The Near Witch

The Near Witch

by V. E. Schwab


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Brand new edition of Victoria Schwab's long out-of-print, stunning debut

All-new deluxe edition of an out-of-print gem, containing in-universe short story "The Ash-Born Boy" and a never-before-seen introduction from V.E. Schwab.

The Near Witch is only an old story told to frighten children.

If the wind calls at night, you must not listen. The wind is lonely, and always looking for company.

There are no strangers in the town of Near.

These are the truths that Lexi has heard all her life.

But when an actual stranger, a boy who seems to fade like smoke, appears outside her home on the moor at night, she knows that at least one of these sayings is no longer true.

The next night, the children of Near start disappearing from their beds, and the mysterious boy falls under suspicion.

As the hunt for the children intensifies, so does Lexi's need to know about the witch that just might be more than a bedtime story, about the wind that seems to speak through the walls at night, and about the history of this nameless boy.

Part fairy tale, part love story, Victoria Schwab's debut novel is entirely original yet achingly familiar: a song you heard long ago, a whisper carried by the wind, and a dream you won't soon forget.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781789091120
Publisher: Titan
Publication date: 03/12/2019
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 287,733
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.40(d)
Age Range: 13 - 17 Years

About the Author

V.E. Schwab is the No.1 New York Times bestselling author of ten books, including This Savage Song and the Darker Shade of Magic series, whose first book was described as "a classic work of fantasy" by Deborah Harkness. It was one of Waterstones' Best Fantasy Books of 2015, The Guardian's Best Science Fiction novels, and a Telegraph choice. The Independent has called her "The natural successor to Diana Wynne Jones."

