Book Review – Waking the Witch

Hello hello and welcome or welcome back to my little bookish corner of the internet. Today I’m sharing my review of Waking the Witch by Rachael Burge. Her previous books, The Twisted Tree and The Crooked Mask were captivating, so I was very excited to read this. I actually first read it back in the summer but because of our housing situation, blogging was on pause, so this is my review after rereading via the audiobook.

‘I tried to keep you safe, but I see now that I can’t. They won’t stop until they have you . . .’

When Ivy’s search for her mother draws her to a remote Welsh isle, she uncovers a dark secret about her past.

An ancient and corrupt power is stalking Ivy, and her only chance of survival is to look deep within herself.

For not every story in legend is true, and some evils are not what they seem.

A darkly spellbinding tale of female empowerment, steeped in Welsh mythology and Arthurian legend.

As I said, I originally read this as a physical book in the summer, after kindly being sent a copy by Hot Key. Unfortunately I wasn’t in a position to review it immediately, but that does mean I was able to also listen to this via audiobook, and this is a book that really lends itself to a narrative style.

Ivy is a character who has a lot of walls up, and as much as her co-worker Tom tries to break them down with practical jokes and ridiculous comments, she isn’t capable of letting herself be vulnerable. But when she is suddenly forced into a position where she absolutely has to rely on him, he finds those cracks in her walls just that bit easier…

I love a character who isn’t the type you would initially embrace with open arms. Standoffish characters, characters with layers and trauma, they are the type of characters who really grab my attention. Ivy does just that, yet you find herself warming to her because of the skill with which Burge writes her. She feels real, she feels believable, and she certainly feels like a vulnerable teenage girl that I’m sure I’m not the only woman to remember feeling like.

The legends and magic at the heart of the story are cleverly woven, and grip you strongly. It’s an unapologetic take on feminine strength and power, a unique story of strength and searching for your identity in the places you never thought to look, and of hope when all seems lost.

Rachel Burge is one to watch.

Thanks for stopping by for this review. I know I’ve already shared my books to buy this Christmas post (link here), but this is one I’d add especially for the teenage girls out there who might need reminding of the power they hold inside. We all need that nudge sometimes.



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