more of a 2 1/2 stars. Perhaps it's because Fantasy is not a particular favourite genre of mine. I think if you like Fantasy and different worlds and witches tied into one you might enjoy this one more than me. I'd like to kindly thank NetGalley and St. Martin's Press and St. Martin's Griffin for granting me access to this advance Reader Copy.

  3. 5 out of 5

    PamG

    Paige Crutcher brings suspense, heartbreak, magic, and hope to her debut novel The Orphan Witch . Persephone May has been lonely all of her life. She was abandoned at six weeks and grew up in group and foster homes. Baffling things happen around her so she doesn’t stay long anywhere. At thirty-two, she is still frequently moving from place to place. When she displays power accidentally, Persephone knows it’s time to travel again. On her way to somewhere, she gets an email from a person she me Paige Crutcher brings suspense, heartbreak, magic, and hope to her debut novel The Orphan Witch . Persephone May has been lonely all of her life. She was abandoned at six weeks and grew up in group and foster homes. Baffling things happen around her so she doesn’t stay long anywhere. At thirty-two, she is still frequently moving from place to place. When she displays power accidentally, Persephone knows it’s time to travel again. On her way to somewhere, she gets an email from a person she met a year ago inviting her to Wile Isle, North Carolina. That’s where she heads. But things aren’t as they seem. Who can be trusted? Has she found a place to belong or is this just another nightmare visit? Persephone is definitely someone you want to find happiness, friends, and a sense of belonging. But much stands in her way, including a 100-year-old curse, a family feud, and much more. She has a lot of character depth and shows significant growth over the course of the novel. The secondary characters have varying goals that keep the story fresh and provide some surprises. It was easy to connect with multiple characters. The author did a great job of transporting me to this community with believable, but complicated world-building. The setting is largely contemporary, with one chapter set 100 years earlier and a few visits to other worlds, times, or dimensions. I did want the contemporary town to be better described. Other than that, the imagery was extraordinary. Persephone’s odd powers are unique and lend another dimension to the well-written story. Time walking and the Library for the Lost provided unique avenues for the story to unfold. Despite being somewhat slow in a couple of places, it kept my interest. After about halfway, the action picks up and the suspense and danger builds. Close attention to the detail is important to understanding everything that is occurring. Themes include loneliness, family, family history, sisterhood, feuds, curses, power, greed, subterfuge, love, heartbreak, death, sacrifice, epic clashes, strength of character, and finding one’s place in the world. Overall, I enjoyed this original and atmospheric novel. It was an entertaining book that was emotionally intense and pulled at this reader’s heartstrings and had a few twists along the way. If you are a fan of suspenseful stories about witches with a fight between good and evil, then you may want to check out this novel. 3.5 stars rounded up to 4 stars. St. Martin’s Press – St. Martin’s Griffin and Paige Crutcher provided a complimentary digital ARC of this novel via NetGalley. This is my honest review. Opinions are mine alone and are not biased in any way. Publication date is currently set for September 28, 2021. This review was originally posted at Mystery and Suspense Magazine.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Jasmine from How Useful It Is

    Definitely a great read, this book had a great start and it reeled me in. I enjoyed the story of the sisters Amara and True. The word Hinterland used in the story of Amara and True reminded me of The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert. I liked that despite Persephone’s unstable childhood, she was studious and stayed in school. She’s smart and cautious. I liked the sisters Hyacinth and Moira as well as Ellison and Ariel. Why, this book is full of sisters! I don’t have a sister so I’m a little jealous. Definitely a great read, this book had a great start and it reeled me in. I enjoyed the story of the sisters Amara and True. The word Hinterland used in the story of Amara and True reminded me of The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert. I liked that despite Persephone’s unstable childhood, she was studious and stayed in school. She’s smart and cautious. I liked the sisters Hyacinth and Moira as well as Ellison and Ariel. Why, this book is full of sisters! I don’t have a sister so I’m a little jealous. Loved reading Hyacinth’s journal. This book started with Amara, in 1919 as she stood at the top of the cliff on an island thinking about lost family and the price of magic. Then the story began in 2019, off island, following Persephone. She’d been living in many different group homes so she never knew of any of her families or relatives. Her dream was to find her lost families but when her eyes met anyone, magick sent them doing harmful things to themselves. Now at 32, working at odd jobs, thinking maybe if she could take a chance and look into the professor’s eyes, the one who comes everyday to get coffee from her. But as soon as she did, he walked straight out into an oncoming traffic. She had to leave town yet again. In her car deciding where to go next, she received an email from Hyacinth, a friend she once met while working as a research assistant, inviting her to visit. When she arrived at her friend’s house, she learned more about herself than she was expecting. The Orphan Witch was well written and a fun read full of banters. I loved that readers get to know what each characters were thinking, not just the main character Persephone but also characters that are introduced later on like Dorian, Ellison, Ariel, etc. There seemed to be love at first sight when Persephone first laid eyes on the librarian. There were some good twists I wasn’t expecting. The sisters were well liked and I enjoyed getting to know their individual personalities and their particulars. The magic was good and different. The island sounded wonderful. xoxo, Jasmine at www.howusefulitis.com for more details Many thanks to St. Martin’s Press for the opportunity to read and review. Please be assured that my opinions are honest.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Jasmine