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Near Witch 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 80 reviews.
ParaBooks More than 1 year ago
I'm afraid this is going to be another one of those reviews where I just won't do the book justice. Sigh. Yeah, it's that damn good. I feel like anything I put down here will just mar the beautiful prose Schwab wrote so brilliantly and lyrically. Lexi is an AMAZING character. The kind of character that I want to be in books. The kind of girl I can get lost with, tag along with, and agree with everything she says, does, and thinks. She's smart, has common sense, and she looks at the world through not only realistic eyes, but poetic. She wants Near to be a peaceful, happy place, but she's not naive enough to trust in those who've let her down. No matter what. She stands up for what she believes. She's willing to break all the rules, and do what she must to protect those she loves. Cole. Oh man, I love this guy. He's so not the typical lead guy I fall for, but everything about him is gentle and beautiful. But there's also a burning passion inside him, one that Lexi brings out, and one the peaks when he's faced with adversity. He's fierce when the moment calls for it, and he's brave and strong without even trying when he's tested. Humble. I guess that's the world I'm looking for. He's humbly amazing. The plot held strong all the way through. I loved the pace of the story. I read slowly. I took my time, and even reread passages and moments between Lexi and Cole. The story started off with a dark, eerie feel, and I'm so happy that it stayed true till the end. Although there was no big twist, I loved that Schwab threw me a couple of times, and made my mouth hang open, shaking my head and saying, "NO!" So, yeah. A perfect read for me. I will definitely be reading it again soon.
syntactics More than 1 year ago
Lexi has always been closer to her father, who taught her to creep after the red deer and to touch it without its startling, and to Magda and Dreska, who speak to the wind and the earth and seem older than time, than to her fellow villagers. And now that her father is dead, her younger sister barely remembers what their family was, and her mother has taken to kneading and baking bread endlessly to work out her sorrows, Lexi longs for nothing more than to be close to the moor the way Magda and Dreska are close to it-or closer, the way the first stranger to come to town in ages seems to be. Then, when the town's children start disappearing in the whispering dark of the night, drawn out of their rooms by a wind that can speak their names, Lexi needs that closeness. She needs the moor to surrender signs of the children so she can track them; needs Cole, the stranger, with his burden of memory and his strange powers; and needs, most of all, to know the truth about the Near Witch. It might be the only way to save what's left of what she loves. I couldn't put it down, and couldn't stop thinking about it once I did. Schwab's language is as subtle and irresistible as the wind on the moors, and the world she creates in this novel comes to life with suspense, romance, and redemption. I would recommend this book to fans of YA romance and literary fiction alike.
Poseiwriting More than 1 year ago
Victoria Schwab's lyrical debut wisks you back to the time you heard your first fairy tale, and knew without question, that magic was real. The characters, setting, and story of THE NEAR WITCH are woven together beautifully, a whispering enchantment that stays with you long after you turn the final pages. I was lucky enough to get a ARC of The Near Witch in 2010 and it turned out to be, by a mile, my favorite of the (many) books I read last year! Within two weeks of getting it, I read it twice! As I read it again today to celebrate it's release it will be the 6th time I've read it! Suffice to say this book managed to do two things that I have not had a book do in a very, very long time: 1) It so completely drew me in and entangled me in the world of the story that if someone had jumped out in front of me while I was reading and shouted "Quick! Tell me where you are?" it would have taken me a good minute or two to come back to reality and read adjust my brain to the point where I could answer correctly; and 2) at LEAST twice book had a moment so emotionally tense that I literally jumped up from my seat and didn't realize I was standing until the tense moment had passed. This book is brilliant and you should read it as soon as you possibly can! Fair warning though, you probably want to set aside enough time to read the whole thing... this book will haunt you (in a fabulous OMG-what-is-going-to-happen-next kind of way) if you try to put it down before you finish it!
BriBri22 More than 1 year ago
Loved this book! Purchased it last weekend, and I finished the book in a week. The book was that good that I didn't want to put it down. Very interesting storyline, love that she kept me interested from the beginning of the book through the end. Definitely recommend if you are into witches and things of that nature.
Ants_Luna More than 1 year ago
