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Publisher's Summary

A young woman living in a rigid, puritanical society discovers dark powers within herself in this stunning, feminist fantasy debut.

In the lands of Bethel, where the Prophet's word is law, Immanuelle Moore's very existence is blasphemy. Her mother's union with an outsider of a different race cast her once-proud family into disgrace, so Immanuelle does her best to worship the Father, follow Holy Protocol, and lead a life of submission, devotion, and absolute conformity, like all the other women in the settlement.

But a mishap lures her into the forbidden Darkwood surrounding Bethel, where the first prophet once chased and killed four powerful witches. Their spirits are still lurking there, and they bestow a gift on Immanuelle: the journal of her dead mother, who Immanuelle is shocked to learn once sought sanctuary in the wood.

Fascinated by the secrets in the diary, Immanuelle finds herself struggling to understand how her mother could have consorted with the witches. But when she begins to learn grim truths about the Church and its history, she realizes the true threat to Bethel is its own darkness. And she starts to understand that if Bethel is to change, it must begin with her.

©2020 Alexis Henderson (P)2020 Penguin Audio

What the critics say

"A thrillingly brisk and bracing tale of magic and power, I loved this book. It takes the best tropes of horror and witchcraft and gives them a refreshingly feminist twist." (S.A. Chakraborty, national best-selling author of The Daevabad Trilogy)

"The Year of the Witching is a dark, dramatic tale of oppression and rebellion, ideology and morality, with a complicated, appealing protagonist caught in a Handmaid's Tale nightmare. It's a fine addition to the body of feminist fantasy works, a great read." (Louisa Morgan, Author of The Age of Witches)

"The Year of the Witching is a dark wood ready to swallow you whole with its tense stakes and beguiling prose. Henderson takes witchcraft to its very depths, unraveling the horrific nightmares of bone-deep ideology and devastating oppression, and giving readers a complex heroine ready to face fire." (Dhonielle Clayton, New York Times best-selling author of The Belles series)

What listeners say about The Year of the Witching

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    5 out of 5 stars

Great story!

This story is fantastic, and a great read for spooky season.
The reader is not my favourite. I found her to be a bit monotone, and made strange character choices. However as the book picks up and more characters joined, she was just fine.
It’s easy to get sucked into the story.

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I liked this novel. It is scary on many levels.

For ages 16 and above. Violence, featuring horror of blood, horror of the hurt heart and spirit. There are stories of physical and mental abuse. Juxtapositioin with stories of strong loyalty, true friendship, love. I found it had many engaging surprises, great characters, wonderful discription, and so much more in a fast paced story. It presents a world that in a frightening way mirrors what is really happening in the USA today. THOSE WITH POWER AND GREAT RESPONSIBILITY abusing it and how complacent people have to make choices that will take them out of their self imposed boundaries. I was forced to think of ways I too am complacent and what can I do to improve this interesting world we live in. I REALLY LIKE THIS STORY.

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  • Elizabeth F. Therneau
  • 2020-09-15

Meh

Good premise, but meh execution. I bought this to hear a story about witches. for a book about witches, there are about 3 scenes featuring them doing anything. also, the main character uses her magic once. There's a lot of exposition, but not that much action. And I didn't feel fond of any of the characters, probably because there was a lot of "this person is the nicest EVER!" ...but then no scenes of them doing anything nice. So this book leaves me feeling meh and blah.

15 people found this helpful

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  • ReeKnits50
  • 2020-08-20

Slow simmering story

Took me several tries but once I settled into it, I loved this book! Great story!

4 people found this helpful

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  • Mary Mcknight
  • 2020-08-12

Spectacular and breathtaking.. Great storyline 😁

This was a spectacular story full is suspense and yet soulful. I loved this book.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Jennwtx
  • 2020-07-27

Hard to get into

I had to restart 3x and make myself listen to it. I almost returned it but, had already returned another so, I stuck with it. Not sure why there are good reviews. The narration was great though. Definitely wouldn’t recommend or waste a credit in it.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Emily A Bingham
  • 2021-01-08

predictable but with a unique take on the good vs bad trope

I do t really want to pan it because the story overall was fine, but I found it rather predictable and was discouraged that the characters don’t really mature or develop throughout the story. Up through to the end the main character is often as naive or clueless as she was at the start of the book, and more than once in the story she has a realization that I thought she had already had earlier ... I did find it interesting that the author does not glorify the church nor the witches — I guess at its best it’s a commentary on false binaries and personal responsibility over easy salvation.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Jack A. Adelman
  • 2020-09-14

Boring Narration

The reader is monotone and doesn’t bring the story to life and it is difficult to stay with it...which I didn’t

2 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 2020-08-27

Beautiful Lore and beautiful people.

The character's all had their own unique backstories. The contrast between the religious and the occult was so intriguing you wanted to continue listening to find out more.

2 people found this helpful

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  • d. Arriaga
  • 2021-01-18

dissapointee

couldn't actually finish. the narraration is awful. I wish it was better but oh well

1 person found this helpful

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  • Jonas Mayes-Steger
  • 2020-12-13

fantastic cant wait for book two

if you're looking for something where the witches aren't good or bad and no one is solely evil or good, and queer rep. in historical fiction, this is a good choice.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Barinda Henley
  • 2020-10-09

Ahhhmazzzing!!!

This book was thrilling...creepy...moving...intense...heart wrenching....so many feels in one book!!! The main character was strong and passionate. Need to read book :)

1 person found this helpful