    This book is full of magic and witchy goodness. Persephone grew up without friends or family. She grew up in foster care and has never felt like she belonged to anyone. Persephone learned from a young age that whenever she got too close to someone and let her guard down that person would have an extremely volatile reaction to her. Now, Persephone is in her thirties and frequently changes jobs whenever things get out of control. One day when Persephone is at work, she forgets herself and her powe This book is full of magic and witchy goodness. Persephone grew up without friends or family. She grew up in foster care and has never felt like she belonged to anyone. Persephone learned from a young age that whenever she got too close to someone and let her guard down that person would have an extremely volatile reaction to her. Now, Persephone is in her thirties and frequently changes jobs whenever things get out of control. One day when Persephone is at work, she forgets herself and her powers affect not just one person but the whole room. So, she flees. As she’s trying to figure out where to go next, she gets a message from an acquaintance inviting her to come back for a visit on the island. Persephone thinks this invitation couldn’t have come at a better time, so she goes and this magical tale unfurls from there. This story is told in the third-person with multiple POVs. I thought I would love this book. It has all the elements I normally enjoy: witches, a curse, romance, and LGBTQ+ representation. Unfortunately, I wasn’t as invested in this story as I was hoping. I didn’t really connect with the characters. The writing is beautiful and lyrical, but I found my attention drifting off while reading. I was intrigued by Persephone’s Medusa-like powers. Instead of turning people to stone, making eye contact with her drives people to reckless behaviour. If you’ve enjoyed books like Once Upon a River and The Binding, you might like this one. Thanks to Netgalley and St. Martin’s Press for the digital ARC in exchange for my honest review.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Carrie

    The Orphan Witch is a very fitting title for this novel by Paige Crutcher. What we have here is a young adult paranormal fantasy about a young orphan girl who happens to be a witch. Persephone May has been forced to live in the shadows alone as every time she gets close to anyone in life bad things seem to happen to them making Persephone feel as if she is cursed. One day Persephone finds that she has received and invitation to Wile Isle, North Carolina. The invitation came from Hyacinth who along The Orphan Witch is a very fitting title for this novel by Paige Crutcher. What we have here is a young adult paranormal fantasy about a young orphan girl who happens to be a witch. Persephone May has been forced to live in the shadows alone as every time she gets close to anyone in life bad things seem to happen to them making Persephone feel as if she is cursed. One day Persephone finds that she has received and invitation to Wile Isle, North Carolina. The invitation came from Hyacinth who along with her sister Moira seem to actually be family to Persephone. Hyacinth and Moira are distant cousins and along with that they are also witches just like Persephone herself and need Persephone to help them just as she needs their help. The Orphan Witch by Paige Crutcher for me seemed to get off to a slower start than I prefer but as it got going it did pick up a bit along the way. The characters in this one were alright and likable enough and the story involved was one that was just interesting enough to keep the pages turning. However, I didn’t really find anything overly amazing to wow me with the book in the market of many many witchy fantasies out there so in the end I found this one to be just a so-so middle ground read for me. I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley. For more reviews please visit https://carriesbookreviews.com/

  7. 5 out of 5

    Mallory

    I’m not sure what I was expecting from the beautiful cover and intriguing title, but it wasn’t this. I liked the world and the story had a lot of potential, but there was something in the writing of it that dragged a little for me. All of the characters felt a little flat for me. I wanted to like Persephone more. If ever a character suffered it was her so I felt for her character. Persephone was abandoned an orphan, but she wasn’t ever able to find a family or home. Anyone who looked too long in I’m not sure what I was expecting from the beautiful cover and intriguing title, but it wasn’t this. I liked the world and the story had a lot of potential, but there was something in the writing of it that dragged a little for me. All of the characters felt a little flat for me. I wanted to like Persephone more. If ever a character suffered it was her so I felt for her character. Persephone was abandoned an orphan, but she wasn’t ever able to find a family or home. Anyone who looked too long in her eyes met with ill ends causing her to be very lonely. Despite the title this story isn’t about her childhood though, this is the story about Persephone finding her way to an island held together by magic that feels like home. She learns of family, curses, and what her magic really means, but will she master what she needs to in time to end the curse?

