Blurb (as on Goodreads):
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.
Part fairy tale, part love story, Victoria Schwab’s debut novel is entirely original yet achingly familiar: a song you heard long ago, a whisper carried by the wind, and a dream you won’t soon forget.
My first Schwab and I am blown away by the luscious and whimsical images she can conjure with simple, everyday words.
When a stranger appears in Town, kids start disappearing. For a town haunted by stories of the near witch, these circumstances are not exactly friendly. The town council looks for someone to blame and they suspect this stranger, especially when he is being sheltered by two old witches- Magda and Dreska. But Lexi is convinced that the stranger has nothing to do with these disappearances. Moreover, every night she sets out to investigate if any traces have been left from these disappearances or not.
As Lexi finds herself attracted toward this young and enigmatic stranges, the set on a journey to free these children and set things right. And all along they have only one suspect in mind- The Near Witch, who dies hundreds of years ago but her magic is all over the moor and her songs are being scattered throughout the village.
‘Near Witch’ is predictable because there is very little one can do with such a cliche at hand. But Schwab’s writing is what stands out. She has a knack for wild imaginations, perplexing and magical settings and the perfect characters (especially the antagonists). ‘Near Witch’ is equal parts thrilling and evocative.
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