Book Reviews

Book Review: The Witches of Moonshyne Manor

By Bianca Marais

Published August 2022

400 Pages

Queenie’s coven is getting old – literally.  Of the five witches left at Moonshyne Manor, all are in their eighties.  There’s not a lot of time left for them; perhaps less than they anticipated since the men in the town are desperate to evict them and turn their home and distillery into a testosterone-fueled theme park.  It doesn’t help matters that the mob is egged on by angry magic and the mayor’s teenage daughter has attached herself to the witches in an effort to take down the patriarchy.

Ruby might be the key to their salvation.  One of their sister’s who has been gone for decades, she’s expected to come home just days before the bank forecloses.  Once she arrives, they’ll be able to find the loot from a long-ago heist that will give them the leverage to save their home.  If she comes home.  Because things can’t possibly get any worse, can they?

Despite the fact that the book was slow to get going (with the set up told in six different points of view before anything actually happened), I loved the characters in this book.  Most Witchlit focuses on the maiden or mother period of a witch’s life so it was refreshing to see Crones kicking butt, even if they did need the help of a precocious teenager to pull them into the digital age. 

“The Witches of Moonshyne Manor” interpreted by Wombo Dream

The author held her secrets and reveals, letting them unfold naturally but in ways I didn’t see coming.  My jaw dropped a bit more than once when the metaphoric lightbulb clicked on.  I think the best part of this novel for me, aside from the obvious fact that it’s Witchlit, was the standout characters.  I couldn’t pick one to name as a favorite, although Persephone, Tabitha’s familiar, and Jezebel were the most memorable.  Icing on the cake – spells and grimoire excerpts scattered between chapters and I’ve decided I need a rage room in my next house.

I’m not sure if any of the witches did Ursula a kindness letting her obsess for decades, but I can’t say any more than that without huge spoilers, so I’ll leave it there because that’s possibly my only criticism of the novel, aside from the pacing in the beginning. 

Overall, a great read in preparation for Samhain. 

4/5 stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Until next time, thank you for visiting.


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