  8. 5 out of 5

    J.T.

    Mystical, magical, and wildly original, THE ORPHAN WITCH is a great story from an exciting new voice in fantasy. Persephone May is a witch for the ages, a tough, uncompromising, powerful time walker with a wicked gaze and a heart of gold. Her journey to find her family and herself and the lost witches of Wile Ilse is both rollicking adventure and intimate exploration. If Alice Hoffman and Sara Addison Allen had a witchy love child, she would be Paige Crutcher. Do not miss this beautifully realiz Mystical, magical, and wildly original, THE ORPHAN WITCH is a great story from an exciting new voice in fantasy. Persephone May is a witch for the ages, a tough, uncompromising, powerful time walker with a wicked gaze and a heart of gold. Her journey to find her family and herself and the lost witches of Wile Ilse is both rollicking adventure and intimate exploration. If Alice Hoffman and Sara Addison Allen had a witchy love child, she would be Paige Crutcher. Do not miss this beautifully realized debut!

  9. 4 out of 5

    Whitney Erwin

    I was drawn to this book by the beautiful cover! I really wanted to love it however, I found this book was just not for me. I did not feel myself connect with the book or any of the characters. It was slow moving and there was not enough action to keep my interest. Thank you St. Martin’s Press and Net Galley for an ARC in return for my honest review!

  10. 5 out of 5

    Kristie

    I need to start my review by pointing out my love for this cover. It is what initially drew me to this book. The title also grabbed me and though I was trying not to add more books to my to-read list I just had to read it. Unfortunately, this book was not at all what I was expecting it to be. From the title I thought it would be about a child. An orphan child. It is not, not really. Our main character is not a child and though she was an orphan I wouldn't really describe her that way in the book I need to start my review by pointing out my love for this cover. It is what initially drew me to this book. The title also grabbed me and though I was trying not to add more books to my to-read list I just had to read it. Unfortunately, this book was not at all what I was expecting it to be. From the title I thought it would be about a child. An orphan child. It is not, not really. Our main character is not a child and though she was an orphan I wouldn't really describe her that way in the book. Either way, I expected this to be a more emotional pull-at-your-heartstrings story. However, the writing did not draw me in. I found it to be quite flat and a bit repetitive. The story dragged at several points and I found myself skimming descriptions at times just to make progress. The story did get better as it went on, but I never really connected with it. Perhaps, my expectations jaded my enjoyment a bit. If you enjoy descriptive paranormal stories, you may love this one, but it just wasn't for me. 2.5★ Thank you to NetGalley and St. Martin's Press for providing me with a free electronic copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Montzalee Wittmann

    The Orphan Witch by Paige Crutcher St. Martin's Press Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for letting me read this interesting book! This story is about a gal that grew up in lots of foster homes. No one wanted her long. She didn't have many friends. Bad things seemed to happen when she was around. Especially if she looked in someone's eyes too long. Even if she liked the person. It wasn't any better now that she was grown. She had just experienced one of those horrible times where people knew she The Orphan Witch by Paige Crutcher St. Martin's Press Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for letting me read this interesting book! This story is about a gal that grew up in lots of foster homes. No one wanted her long. She didn't have many friends. Bad things seemed to happen when she was around. Especially if she looked in someone's eyes too long. Even if she liked the person. It wasn't any better now that she was grown. She had just experienced one of those horrible times where people knew she was very different. She had to move again. She went to see a friend on an island. What she finds there will change her life. Magic, her history, rival witch clans, and more. She finally gets answers about her past but she may wish she didn't know.

  12. 5 out of 5

    MissBecka Gee

    3.5⭐ Rounded up. This started off pretty slow, but the magical family drama picked up soon enough and I could not get enough! I wish there had been an epilogue of everyone like a year in the future since I wanted to know what everyone got up to after. Ah well. As always, a big thanks to the crew at NetGalley & St. Martin's Press for my DRC. 3.5⭐ Rounded up. This started off pretty slow, but the magical family drama picked up soon enough and I could not get enough! I wish there had been an epilogue of everyone like a year in the future since I wanted to know what everyone got up to after. Ah well. As always, a big thanks to the crew at NetGalley & St. Martin's Press for my DRC.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Linden

