In high society, things are often not as they may appear on the surface. In Paula Brackston’s The Midnight Witch, Lady Lilith Montgomery is not only the daughter of a Duke, but also a very powerful witch that possesses the ability to conjure and speak to the dead. After the death of her beloved father, Lilith becomes the Head Witch of the Lazarus Coven, a mysterious and secret society that is skilled in the magical arts. Stepping into her father’s very influential shoes, Lilith is met with controversy and unseen adversaries as she works to prove her rightful role within the coven. Soon, Lilith must find a way to take on opposition from an intruder into the coven as well as a dark, shadowy group known as the Sentinels, while still maintaining her outward role in society without raising suspicion.
Lilith is strong, smart, beautiful and set to be married to the handsome Viscount Louis Harcourt, her friend and fellow coven member. She manages to keep postponing her nuptials, much to the dismay of her mother, but her heart is not fully invested in Louis. When Lilith meets Bram, an attractive starving artist, there is immediate chemistry and the realization that the two cannot be together is a stark fact. Their respective places in society will not allow for it; Lilith is engaged and she must also never tell a non-witch secrets of the coven or share her magical skills. When Lilith is harassed by an unseen spirit that she cannot control, her worlds begin to collide and she finds herself torn between everything she has known, what she wants and what she must do. Lilith’s power, position, magic, emotions and her life are all at stake as the novel progresses. The development of the relationship between Bram and Lilith is intense and romantic and adds another level of drama to the story and Lilith’s situation. The Midnight Witch is full of action and the lives that all the characters lead, from Bram’s shabby existence in the attic room of his famous artistic patron’s full house, to the dark underbelly of the Sentinel’s secret operations, Paula Brackston creates a magical and interesting take on London in 1913. Lilith is often accompanied by her chattering, delightful best friend Charlotte that adds a dash of humor to the novel and compliments Lilith’s character nicely.
The novel is mysterious, different and exciting and Brackston creates Lilith to be more than just a pretty high society woman with a secret. After London is ravaged by war, the novel shifts as suddenly class and position don’t matter nearly as much as they did before. Only Lilith can protect the secrets of the coven and ultimately herself. It was enjoyable to read a book full of magic, both dark and light, that also included romance, adventure, mystery and struggles. The Midnight Witch is an excellent book with a strong, admirable female lead and an invigorating plot.
Lauren Cannavino is a graduate student, freelance writer, wine lover, and avid reader. Random musings can be found over at www.goldiesays.wordpress.com.
Review copy was provided free of any obligation by St. Martin’s Griffin. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.