“There were so many stories and secrets, tangled threads and loose ends, but Immanuelle wondered if the truth lay somewhere in the intersections between them all.”
Whew. This book is a ride – it starts off really strong, slows down considerably in the middle and picks back up towards the end (but never quite matching the pace of the beginning).
Immanuelle is a young girl in a very cult-ish society. Think Handmaid’s Tale combined with 1600s Salem. Their leader is referred to as the Prophet (I know. Ew.) We don’t really know how this town or society came to be, what year it is, what’s beyond the town…but men are exalted, women are controlled and everyone fears the forbidden Darkwood.
“It was almost as though the forbidden wood sang a song that only she could hear, as though it was daring her to come closer.”
We do learn a lot about Immanuelle’s past throughout the course of the book but it never gets quite witchy enough (at least, it didn’t for me). There are some really amazing scenes, most of which are packed into the first third of the book. Overall, this read a little like YA to me (complete with a somewhat unnecessary romantic plot). But the great thing? Alexis Henderson shows so much promise here – there’s some incredible writing in The Year of the Witching and I would definitely be interested in picking up whatever she writes next.