    Persephone is alone. A product of the foster care system, she feels as if she doesn’t belong anywhere, and when she tries to establish a connection with someone, bad things happen to them. When she leaves her job at a coffee shop, she remembers that a woman she once met invited her to visit, so she heads off to Hyacinth’s home on Wile Island. Hyacinth and her sister Moira inform her that she is actually their distant cousin, that they are all witches, and that they need her help in breaking an a Persephone is alone. A product of the foster care system, she feels as if she doesn’t belong anywhere, and when she tries to establish a connection with someone, bad things happen to them. When she leaves her job at a coffee shop, she remembers that a woman she once met invited her to visit, so she heads off to Hyacinth’s home on Wile Island. Hyacinth and her sister Moira inform her that she is actually their distant cousin, that they are all witches, and that they need her help in breaking an ancient curse. I was fascinated by this book at the beginning, but it got confusing, with many arcane details slowing down the narrative. Very disappointed. Thanks to Edelweiss and the publisher for the ARC.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Paige Crutcher

    In writing THE ORPHAN WITCH, I have written a story that’s close to my spirit. This is the story of a woman who doesn’t fit anywhere, until she finds home amongst friends who become her family. It’s about magic and power and sisterhood, and how unstoppable all three become when put together. I hope you enjoy walking alongside Persephone! 

  15. 5 out of 5

    Jane

    3 stars You can read all of my reviews at Nerd Girl Loves Books. This was an interesting contemporary paranormal fantasy. Persephone May is an orphan and has been alone her whole life. She wants nothing more than to belong somewhere, but whenever she tries to forge bonds with other people, unexplainable things happen and she finds herself moving on again. After one particularly jarring public display of powers she doesn't understand, Persephone receives an email inviting her to visit one of her onl 3 stars You can read all of my reviews at Nerd Girl Loves Books. This was an interesting contemporary paranormal fantasy. Persephone May is an orphan and has been alone her whole life. She wants nothing more than to belong somewhere, but whenever she tries to forge bonds with other people, unexplainable things happen and she finds herself moving on again. After one particularly jarring public display of powers she doesn't understand, Persephone receives an email inviting her to visit one of her only friends on the elusive Wile Isle. As soon as she steps on the island, Persephone feels at home, something she's never felt before. It's clear that Wile Isle is no typical island, nor are some of its occupants. Persephone learns that she is a witch from a long line of witches and she may have a part to play in the welfare of the island and its occupants. I liked the overall general theme of the story and it was well written. The problem I had with the book is that it just seemed to drag on. Maybe it was because Persephone reminded me of Debbie Downer from SNL or Eeyore - everything was always the worst case scenario and everything was so heavy and dark. Even in stories with difficult storylines or heavy subject matter there is an occasional spark of lightness and laughter. I didn't find any of that in this book. Some of the descriptions of places, people or things were far too in-depth and I found myself skimming parts of the book. I had high expectations for this book but it fell a bit short. I received a complimentary copy of this book from NetGalley and St. Martin's Press. All opinions are my own.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Tea

    Do you love Practical Magic? Pirates of the Caribbean? Wandavision? Then I recommend you go watch those again and leave this book on the shelf. Here are my notes up to the 60% mark when I just couldn't take it anymore: I'm reading The Orphan Witch and it's just... Not right somehow? Like it has wonderful elements, but it's told in a confusing way, like not "I can't follow this" but "why is she telling this story in this way?". Also it's an instalove and it's so unbelievable and unnecessary. It's like Do you love Practical Magic? Pirates of the Caribbean? Wandavision? Then I recommend you go watch those again and leave this book on the shelf. Here are my notes up to the 60% mark when I just couldn't take it anymore: I'm reading The Orphan Witch and it's just... Not right somehow? Like it has wonderful elements, but it's told in a confusing way, like not "I can't follow this" but "why is she telling this story in this way?". Also it's an instalove and it's so unbelievable and unnecessary. It's like it's trying to be a more complex version of Practical Magic but missing the heart that made that story work. The lead isn't particularly likeable and the rest of the witches are all idiots letting darkness lead them around by the nose when they should be smarter by now "a story doesn't reveal every side of itself to every reader all at once" says the hot (questionably) librarian, and that's when the light bulb went on. That's what this author is trying to do. She's trying to tell bits of a story from many different angles and has something BIG planned that she's trying to hide from the reader. She's planning a big gotcha moment for her characters and the reader 🤦🏻‍♀️ (I skipped to the end, the gotcha was not a surprise at all) Also, she makes a big deal about the power of 3 but then has every single witch in the story be a pair of sisters? Except for the lead (bet a sister shows up later), and never has any of the witches notice that? The witches all have exactly two daughters and this isn't worth investigating? The author is either trying too hard or only a one trick pony when it comes to character creation... or maybe both. The island were literally called The Three Sisters but then every set of sisters is two? Every set, from every family. And nobody ever mentions this bit of weirdness? The love story is so cringy. Also it was totally unnecessary. This story should have had no men in it and just focused on female friendship and family. Save yourself the time and effort...its too late for me.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Judy