Near is a town that borders the wild moor. For centuries, the grass, the weeds, the flowers, and the stones have overgrown the bones of truths that were once known. Nothing remains except tales of witches and great power. Lexi is a young woman who listens to the moor. It calls to her gently, and she listens as one might look out of the corner of one’s eye. When a mysterious stranger arrives in Near, Lexi’s life seems to be swiftly upheaved. Children begin to disappear from their beds whilst the wind sings them a song. A town in denial and filled with fear, Lexi attempts to unravel the threads and find the missing ones. The stranger and the remaining witches fear for their lives. Lexi could face banishment but better that than to live a life of loss. The re-release of The Near Witch brought to life a beautiful book, both in the art and in the story. Victoria Schwab’s debut novel did not disappoint. Her narrative prowess is deeply illustrated by the ebb of the story as it gently sweeps you under. Much like the wind’s song, you find yourself coming up for air that won’t suffocate you. The story is beautifully written. There are no slow bits, and the build-up is exquisite. Schwab managed to tell a story of loss, of hope, and of sisterhood in just 252 pages. At the same time, she explores the themes inside these stories: deception, honesty, and fear. To bring so much content in such a short span of pages, one thinks that she must have skimmed on something, but that is not the case. Victoria Schwab's descriptions set the mood. The way in which she presents the invisible lines between Near and the moor, you’d think that you stand in that space of in-between. You are in the town of Near as you read. You feel the shivers go down your back as you read about the Near Witch. Your stomach rumbles while injustices shine through the book, and yes, the heebie-jeebies are always just over your shoulder. This book manages to be just unsettling enough while still capturing your attention. The Near Witch borders between the realm of Young Adult and the world of books that swallow you up whole, no matter your age. The tone, though dark, has lighthearted moments. The worldbuilding is incomparable, and it leaves just enough space for you to conjure up images that are not restricted by modern conceptions of places. In this rerelease, Victoria Schwab also includes a short story: “The Ash-Born Boy.” This story tells the tale of the mysterious stranger that arrives at Near, and it’s a story of abuse and of heartbreak. It’s a story of being told to hole up deep inside yourself, where no one can see the parts of you that aren’t quite so “normal” or “pretty.” However, though this short story is sad, it’s still heartbreakingly beautiful. I highly recommend this for fans of Neil Gaiman, Kiersten White, Erin Morgenstern, and even then, if you don’t know of any of these authors, I recommend you pick up this book by the sheer merit of it. The prose is beautifully written, and the characters will take residence in your heart. I give this five out of five stars.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
l_manning on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Lexi has heard the stories of the Near Witch her entire life. Her father made sure she knew the tales of what had happened in her town. As new children begin disappearing though, Lexi learns that what she knows may not have been the entire story. As her village is ready to punish the mysterious stranger that recently showed up, Lexi feels sure it wasn't him. Now she has to prove it, but that is going to be one of the hardest things she's ever done. Combine that with trying to protect the rest of the village children (including her younger sister), and Lexi has her hands full very quickly.I found this to be a very entertaining book. I thought the author did an amazing job of creating a sense of atmosphere. You are very quickly pulled into this book, and you feel a sense of urgency for the characters. I loved that the story was as simple as it appeared. This book does a great job of showing what people can do when they feel threatened and scared. Their irrational behaviors can cause them and others problems. It also shows how things that were done in the past can come back to haunt you in various forms. Watching Lexi try to prevent a repeat of what happened before is very intriguing.This book was a very quick read. I found it to be a bit spooky, and you feel Lexi's urgency throughout. I loved the fairy tale feel to the story. It almost feels like a dark fairy tale. I really enjoyed this book, and I think the author had a great writing style. Definitely check this book out!
MrsBoswellBooks on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The Near Witch takes a typical children's bedtime story and puts a haunting and terrifying spin on it. Passed down through generations, much of the original story seems to have been lost with only the good ending being retold through time. Songs and games have been created around the tale of the Near Witch. With the witch gone and no strangers in Near, no bad can happen. But one night Lexi sees a boy that she has never seen around town before, and children begin disappearing from that point on. Is this mysterious boy tied to the disappearances or is something more sinister lurking on the outskirts of Near?Victoria Schwab has written a beautiful story that is charming and lyrical. The Near Witch is one that you just want to fly through but instead you find yourself taking your time, savoring each word, phrase and passage.Each and every character adds their own special spark to the story. From strong, confident Lexi to silent and sure Cole. Toss in the commanding Elders and the enigmatic witches living on the outskirts of Near and you have a great and well-rounded cast.The pages come to life with an eerie plot, rich settings, haunting tales and intriguing characters. Victoria Schwab has written an amazing and beautiful debut. After The Near Witch, I can't wait to read more of Schwab's tales.
