Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Review: The Near Witch by Victoria Schwab

The Near Witch
Hardcover, 288 pages

Released: August 2, 2011

Publisher: Hyperion Books CH

ISBN: 9781423137870

Other places to find the book:
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The Near Witch is only an old story told to frighten children.

If the wind calls at night, you must not listen. The wind is lonely, and always looking for company.

And there are no strangers in the town of Near.

These are the truths that Lexi has heard all her life.

But when an actual stranger—a boy who seems to fade like smoke—appears outside her home on the moor at night, she knows that at least one of these sayings is no longer true.
The next night, the children of Near start disappearing from their beds, and the mysterious boy falls under suspicion. Still, he insists on helping Lexi search for them. Something tells her she can trust him.
As the hunt for the children intensifies, so does Lexi’s need to know—about the witch that just might be more than a bedtime story, about the wind that seems to speak through the walls at night, and about the history of this nameless boy.
Part fairy tale, part love story, Victoria Schwab’s debut novel is entirely original yet achingly familiar: a song you heard long ago, a whisper carried by the wind, and a dream you won’t soon forget.

My Rating: 5 / 5

My Thoughts:

I am all for stories about witches, add in the nothing but glowing reviews and I knew I HAD to read this book! Lexi lives in the village of Near. Hundreds of years ago, a child was found dead in the local witch's garden, causing the town to create a council which exists to this day. It is also the reason the town dislikes strangers. When a child goes missing the same night a stranger was seen, all blame is placed on the stranger and the council makes it their mission to find him (and hopefully the missing children?). But Lexi, who takes after her tracking father, makes it her own mission to find the children and the real truth.

From the first line, I was taken aback by the beauty of Schwab's writing. "It starts with a crack, a sputter and spark. The match hisses to life." I almost wish I read this outside by the fire at night roasting marshmallows with friends, it truly read like a story you would share. The cast of characters were perfect,  I love seeing strong heroines. You had Lexi, the determined girl, her mother silently supporting her, two old witches providing some answers, her Uncle and council ignorant and bull-headed, and the stranger Cole a little bit broken. My favorite by far though, was the how Schwab made the wind come to life!

A truly magical story, I highly recommend you read The Near Witch. But set aside a few hours as this will be consumed all in one sitting. A brilliant debut that left me eager to read more from Schwab.


  1. YAY! So glad you liked it! The writing was absolutely beautiful :) And the wind was such a great character!

  2. This one would definitely make an amazing fireside read :)

    Wonderful review, Mel! So glad you enjoyed it,

  3. got this on my wishlist! great review!

  4. I looove the parts with the wind, they were magical. Her writing was so beautiful I was in love with this one. Great review, I'm so glad you liked it! =D

  5. loving this book so far. Glad u enjoyed it!!

  6. So glad you loved it, Mel! Schwab's writing style is sooo good, beautiful and classy. Great review :)