The Midnight Witch by Paula Brackston

The Midnight WitchLilith Montgomery has just been bequeathed the highest position in their witch’s coven, following the death of her father, the Duke of Radnor, Robert Montgomery. At the young age of twenty one, Lilith is to become the next Head Witch of the Lazarus Coven, a responsibility so huge, challenging and dangerous for any witch, experienced or otherwise.

For being the Head Witch means guarding the Great Secret of the coven with her life, no matter what the cost, no matter what the sacrifice.

For centuries, their rival coven, The Sentinels, men who practice dark sorcery rather than witchcraft, have been on a deadly mission to reclaim the Great Secret and the Elixir. The past Lazarus witches had intervened and taken them away from the Sentinels to protect them and act as the moral guardians of such dangerous magic. And now, with a new and inexperienced Head Witch guarding the Elixir, there is no better time to attack.

Lilith’s strength and resolve as a Head Witch are put to the test when she falls in love with the handsome and charismatic artist Bram Cardale, a non-witch who knows nothing about Lilith’s secret life and the great power she holds. One by one, the people closest to Lilith are attacked by a malevolent dark spirit on the behest of the powerful Sentinel Nicholas Stricklend, and they will stop at nothing until she gives them what they want.

It is up to Lilith and her powers to save the people she loves, protect the sanctity of their coven, and fight the evil forces that threaten to tear their coven apart. Forces that are so much powerful and darker than she ever imagined. Is being head witch ever truly worth it? Is protecting the Secret worth losing her family, her friends, and the only man she ever truly loved?

I have read Paula Brackston’s earlier novels (The Winter Witch and The Witch’s Daughter) and liked them a lot, so I was expecting this book to be something that I would enjoy, too. Unfortunately, I didn’t. If I could just utter an incantation that would make it possible for a reader to wring the neck of a character in a book, I would have done so faster than you can say ‘Lumos!’

Lilith Montgomery is such an unreliable heroine and the only thing she was definitely good at was MESSING EVERYTHING UP. There are so many scenes that ran far longer than necessary it bored me to tears. It was also quite irritating to read from the first person point of view, and then switch to the third person next. It also didn’t help that the big climactic events always ended abruptly in the chapter, only to jump years ahead in the future and have the character recount the events through flashbacks. It’s a pity, too, because the storyline held so much promise — good witches vs bad witches, spirits and demons, new head witch harnessing her power — but the author chose to put more emphasis on the romance between Lilith and Bram, which plainly just ruined it for me.

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