readingdate on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The Near Witch is a deliciously eerie and captivating book that drew me in with the first pages. The book reads like a fairy tale with lush, vivid descriptions. I could visualize the curling wind and tall grasses depicted in the story. The story has a timeless and mysterious quality that is in turn dark, chilling, and romantic. This is the perfect book to curl up and read on a cold winter night.The protagonist, Lexi, lives with her mother and younger sister in the town of Near. After her father¿s death, she has stepped up to care for her family. She is comfortable with her father¿s hunting knife and chopping firewood. She is a feminist and a free thinker. She does not see why she should not be able to do these chores or why she would not be included in the search for the missing children. Lexi is a strong heroine that is inquisitive and determined. She remains true to herself even when she becomes romantically involved.The town of Near is a character itself, with the forest and the moors, the gardens and the wind. It is a quiet small town that is shaken by the stranger¿s arrival and the missing children. The townspeople include the council members who are searching for the stranger, and the families grieving their missing children. The two witches in the town are fascinating with their gardens, charms, tea, and historic knowledge of the town.The action ramps up throughout the novel to the final tension filled chapters. It is impossible to put this book down until you reach the riveting conclusion. The ending was exciting, satisfying, and complete. I don¿t know if there are plans for a sequel, but I would love to read more.I recommend The Near Witch for the gorgeous writing, vivid descriptions, and the suspenseful fairytale story. This is Victoria Schwab¿s debut novel, and I look forward to reading more of her work. The Near Witch is due to be published August 2, 2011.
usagijihen on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I love the fairy-tale setting of this book, not gonna lie. And also the physical redefinition of the idea of the witch ¿ as not necessarily a human individual, but one that is made of the earth itself and not just in tune with it, or able to use it as an element. I really love that idea ¿ that the witch¿s skin is that of the moor itself.Much like the recently updated version of ¿Little Red Riding Hood¿, you get the feeling that the villagers are sacrificing their own freedom for the safety of their children, but completely unaware of the evil they¿re letting in in order to do so. Lexi says it herself later in the book: ¿The Council has always ruled Near through fear.¿ This story isn¿t just about ¿it¿s okay to be different¿, but also to acknowledge and even, I daresay, shine the light of truth on those who would rule tyranically through preying on the ignorance of a collective people. And what that costs.I also love the fact that ¿the stranger¿ is a male witch ¿ you don¿t get that too often in fairy tale-like stories, not at all. It was refreshing to have a gender change here, and despite Lexi falling for the stranger, it all worked. Both are different, and both are feared and/or ridiculed (and later hunted) for being different, so their coming together wasn¿t a surprise. I saw it coming. But nevertheless, it was refreshing to have an old trope turned on its head.I guess my one main issue of the book was ¿ why was romance needed at all? I talk about this in terms of Lexi falling for the stranger, because it just kind of seemed to come out of nowhere. And yes, while it was slow compared to other ¿love at first sight¿ deus-ex-machina devices used as of late, it didn¿t seem like they waited long before they started making out. At least they got to know each other first, I guess, but I would have liked more time to pass between them before the romance part happened.Nevertheless, a wonderful debut. I look forward to reading more from this author!(crossposted to goodreads, shelfari, and
molliekay on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
After reading this book, I'll definitely think twice about going outside after dark! Schwab weaves a perfect fairy tale ghost story about a witch who lived long ago and a stranger who may or may not be responsible for the disappearance of the town's children. The only downside to the book was that some of the questions went unanswered, including a big one. But overall, I'd say it was a creepy chiller of a tale, and I'd suggest checking it out.
BookAddictDiary on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Lexi has grown up in the town of Near listening to the legend (well, more like bedtime story) of the Near Witch, a woman who supposedly once lived outside of Near and whose tale serves only to frighten young children into obedience. Now that she's left to raise her sister, Wren, she tells the tale to Wren every night. Then, one night, a strange boy appears outside her window who seems....otherworldly. Soon after, Near's children start disappearing from their beds. Naturally, the outsider becomes the town's first target in the hunt for the children, though he insists that he's innocent. To prove his innocence, he insists on helping Lexi discover the truth behind the disappearances, even after the supposedly superstitious Near Witch is suspected.Part fairy tale, part ghost story and part romance, The Near Witch is a fascinating and atmospheric tale of witches, superstition, romance and, most importantly, one girl's drive to discover the truth. At its core, the story is a simple, quick read that revolves around the romance between Lexi and the boy with an eerie, ghost story-like backdrop. More than anything, author Victoria Schwab paints a wonderfully atmospheric and haunting portrait of the village of Near, its inhabitants and their traditions. Though there isn't much action in the novel overall, the writing captivates readers and transports them to a completely emotional and dense world dominated by dreary tones.While I enjoyed Near Witch for the most part, I had some trouble with the novel's pacing. The story starts out a little slow and, though there are moments of page-turning goodness, there are several other moments when I felt like the plot was standing in one place and refusing to move. It doesn't help that the action is a little uneven, but picks up closer to the end.I'd recommend Near Witch to readers looking for an easy, simple love story with great atmosphere and who truly enjoy getting caught up in an author's writing, rather than expecting endless action on every page (this book just isn't about action). But I think that Near Witch has a place for fans of fairy tales/ghost stories looking for a little romance.
