I’m not sure what to make of this novella.
I ought to be singing its praises and reaching for the next in the series. The three main female characters are intriguing. The themes in the story fold over one another in intricate patterns through which malice spreads like wine staining linen. Magic transforms the everyday world of a Cotswold village so that normal life seems illusory and less substantial than the shadow worlds that the witches of the title hold at bay.
That’s a lot to pull off in a novella but in the end, it disappointed rather than satisfied me.
It felt like a song with not enough lyrics. I could feel what it might have been and so was disappointed by what it actually was.
I think, perhaps, it was all just a little too easy. Victory should cost more. The ending felt too neat and too bloodless. Not uninteresting or unbelievable, just not enough.