I received this book for free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.The Malan Witch by Catherine Cavendish
Published by Silver Shamrock Publishing on August 18, 2020
Genres: Fiction, Fantasy, Paranormal
Format: ARC, eBook
Source: NetGalley, Publisher
Buy on Amazon
"Naught remained of their bodies to be buried, for the crows took back what was theirs."
An idyllic coastal cottage near a sleepy village. What could be more perfect? For Robyn Crowe, borrowing her sister's recently renovated holiday home for the summer seems just what she needs to deal with the grief of losing her beloved husband.
But behind those pretty walls lie many secrets, and legends of a malevolent sisterhood-two witches burned for their evil centuries earlier. Once, both their vile spirits were trapped there. Now, one has been released. One who is determined to find her sister. Only Robyn stands in her way.
And the crow has returned.
The Malan Witch reminded me that I don’t read enough witchy stories. This story had the eerie creepiness that made you realise that witches aren’t so ugly old hag with warts on her face, a long misshapen nose, and a pointy hat. It was easy to imagine sitting around a campfire having this story read, it was cosy and mildly unsettling.
The Malan Witch has central themes of grief and loneliness being at the epicentre. Robyn has lost the love of her life in the most traumatic of consequences. Her husband died of cancer. She had to endure watching him be fit and healthy and robust what seemed like one minute to a shadow of his former self, not knowing who she was just that she was there supporting him. Incredibly sad. Her sister Holly suggests that she take some time to recuperate and heal at their holiday home. A little cottage on the Cornwall coast. Beautiful scenery, quiet and tranquil, everything that she is needing right now. The cottage has existed in one form or another for generations, her sister being the most recent occupants after it ended up derelict.
The house has an instant creepy feel. For one it stinks, kind of like a sulphuric smell. If you’ve read as much paranormal stories as I have, you know this isn’t good news. She finds out from a local (who also seems to be related to everyone in the village) that the house is seeped in legend. Two sister witches used to stay there and that the house is well named, translated into Devil’s cottage. The witches subjected the village to hell, and they were finally burned at the stake. Their spirits came back but where held in place by two dolls that were effigies of the witches. Robyn’s sister set one free by burning the doll and now one witch has come back with vengeance on her mind.
The Malan witch had a few moments that made me gasp but I felt it failed to really hit its mark. It was an intriguing story that could have been executed better, I guess I just didn’t find it that frightening. The fact that the witch could shapeshift was very cool and even more so that one of them was a crow. I have a massive thing for crows and ravens. I think ultimately I just wanted more from this story.
ABOUT CATHERINE CAVENDISH
Hello, my name’s Catherine Cavendish and I write horror fiction – frequently with ghostly, supernatural, Gothic and haunted house themes.
My latest novel – THE GARDEN OF BEWITCHMENT – is out now from Flame Tree Press. Historical haunted Gothic horror set in the wilds of the Yorkshire moors – pure Bronte country – with a Bronte theme.
My novella – THE DARKEST VEIL – is published from Crossroad Press. In case you were thinking of messing with an ouija board – don’t. Especially if you’re not prepared to follow the rules.
Also from Flame Tree Press – THE HAUNTING OF HENDERSON CLOSE. Ghostly horror set in Edinburgh’s Old Town.
Available now from Kensington-Lyrical – the NEMESIS OF THE GODS trilogy: WRATH OF THE ANCIENTS, WAKING THE ANCIENTS and DAMNED BY THE ANCIENTS – set in Egypt and Vienna and featuring the sinister Dr. Emeryk Quintillus whose obsession has stayed with him long past the grave.
My novellas COLD REVENGE, MISS ABIGAIL’S ROOM, THE DEMONS OF CAMBIAN STREET, DARK AVENGING ANGEL, LINDEN MANOR, THE DEVIL INSIDE HER and THE SECOND WIFE have now been released in new editions by Crossroad Press.
My novels THE DEVIL’S SERENADE and SAVING GRACE DEVINE have also been released in new editions by Crossroad Press, as has my novel of the Lancashire Witches – THE PENDLE CURSE.
I live with a long-suffering husband and a delightful black cat who has never forgotten that her species used to be worshipped in ancient Egypt. She sees no reason why that practice should not continue. Who am I to argue?
When not slaving over a hot computer, I enjoy wandering around Neolithic stone circles and visiting old haunted houses.