cjbh on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
¿The Near Witch¿ by Victoria Schwab is a tale set in a time long ago in the village of Near when people still believed in magic and witches both evil and not so evil...but mainly it's a tale about the Near Witch and redemption.Children have been disappearing from their beds at night without a trace and the townsfolk of Near look with suspicion at a mysterious stranger that seems to be able to appear and disappear at will. He unfortunately appeared in Near the night before the disappearances began. Lexi, a young lady living at the outskirts of Near with her mother and little sister Wren, wants to be like her deceased father¿a man in touch with the magic of the moors and an expert tracker. Lexi even wears his boots with socks stuffed in the toes and his knife belted around her waist. She is determined to keep the children, especially Wren, safe from what she believes could be the ancient Near Witch come back to life from centuries before. However, with a strange young man appearing and disappearing before Lexi¿s own eyes even she is not sure who is the real culprit could be.Victoria Schwab has written a tale reminding me of those by the Brothers Grimm that can be read, re-read and enjoyed by young adults and adults alike and as Grimm¿s tales and fables there are also lessons to be learned woven throughout the story. I was totally immersed in the author¿s description of the town and people, the sound of the moors singing in the wind and especially the magic and humor of the witches both evil and not so evil, feeling almost as one of the villagers myself in Near watching the drama unfold before my eyes and not merely reading words on a page. Victoria Schwab has offered the reader a bit of her own magic in her tale of ¿The Near Witch¿. Totally enchanting!!!(Thank you to the publisher for sending me an ARC before the release date!)
Saisquoi on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
An excellent first novel.I found this book a little bit slow to start, but once it picked up it was a well-executed fairy-tale focusing on what fear, exclusion, and rush to judgment can ultimately cost a community. The supernatural elements of the story were well-incorporated and the main characters were nicely developed. Look forward to more from this author.
YABliss on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The Near Witch brilliantly blends supernatural with fairytale adventure. The writing was simply delicious, very lyrical and definitely the best part of this debut novel. It's the kind of writing that pulls you in and makes you hold on. The descriptions, the way she envelops you with words and the wind, makes you feel her tale rather that read it. I had a perfect mental image of the setting, and could feel the wisp of magic flowing around me. It's a unique feeling that few authors accomplish. I swear, the wind was like another character.Up until the page 200 or so, the story was unbelievably spellbinding. I was mesmerized by the eerie and fascinating world that Schwab created. The sexy chemistry and mystery between the Lexi and Cole was also very gripping. My only problem was the resolution felt a bit... er, stretched. Like, Lexi knew what to do for some time and still went fussing about other stuff and going back home to sleep.The little rhymes and songs that Schwab created for this story were amazing. It added to the mystery and the magical feeling of the book. Readers of all ages will be captivated by this incredible debut and I cant wait to read more from Victoria Schwab!
ReadingFanatic09 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
When I began reading The Near Witch, I wasn't sure that this was a book that I was going to enjoy or even be able to get through. It sounded intriguing enough, but I was quite wary. I loved being proved wrong every minute of reading this. The Near Witch is an enchanting tale of magic, family, and first love set against a small-town backdrop of suspicion and fear.Enter the town of Near--an undefined, historical town settled in the moors, where the wind sings through the windows and the people live in fear of those things unknown. When a stranger arrives in the town, there is an immediate panic, which escalates as children begin disappearing from the beds in the dead of night. Could this stranger be to blame? For most of the villagers, he is the obvious person--and the easiest--to blame. But Lexi believes otherwise; she will go to great lengths to prove this stranger's innocence. Lexi was a character that I liked from the very beginning. Her tomboyish nature and clear, unwavering love for her mother and sister (and deceased father) combine to create a lovable, real main character. I especially connected with her profound desire to protect her sister--a natural response between close sisters. Lexi is the type of character who knows what she wants/believes and doesn't waver from those things. She proves this over and over again during the hunt for the children--never wavering in her belief that it wasn't the stranger, never giving up searching despite set-backs. She was strong and courageous, even in those moments when the reader was