    I picked this book up because I've always enjoyed stories about witches and the paranormal. This book was a treat in that it was packed with magic throughout. Persephone has always been alone and she longs for family and a place where she fits in the world. She was abandoned and grew up in foster care. She was always looking down because when someone met her eyes bad things happened. Persephone was invited to vist a place called Wile Isle by a woman she had met and liked, Hyacinth. When she arri I picked this book up because I've always enjoyed stories about witches and the paranormal. This book was a treat in that it was packed with magic throughout. Persephone has always been alone and she longs for family and a place where she fits in the world. She was abandoned and grew up in foster care. She was always looking down because when someone met her eyes bad things happened. Persephone was invited to vist a place called Wile Isle by a woman she had met and liked, Hyacinth. When she arrives she finds that Hyacinth and her sister, Moira are actually her cousins and they all share something in common - they are all witches. Hyacinth and Moira need Persephone's assistance in breaking a curse that has stood for a hundred years - no one else has been able to break it, though many have tried. Persephone is a strong and determined character who tries her best to do good things. She has to make a very difficult choice that made me squirm - a tough one. I liked the character. One of my favorite concepts from the book is the Library of the Lost and how it functions - very interesting. The book moved well with quite a bit of action. Thanks to St. Martin's Press through Netgalley for an advance copy. The book will be published on September 28, 2021.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Ali Bunke

    Paige Crutcher has created a complex magical world with incredibly well-formed and layered characters. I am impressed by the depth of the story. From the beginning of the story, the author is giving us little bits of information. As we learn something new, more questions arise, nicely creating that pull of the plot moving forward. The characters and story are complexly woven together and the author takes her time in revealing all of the twists. As a debut author, Paige has done an outstanding jo Paige Crutcher has created a complex magical world with incredibly well-formed and layered characters. I am impressed by the depth of the story. From the beginning of the story, the author is giving us little bits of information. As we learn something new, more questions arise, nicely creating that pull of the plot moving forward. The characters and story are complexly woven together and the author takes her time in revealing all of the twists. As a debut author, Paige has done an outstanding job. Persephone was a likable character for me from the start. She didn't spend too much time wallowing in her bad circumstances but it was clear they affected all her actions throughout the book. There is a lot of family lineage to understand as the book progresses. Clearly, a family tree would have given away some of the plots, but I found I needed to double-check family connections since some of the characters changed their last names. Thank you, NetGalley and St. Martin's Press for the e-arc. I look forward to reading more from this author in the future. This is my honest opinion.

  19. 5 out of 5

    The Starry Library

    The Orphan Witch was a book that I did not enjoy reading. The witches were stereotypical and the magic a bit boring for me. This was compared to Alice Hoffman's 'Practical Magic' series and I'm not sure why? This was a more fantasy witchy type of story than magical realism which is why I could not connect to it. There was a lot of information dumping in the dialogue which ruined the story and there were too many characters (for my liking) and random magical ideas that did not fit together as nea The Orphan Witch was a book that I did not enjoy reading. The witches were stereotypical and the magic a bit boring for me. This was compared to Alice Hoffman's 'Practical Magic' series and I'm not sure why? This was a more fantasy witchy type of story than magical realism which is why I could not connect to it. There was a lot of information dumping in the dialogue which ruined the story and there were too many characters (for my liking) and random magical ideas that did not fit together as neatly as they should have. This whole book felt off to me and I think there were too many ideas and awkward dialogues between the characters. It was more fantasy than witchy and the storyline felt a bit dated for the genre. I just could not connect to this story which I struggled to finish. 2 out of 5 stars for me because I liked the beginning of the story and the main character had a unique background that could have been explored further. Thank you to the publisher for providing me with this free ARC via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer Peters

    I requested this book for review on NetGalley (Thank you!!) for the cover and the title. Witchy books intrigue me so I was excited to delve right in. My heart broke for Persephone as soon as she was introduced to us in the story. It does start a little bit slow as we learn about Persephone and the world she is in. It picks up as soon as she steps foot on the island. There is magic, mystery, family secrets, romance and more. Pick it up! It's about a 4-5 hour read, which is my ideal length. I recei I requested this book for review on NetGalley (Thank you!!) for the cover and the title. Witchy books intrigue me so I was excited to delve right in. My heart broke for Persephone as soon as she was introduced to us in the story. It does start a little bit slow as we learn about Persephone and the world she is in. It picks up as soon as she steps foot on the island. There is magic, mystery, family secrets, romance and more. Pick it up! It's about a 4-5 hour read, which is my ideal length. I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Permanently_Booked

