Sometimes, all I want to read is a cool, classy story that draws back on the old mythology of the supernatural. Witches: Tea Party, a novella by author Mark Taylor does just that, playing on the classic notions of witches, sorcery, and their associations, while simultaneously building a new, exciting story for what I hope is the beginning of a new series.
|Love this photo and the cover model, very mysterious!|
In Salem, 1692, Marie-Anne witnessed the death of her friend and confidant, Sarah Good. Charged with being a witch, Sarah goes to the gallows to protect Marie-Anne, a true witch.
Three hundred years later, Marie-Anne, under the name Mary Anson, vows to put things right.
With a new coven - Dina, Excalibur, and Lady - Mary puts in motion the steps to right what went wrong...and what followers is a chase across the country, a chase against time, pursued by monsters and darkness...
...will Mary put things right?
...or will she die trying?
In the opening of the story, a witch named Mary is forced to watch her friend falsely hang in the Salem witch trials. Flash forward a few centuries, and Mary is given the chance to repay those she wronged, and rebuild a new coven to continue practicing her craft.
The new characters of the coven– Dina, Lady, and Excalibur– are great, and highlighted the story for me. I liked Dina's slow, confident leadership, Lady's silence, and Excalibur's feisty, forward attitude. They all worked well with Mary, a witch with incredible power that needs to be honed.
The story was well paced between action and development, though I wanted a little more understanding about how each character's power worked, especially in the final battle. I loved that the magic was unpredictable for the characters, and the monsters that Taylor created to chase them were unique and terrifying.
What I loved most (Excalibur aside) was that I couldn't predict who the antagonist pursuing them was going to be. I read like crazy, and sometimes I can tell who the mysterious villain will be, or what actions will drive them. Not the case here. There were a few options, but the one that ended up being true was the one I never saw coming. Kudos to Taylor for that!
The complaint I have is the one that is essentially a compliment: I wanted more. More from the characters, more understanding of the creatures that lurked through it (especially concerning Excalibur and her surprising heritage– that threw me for a loop to be sure), and more from the ending, since it wasn't fair to leave the readers hanging like that!
All in all, I enjoyed having the chance to read Witches: Tea Party, and would definitely recommend it to anyone wanting a short, fun read. I can absolutely see myself re-reading this novel around Halloween, when the moon is high and the spooks come out to play.