Book Review: Witches of Lychford by Paul Cornell

A story, characters, and setting that is almost there. The reading experience started poorly for me. The narrative kept jumping around mid-chapter from one person to another without even the courtesy space between viewpoint changes. And I got frustrated and was about to put the book down. Then the story opened up to me, and I got giddy about the idea of this being about zoning committee policies and how people handle them and how witches and dark forces are tied to them. I was all in with the story, thinking, yes, something new to the usual witch stories, especially to the wakening of two of the town witches.

Quick recap before I move on: There are three witches: the vigor, the magic shop owner who is an atheist, and the town crank, Judith Mawson, an older lady with troubled existence, who knows what is going on. That the borders of the town and way the houses are laid is essential or else gateway to other worlds will open up and let in beings from the darkness. Now a supermarket is being built on the town, and they want to tear down buildings and change the layout. The town is divided, and the new witches and the old one have to save it from doom and gloom.

I was like yeah, this could be my jam. Politics and critique towards big chain stores and what they do to local markets. But the story never got started, and I began to dislike the one-sided argument and how naively it painted both the evil business bosses and their (assaulted) lackeys (just plain wrong, a rape that was not necessary story-wise and not even good satire about people willing to let themselves be molested for better positions and money, just stupidity, got me angry) the saving witches who never matured, and then the trashing against the poor (painting them in stereotypical light, with ignorance and greed, and simpleness, got angrier.)

Don’t even get me started with the story, that lost the initial momentum and ended into patch up resolutions. So you could say I ended up being quite disappointed. Oh yes, you can look past all that and take it as a silly story, but Terry Pratchett once said: “Satire is meant to ridicule power. If you are laughing at people who are hurting, it’s not satire, it’s bullying.”

Thank you for reading! Have a great day ❤

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