    Tis the season for cozy reads with witches and magical atmospheres! Crutcher's new release, The Orphan Witch, is a novel based on hope, family, sacrifice and love. The characters are complex with secrets that push the plot into unique twists and turns. Persephone is an orphan cursed with what she perceives as a look that can quite literally kill if she isn't careful. Between her past and the curse giving her an inability to make deeper connections, she craves what many take for granted in life. Tis the season for cozy reads with witches and magical atmospheres! Crutcher's new release, The Orphan Witch, is a novel based on hope, family, sacrifice and love. The characters are complex with secrets that push the plot into unique twists and turns. Persephone is an orphan cursed with what she perceives as a look that can quite literally kill if she isn't careful. Between her past and the curse giving her an inability to make deeper connections, she craves what many take for granted in life. Her character is almost heartbreaking at times. There is a deep bond of sisters underlying the story that I really enjoyed. Even when things are at their worst it was heartfelt to watch the different witches and their dynamics create and break bonds. A dose of romantic interest sparks the pages and while it was a low simmer on the steam index, I did feel it toed the line of insta-love. However, based on Persephone's past it is pretty understandable. Plus, Dorian isn't easy to turn away from for us bookish folks. I did notice I wasn't connecting to the characters as much as I would've liked though and I couldn't pinpoint why. The magical elements are a mixture of classic witchy spells intermingled with parallel world travel and elemental powers. I enjoyed how the combination comes together to create the climax towards the end. The story is a slow-build and there is a pretty large informational load in the beginning. Alternating POVs and a third person narrative lead the reader through Persephone's finding of family and her powers. I found this novel to be more about family and bonds instead of action and steam. This takes readers on a journey through connection with a sprinkle of drama and romance here and there. I could totally see this being a series on the Lifetime channel for October, at least that is how it was playing out in my head as I read. Overall, The Orphan Witch is a cozy, witchy novel. Though I prefer more paranormal fantasy romances with action, I believe readers who enjoy the more slower paced familial novels will devour this beautifully written story. Thank you SMPRomance and St. Martins Griffin for the gifted digital copy in exchange for an honest review. Audio available by Macmillan Audio is narrated by Saskia Maarleveld. All thoughts are my own.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Alaina

    I have received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. The Orphan Witch started off a bit slow for me. We enter into this magical world and get to know who Persephone is. Now she has no control over her own magic but she always say it as a bad thing. Mostly because of how people in and out of her life reacted towards her. So when things go a little crazy, she ends up taking a random trip to go meet an acquaintance. I don't think she was necessarily going for answers right then a I have received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. The Orphan Witch started off a bit slow for me. We enter into this magical world and get to know who Persephone is. Now she has no control over her own magic but she always say it as a bad thing. Mostly because of how people in and out of her life reacted towards her. So when things go a little crazy, she ends up taking a random trip to go meet an acquaintance. I don't think she was necessarily going for answers right then and there but once she stepped onto this mysterious island - she felt at ease a bit. At this moment, I was very intrigued with what was going to happen on her adventure. I lowkey adored her meeting Dorian and I had so many questions when it came to him being involved. Then there's her cousins who definitely kept me on my toes the entire time. Especially since she kind of just walked into this huge family feud and got all kinds of whiplash from it. Other than that, the magic was actually pretty interesting throughout the book. I still have some questions about the different kinds because we didn't get that much detail for it all. Plus the family grimoire was barely mentioned after we saw it and I just wanted to see what else was in it. Honestly, I have so many unanswered questions but I've already devoured the last page. Not sure if we will get another book due to how this one ended.. but I wouldn't mind getting a prequel about their aunt's or grandma's. This family had so many secrets and I don't think we got them all out in the open.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Kae Thomas Hawk

    I love stories about witches. This was no exception. Persephone is all alone and just wants family. She knows she is different but does not know she is a witch. This story is about her finding her family, their history and where she fits in with all of it. The magic in the book is not just basic Bewitched twitch your nose stuff. And the other dimensions that exist there make it truly unique. Imagine having a romance with a man that is in another dimension! And of course there is a bad witch. That I love stories about witches. This was no exception. Persephone is all alone and just wants family. She knows she is different but does not know she is a witch. This story is about her finding her family, their history and where she fits in with all of it. The magic in the book is not just basic Bewitched twitch your nose stuff. And the other dimensions that exist there make it truly unique. Imagine having a romance with a man that is in another dimension! And of course there is a bad witch. That battle is epic. If you like a book that has a bit more than just magic try this one out. I voluntarily and honestly reviewed this advance reader copy from NetGalley and was not compensated in any way.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Katie Prouty

