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Written by Celia Rees

Fantasy / Magical Featured Books for 11+ readers Featured Books for 13+ readers Historical Fiction Horror & Ghost Stories

LoveReading View on Sorceress

Wise women, wonder and Native American culture - this spellbinding sequel is a feat of historic fiction

This captivating sequel sees contemporary Native American Agnes discover deep connections to her ancestress Mary, whose story enchanted readers in Witch Child. Deftly interweaving narratives of the past and present, and laced with atmosphere, authenticity and insights into Native American culture, this is an exhilarating, emotion-driven feast for fans of historical fiction. 

Agnes is proud of her Native American heritage, though her fellow anthropology students don’t call her by her tribal name, Karonhisake - Searching Sky. After reading the historic diaries of Mary Newbury and being struck by a vision type experience, Agnes feels compelled to contact the researcher who found Mary’s diaries. She has a hunch that Mary might be the young woman she’s heard stories about on her home reservation. As things turn out, her formidable Aunt M, a medicine woman, is already miles ahead of her in knowing this.

Bristling with intrigue and ethical commentary on the acquisition and appropriation of Native American objects (“What right they got to any of that stuff? Bunch of grave robbers!”), this tells the remarkable tales of two remarkable young women connected across time.

Joanne Owen

Sorceress Synopsis

As Witch Child ends so Sorceress begins.

Alison Ellman is still searching for information about Mary Newbury; she has a diary and some scattered information about other people in Mary's life, but Mary has disappeared into the forests and Alison has no way of following her. But when she meets Agnes Herne, Alison encounters the person who is going to tell her all about Mary's life after she leaves Beulah. Agnes is a descendant of Mary's and has a special skill which allows her to be in touch with Mary in the spirit world. And Mary has a story to tell. A story of love and friendship, sadness and loss. A story that takes her across the New World in an epic search for a home. We fell under the spell of Mary in Witch Child and now at last we find out what happened to her after her ill-fated time in Beulah. Just as Mary's story has to be told to Agnes, it has to be read by us for it is passionate, compelling and utterly wonderful.

Sorceress Press Reviews

‘Mary’s story evokes an atmosphere and tension that transports the reader back in time … a satisfying and well-researched sequel’   Waterstones Books Quarterly

‘A wonderful sequel … The novel moves compellingly between past and present to complete a brilliant tale’ Irish Post 

‘The magic entices and rewards the reader with a wonderful story of love, friendship, survival and courage’  Carousel

‘A fine achievement’  Independent

‘A substantial, well-crafted and highly readable novel’  Good Book Guide

Praise for Witch Child;

'I've saved the best for last. The prolific, erudite and consistently brilliant Celia Rees is justly renowned for her dizzyingly inventive plots, redolent of everyone from Angela Carter to Shakespeare. Sovay and Witch Child are two of her best-known books in the younger market, but she has written countless more, all equally breathtaking' - Guardian 

‘Witch Child marked a huge step change in YA historical fiction. There is a contemporary sharpness, an edge, to Rees’s prose that felt new and bold, and marked the book out as a classic right from the start’ Catherine Johnson  

‘Witch Child is an out-and-out classic. A superb idea, beautifully realised. As fresh and original as it was when it first came out. Celia Rees is a wonderful writer and this is a fantastic book’ Chris Priestley

‘Rees sends the reader back in time, and shows them the blood under the fingernails of the early settlers. The good and bad is laid bare, the sense of hope and camaraderie, limited by the entitlement and misogyny that permeates their society, and can be more deadly and dangerous to a young woman than any witches curse’  Deirdre O’Sullivan 

‘The sort of historical novel eleven-and twelve-year-olds will gobble up at a sitting’ Nina Bawden 

‘Absorbing and suspenseful’  Sunday Times


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All versions of this book

ISBN: 9781526625410
Publication date: 03/09/2020
Publisher: Bloomsbury YA an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
Format: Paperback

Book Information

ISBN: 9781526625410
Publication date: 3rd September 2020
Author: Celia Rees
Publisher: Bloomsbury YA an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
Format: Paperback
Pagination: 304 pages
Suitable for: 11+ readers, 13+ readers
Genres: Fantasy / Magical, Historical Fiction, Horror & Ghost Stories
Collections: Scary Reads for Halloween!,

About Celia Rees

Celia Rees has written over twenty books for Young Adults and is best known for her historical fiction. Her first historical novel, Witch Child, was translated into 28 languages. Witch Child and subsequent titles, Sorceress and Pirates!, were shortlisted for the Guardian, Whitbread (Costa) and W.H. Smith Awards in the UK and won awards in the UK, USA, France and Italy. She lives in Leamington Spa, Warwickshire, UK and divides her time between writing, talking to readers in schools and libraries, reviewing and teaching creative writing.   Photo credit: Sue Foll

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