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Now She is Witch: ‘Myth-making at its best‘ Val McDermid

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Now She is Witch opens with a the stark image of our protagonist Lux burying the remains of her mother in a poison garden. Whether Logan is describing a dismembered bear whose lopped-off parts are handed out as favours at a banquet, or a gory flagellant’s parade, the images we are offered snap and sizzle with portent and possibility. It's a very stylish and competent read -- I've read a few things by Kirsty Logan before and never really enjoyed them, but I've always appreciated their ability to string together words in a compelling way.

It’s definitely manipulative but it’s also brooding and nicely atmospheric and I liked Lux as a character. to the right of their own function and the choice and forge of their own fate and future with their wisdom that comes from the biggest goddess of all; Mother Earth. As a lover of witches, female rage, revenge murder, gender neutrality, matriarchy, and the word ‘cunt,’ this was good as hell. From the past perspective of lux I found the writing style of no capital letters or full stops really difficult to get through and lost the flow of the book.The strength of this novel is less in the plot but in the way the various characters navigate the strange, otherworldly realm that they inhabit. A brilliant stand-alone story to read on cold, wintery nights with the wind howling and the rain pouring outside. In rich and immersive prose Kirsty Logan conjures a world of violence and beauty in which women grasp at power through witchcraft and poisons, through sexuality and childbearing, through performance and pretence, and most of all through throwing other women to the wolves.

The leader of the theatre company, which haunts Lux throughout the story, “was as thin as a skeleton: if he lay on his side during rain, a tiny puddle would form in the hollow of his cheek”.Kirsty Logan is the author of three novels, three story collections, a memoir, two chapbooks, a 10-hour audio play for Audible, and several collaborative projects with musicians and visual artists. As they move quickly and quietly in a never-ending bone-achingly dark and cold forest Lux is convinced that her saviour whose face is hiding from the world is a North witch with tremendous power. Like phantom whispers and long cold busy little fingers who are always watching but don’t belong to the same reality as the main characters.

A slow burning, sinister tale of witchcraft and wise women, with complex, powerful, female characters. As they travel we get to know Lux’s past and we meet many different and colourful characters who to me felt almost like; ghosts. For Lux and Else trail the weighty plumes of traumatic pasts, which Logan skilfully offers us in passages of backstory that sing, screech and skip through the novel in the way records are marked by jagged scratches. Although Logan’s take on it strikes some of the same beats, she made it feel fresher, darker and yet more tender than any I’ve read before. The chapters were perfect length-wise for me; someone who always checks where the end is when I start to read a new chapter.

On a technical level, she keeps getting stronger and stronger with every release, and Now She is Witch is near perfection. The relationship between Lux and Else was very carefully done, and there was a real slice of humanity to be found in so many of the various characters Lux falls into step with along the way. The 103 third parties who use cookies on this service do so for their purposes of displaying and measuring personalized ads, generating audience insights, and developing and improving products. It’s little wonder that for a time Lux, who as the novel progresses becomes in turn an actor on a frozen stage, a servant in a hall of delicacies, a food-taster to a lord and companion to a fine lady, is tempted to turn her back on Else’s revenge and set her own dreams of finding freedom in the wild country aside.

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