    "Just this once, she thought, please let someone see me." I have your next autumn read! The Orphan Witch: night fog, cursed island, the tale of the blood moon crown, the prophecy promised. What a delightful assault on the senses! Beyond atmospheric! Enchanting! Paige Crutcher has a brilliant way with words! I am pleased as petunias with this entire novel! Dorian...the attractive bad-mannered librarian/guardian of The Library for the Lost. Swoon. He stole my heart and I was rooting for him and Pe "Just this once, she thought, please let someone see me." I have your next autumn read! The Orphan Witch: night fog, cursed island, the tale of the blood moon crown, the prophecy promised. What a delightful assault on the senses! Beyond atmospheric! Enchanting! Paige Crutcher has a brilliant way with words! I am pleased as petunias with this entire novel! Dorian...the attractive bad-mannered librarian/guardian of The Library for the Lost. Swoon. He stole my heart and I was rooting for him and Persephone. I snickered, I got misty eyed, I sighed dreamily, I gasped over revelations! I was totally entertained by Persephone May's journey. The Orphan Witch is perfect for fans of V.E. Schwab and Alice Hoffman. Best paired with a steaming cup of chamomile tea. ☕️ "I've always longed for a home. Like the ones I read in stories, but I was never Anne of Green Gables or even Pippi Longstocking." 🌙✨ READ IF YOU LIKE ✨🌙: -lost & found family -curses & spells -pirates (very brief) & bargains -tea & baking ("crustless cherry pies and chocolate cupcakes with cream cheese frosting so bright it glittered.") -learning & libraries -sisterhood of magic -salt, the sea, a tang of honey and wine -#IsThisAKissingBook: "They kissed the stars down into the sky and the lightning bugs into the air. They kissed the waters warm and the air into mist." Thank you St. Martins Press for an advanced copy! 🎶Song: Crystal by Fleetwood Mac🎶

  25. 5 out of 5

    Sage

    4.5 stars. This was such a mesmerizing, magical, wonderful read. My heart broke for Persephone May (great name) over and over and over again. This book is like Practical Magic meets The Night Circus, with a dash of The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue and a sprinkling of Harry Potter and The House in the Cerulean Sea for good measure. And I just wanna say FROM THE VERY BEGINNING I CLOCKED HYACINTH AND ARIEL AND ELLISON. I feel vindicated and would like a pat on the back because I basically never ca 4.5 stars. This was such a mesmerizing, magical, wonderful read. My heart broke for Persephone May (great name) over and over and over again. This book is like Practical Magic meets The Night Circus, with a dash of The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue and a sprinkling of Harry Potter and The House in the Cerulean Sea for good measure. And I just wanna say FROM THE VERY BEGINNING I CLOCKED HYACINTH AND ARIEL AND ELLISON. I feel vindicated and would like a pat on the back because I basically never can predict plot points. Of course I didn’t predict everything, I just had a general feeling/vibe about all the characters and I was proven right!!! My favorite character was definitely Moira — she was like a roasted marshmallow, crunchy on the outside and soft and gooey on the inside. I was like I SEE HOW PERSEPHONE IS SNEAKING HER WAY INTO YOUR HEART, MOIRA, I see what’s happening here 🤣🥰 Love that shit, that is my absolute favorite. My favorite scenes with Persephone and Moira didn’t even involve magic at all, it was as simple as the pair sipping cups of tea on the porch, or Moira teaching Persephone how to bake scrumptious things. I am weak for found family. I was confused by a lot of things in this book (esp. the magic at times) but it all makes sense by the end of the book. Also DORIAN and the Library of the Lost. I want to go to there. Love the magic, love the island, love the world building.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Louise

    2.5 stars, rounded up to 3 I love a good witch story but despite some nice world building, this one never really grabbed me. Persephone had a difficult childhood, going from one foster home to another without ever being adopted. She had no idea she was a witch; she only knew that strange things happened when she looked directly into someone else’s eyes. But very little of the book was spent exploring her situation. Most of the story takes place on Wile Island, after she goes there at the invitati 2.5 stars, rounded up to 3 I love a good witch story but despite some nice world building, this one never really grabbed me. Persephone had a difficult childhood, going from one foster home to another without ever being adopted. She had no idea she was a witch; she only knew that strange things happened when she looked directly into someone else’s eyes. But very little of the book was spent exploring her situation. Most of the story takes place on Wile Island, after she goes there at the invitation of someone she used to work for, Hyacinth. It turns out that the island is enchanted (or cursed) and Hyacinth is a distant cousin and a witch, and so is her sister, Moira. There’s also another pair of sisters (cousins? I was never clear on this.) who are witches and they are basically in a feud with Hyacinth and Moira. The theme of family plays an important role in the story along with a 100-year-old curse and lots and lots of magic (both good magic and dark magic). I was particularly taken with the Library of the Lost. But ultimately, the story didn’t fascinate me. It dragged a bit and was confusing, with a lot of side characters and time- and place-jumping. Positives include a bit of romance and some good LGBTQ representation. I bounced between the audiobook and the ebook for this title, which was very convenient. The audiobook’s narrator is the fabulous Saskia Maarleveld. Thank you to Macmillan Audio and NetGalley for the opportunity to listen to an advance copy of this audiobook and to St. Martin’s Griffin and NetGalley for the opportunity to read an advance reader copy of this book. All opinions are my own.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Kristy Johnston