allowed a glimpse of her loving nature and true despair at her father's death.The stranger, whom Lexi names Cole, is intriguing throughout and I never quite knew what to make of him. Don't take that the wrong way--I thought he was perfectly done. The "strangeness" of him complemented the town of Near and it's fear of the outside. His friendship with Lexi stood to complement the situation more and more as she struck out on her own to find the children, even when the people of Near didn't believe her. Now, I will say that the romance between the two seemed to pop up out of nowhere. I saw it coming in a sense, but I thought that it progressed at an interesting, slightly too sudden tempo. I liked them together, but they didn't have enough to get to know each other before that first kiss pops up.Overall, Ms. Schwab has written a truly stunning novel, one that I can't wait to buy for myself and read over and over again (and maybe pass along to kids someday).
Kskye on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I¿d been hearing a lot of buzz about The Near Witch, and was glad I was approved for a galley. The Near Witch is a hybrid of folklore and fairy tales. There is a slight semblance to The Pied Piper, and yet Miss Schwab manages to make the story all her own. It is certainly worth the hype. What an awesome debut novel.It is said witches and hunters live on the edge of the village of Near. Lexi Harris being a child of the latter lives in such a spot, having the advantage of seeing the comings and goings of town. The thing is, there are no strangers in Near, so when one catches her eye in the window she is curious about him. He seems to melt into the darkness. The town where everybody knows everybody wants to know who this stranger is, but before anyone can meet him the children of Near start vanishing. Lexi¿s sister Wren hears children outside asking her to come play; a melody that adults do not hear. Who is responsible for luring the children out of bed and can Lexie convince the town from repeating history?The Near Witch gave off a nostalgic feeling and it flowed so well. It was well paced and it had just enough romance. It's lyrical, full of pretty prose and not in a confusing way. One thing I wasn¿t expecting was to genuinely be scared. What started as sort of mysterious grew into a genuinely chilling book. One scene in particular really freaked me out and I had trouble sleeping that night. It had me wanting to double check my windows. It's funny because although some parts scared me, I felt the book was lovely (such a strange dichotomy, but it worked.) I felt for the characters, and I felt outraged at the villagers. I wanted to be best friends with Lexi, and I wanted a sister like Wren. I love when I actually care for the characters I'm reading about.I love this book. It has everything, it's a ghost story with magic and witches. What's not to love? It kept me repeatedly guessing, and I also learned a lot about how fear can blind us. You know what else is awesome? It's a standalone! Buy it and stick it next to Grimm's Fairy Tales on your shelf.The Near Witch comes out August 2.P.S. Has anyone seen Sigur Ros's Glósóli video? It sort of reminded me of The Near Witch, with the same kind of eerie, magical, fairy tale feeling.
booktwirps on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The story of the Near Witch is just a story told to frighten children. Lexi knows this. She¿s heard the story her entire life. She¿s heard the story so many times it is engrained in her memory, and she often tells the story to her younger sister before she goes to sleep. One night, after tucking her sister in, Lexi notices the strange figure of a boy standing outside her home. The boy appears to flicker in the wind and eventually disappears right before her eyes. While most people in the town of Near would be frightened, Lexi is intrigued. She was always told by her late father that not all witches are evil. Like humans, they can be good or bad. So, when the children of Near start disappearing from their beds, Lexi tracks down the boy and enlists him in helping her find the children before the townsfolk begin blaming the witches.As more children disappear, the townspeople become more and more unsettled and the truth behind the legend of the Near Witch is questioned. Is she really only a myth? Can Lexi find the children and learn the mystery of the strange boy before it¿s too late?I probably shouldn¿t have read The Near Witch right after reading Chime. While both are totally different stories, and both authors have completely different writing styles , I couldn¿t help but compare the two books to one another at first. In the beginning, I felt Ms. Schwab¿s writing was too flowery and poetic, but halfway through the story I realized that this style perfectly fits the tone of the book. It gives the reader a sense of floating through the story. I felt the characters were strong and I was completely caught up in the mystery surrounding the missing children and the Near Witch. There¿s a definite haunting vibe to both the story and the prose. I highly recommend it.(Review based on an advanced reader's copy courtesy of the publisher via NetGalley)
krystal_osmond on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
