Seventeen-year-old Dayna Walsh is struggling to cope with her somatic OCD; the aftermath of being outed as bisexual in her conservative Irish town; and the return of her long-absent mother, who barely seems like a parent. But all that really matters to her is ascending and finally, finally becoming a full witch-plans that are complicated when another coven, rumored to have a sordid history with black magic, arrives in town with premonitions of death. Dayna immediately finds herself at odds with the bewitchingly frustrating Meiner King, the granddaughter of their coven leader.
And then a witch turns up murdered at a local sacred site, along with the blood symbol of the Butcher of Manchester-an infamous serial killer whose trail has long gone cold. The killer’s motives are enmeshed in a complex web of witches and gods, and Dayna and Meiner soon find themselves at the center of it all. If they don’t stop the Butcher, one of them will be next.
With razor-sharp prose and achingly real characters, E. Latimer crafts a sweeping, mesmerizing story of dark magic and brutal mythology set against a backdrop of contemporary Ireland that’s impossible to put down.
I’m a huge Victoria Schwab fan, and A Discovery of Witches is one of my favorite series (the TV version is also fabulous), so it seems like I was destined to read this book.
With Dayna having an unstable home life and an extremely traumatic experience with her father after being outed as bisexual, I loved how her coven is a found family full of love and support for her. The older witches in her coven also serve as positive role models for the witchlings in the smaller coven. Celtic mythology isn’t something I’m familiar with, so I enjoyed learning more about it and how the author weaves it into her story. Ireland as a setting is always a plus. With both bisexual and gay characters, representation is also a strong point.
Multiple POVs aren’t a problem for me as long as they serve a purpose; however, one of these disappears by the end of the book, and I was left wondering what happens to this character. There are a lot of moving parts to this story, and several aren’t addressed at the end. Something that puzzled me was Dayna forgetting to mention the crucial piece of information she learns regarding the murders – something that could have potentially stopped another one. Preventing further killings is the primary reason the covens come together, so that was a hard pill to swallow.
Overall, this is an interesting read with some intriguing characters and strong themes of family, but I’d hoped for more questions to be answered by the end.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.