    This book is primarily told from the point of view of Persephone, a woman who was orphaned and grew up in foster care and group homes with a few diary entries from her friend, Hyacinth. Persephone has problems trusting others and the fact that when people look her in the eye, they go crazy, doesn’t help. Once again running, she decides to trust her friend and travels to the island where Hyacinth lives and she instantly, magically, feels at home. I really enjoyed the magical islands and worlds in This book is primarily told from the point of view of Persephone, a woman who was orphaned and grew up in foster care and group homes with a few diary entries from her friend, Hyacinth. Persephone has problems trusting others and the fact that when people look her in the eye, they go crazy, doesn’t help. Once again running, she decides to trust her friend and travels to the island where Hyacinth lives and she instantly, magically, feels at home. I really enjoyed the magical islands and worlds in this book. While there are magical arches that open doors to beautiful views of cliffs in Scotland, and Persephone finds herself magically transported to a library that remakes itself to suit circumstance with a grumpy, hot librarian, I felt that the story dragged a bit at times. There is a connection that Persephone feels to the island and the magical women who live there. However, the familial and generation relationships were a bit convoluted for my taste and at times confusing given the number of 2 sisters throughout their generations and who was responsible for the curse that has been placed on the island. The fact that my kindle version had incorrect names in a few spots in the explanations also added to my confusion. Overall, I enjoyed the story, but it had a few flaws.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Darcia Helle

    DNF I was looking forward to some witchy sisterhood full of magic. What I got as I read was drama, lots of it, and a meandering pace. The characters have a strong YA feel. I had to keep reminding myself that these women are in their thirties or older, not teenagers. The writing lacks rhythm, or the rhythm is monotonous, depending on how you look at it. We have strings of sentences with repetitive format—similar length and structure—switching only a pronoun for the character's name. (She was.. She DNF I was looking forward to some witchy sisterhood full of magic. What I got as I read was drama, lots of it, and a meandering pace. The characters have a strong YA feel. I had to keep reminding myself that these women are in their thirties or older, not teenagers. The writing lacks rhythm, or the rhythm is monotonous, depending on how you look at it. We have strings of sentences with repetitive format—similar length and structure—switching only a pronoun for the character's name. (She was.. She decided... Persephone ran...) This won't be a problem for everyone, but it's one of those things that gets under my skin. I got to around the 40% mark on my Kinde, decided I didn't really care, and gave up. But this is just my opinion. I have no doubt that lots of people will love this story, so do give it a try if the premise appeals to you. *I received an eARC from the publisher, via NetGalley.*

  29. 4 out of 5

    La La

    I hate it when a cover and synopsis makes one think a book is Literary Fiction, or Women's Fiction. This story was like a cozy mystery, and a badly written one at that. An author doesn't do themselves any favors masquerading a book as something it's not. If it's a cozy promote it as a cozy. If it's a drugstore paperback romance, don't try to make people think it's legitimate Historical Fiction. I don't understand that thought process. Cheesy, cliche, and repetitively boring are the descriptors wh I hate it when a cover and synopsis makes one think a book is Literary Fiction, or Women's Fiction. This story was like a cozy mystery, and a badly written one at that. An author doesn't do themselves any favors masquerading a book as something it's not. If it's a cozy promote it as a cozy. If it's a drugstore paperback romance, don't try to make people think it's legitimate Historical Fiction. I don't understand that thought process. Cheesy, cliche, and repetitively boring are the descriptors which come to mind when thinking about this story. Also, Wicca was used as a big fantasy element and it is a religion. I was approved for an eARC, via Netgalley, in return for an honest review.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Alana

    I'm such a die-hard fan of witchy fantasy, and even more so when it ties in cute emotional plots about finding your place in the world when you've grown up feeling like you don't, found family/sisterhood, and magic. Just a recipe for success in my book. I know it's really the genre that drew me towards the book, but Crutcher's writing is pretty damn good too. And since it's October, all my fav genres mixed into one witchy book feels like a successful read to me. I'm such a die-hard fan of witchy fantasy, and even more so when it ties in cute emotional plots about finding your place in the world when you've grown up feeling like you don't, found family/sisterhood, and magic. Just a recipe for success in my book. I know it's really the genre that drew me towards the book, but Crutcher's writing is pretty damn good too. And since it's October, all my fav genres mixed into one witchy book feels like a successful read to me.

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