Wednesday, 21 February 2018

book review: Witches of Lychford

Paul Cornell.
Witches of Lychford.
Tor. 2015

Judith is one of the few people in Lychford who can see the Truth: the proposed new supermarket will destroy the protection the town has against the beings that live on its borders. But no-one believes a mad old woman.

Lizzie, the local vicar, should have been briefed about the town’s needs when she took up her post. But the old ways are being lost, and she has not been brought up to date.

Autumn, Lizzie’s childhood friend, who became estranged when Lizzie joined the church, is a sceptical scientist, yet she runs the local magic shop. She would be a key part of the town’s defence, but she can’t bring herself to believe what happened to her in those lost years.

This is only 140pp long, so counts as a novella rather than a novel. But it packs a lot of content into its relatively few pages, and I found it to be a compelling story. We get to see the menace of the proposed new supermarket unfold through the eyes of three unlikely, and somewhat unwilling, allies. After an excellent build-up, things come to a head rather quickly, but with a satisfactory conclusion. Although this one disaster has been averted, I’m sure there is more trouble awaiting our trio around the corner.

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