My Review:The Near Witch, by debut author Victoria Schwab was a fantastic read! There is not one negative thing I can say about it, other than - it ended. Seriously, if the only thing that bothered me about The Near Witch was that the author had to stop writing the book at some point, than that's saying something I think!This book is about a town called Near, it's a small town, houses surrounding the main part of the town, the moor around the houses and everyone knows each other. Near is a peaceful town until a stranger is spotted in town one day, then unfortunate events begin to happen the next day - children start to disappear. The whole idea of the novel is original, unique and frightening. I may be chicken, but I get scared when children are involved whether it's a book, TV or movie - if kids and witches/paranormal events etc are together, then I'm bound to be a chicken. The Near Witch was no exception.Schwab creates characters that will become so familiar to you. You will get to know these characters such as Lexi, Cole, the Sisters, Otto, Tyler and Wren and you'll get attached to them in one way or another. Whether it is to feel bad for them, to want to help them or maybe even smack some sense into them - you're attached. Lexi, the main character is a strong young women, who, like her deceased father is a tracker. She is able to pick up clues in nature to find her way around and to feel more connected to her surroundings. She feels she has to be a protector of her family (her mother and her younger sister) as she takes on the role of her father. Cole is a mysterious character who forms a relationship with Lexi that is just so special. And the Sisters, Magda and Dreska play a huge role in The Near Witch and were two of my favourite characters. They have an eerie way to them, and add to the whole creepy feeling of the novel.The setting in The Near Witch becomes very clear with Victoria Schwab painting it. Down to the ripples in the fields to the wind whispering secrets, you're there and all of your senses will be awake. Victoria Schwab has a writing style unlike any other. The whole novel reads like poetry and you will get lost in her writing and story telling. The Near Witch was one of the best 2011 books I've had the chance to read and review.And mark my word, this will become a classic. We'll be reading The Near Witch for years to come. I highly recommend this book and I'm eager for more to come from Victoria Schwab!
Irisheyz77 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is a book I wish I could read again for the first time. I find it hard to come up with the words on just how good of a story it is. But I did...almost 950 of them in fact. They'll post on my blog closer to release. But until then know. Near Witch is Amazing and everyone should pre-order a copy of it today. You won't want to miss this one.
Theamwriter on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
About the BookThe Near Witch is only an old story told to frighten children.If the wind calls at night, you must not listen. The wind is lonely and always looking for company. And there are no strangers in the town of Near. These are the truths that Lexi has heard all her life. But when an actual stranger¿a boy who seems to fade like smoke¿appears outside her home on the moor at night, she knows that at least one of these sayings is no longer true.The next night, the children of Near start disappearing from their beds, and the mysterious boy falls under suspicion. Still, he insists on helping Lexi search for them. Something tells her she can trust him. As the hunt for the children intensifies, so does Lexi¿s need to know¿about the witch that just might be more than a bedtime story, about the wind that seems to speak through the walls at night, and about the history of this nameless boy.My ReviewI started following Ms. Victoria Schwab on YouTube when she was with the YA Rebels. That's how I found out about her book. For me being an aspiring writer, I was excited with her along the way before her debut novel, The Near Witch, came out. I was even more excited for her when the release day came. I absolutely loved the book. The Near Witch is filled with mystery, love, old stories and legends of the town of Near. If I was given the opportunity I know for a fact that I would have read this book in one sitting. I love the cover for the book. I love the little shiny filigree on the cover. It's beautiful. I truly enjoyed reading Victoria Schwab's novel, and I look forward to reading anything else that she publishes in the future. I gave this book a 5 star rating!! I loved it.
allureofbooks on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Y'all, this novel stands out. The elegance and subtlety of both the writing and the story are rare enough on their own - forget about finding them together. The plot completely transports you to another world: specifically, the town of Near. Children in Lexi's small town begin disappearing around the same time that she starts seeing a person that seems to be made of smoke floating around outside after dark. When she meets the otherworldly boy, they form an unlikely alliance that plunges them into the thick of a witch's centuries old grudge. The way the story is told is so dream-like that the words practically float above the page.Fairy tales are meant to be ethereal in this way - but the good ones also capitalize on the evil. The legitimate menacing tone that Victoria Schwab manages to capture in the story while never losing the sense of fanciful innocence is absolutely brilliant. I can't say enough about the beautiful writing and how much I respect how much Victoria was able to accomplish within the story.As soon as I finished the book, I kept recommending it to people by comparing it to something that would be written by Neil Gaiman. I 100% stand by that. This book belongs on the shelves next to writers just Gaiman or Diana Wynne Jones. High praise that is totally deserved!
BookishBrunette on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Do you remember the movie Hocus Pocus? You know? With Bette Midler and Sarah Jessica Parker... Sarah Sanderson sings to the children and they all come to her??? The Near Witch reminded me of Hocus Pocus - which is wicked fabulous because it remains to be one of my fav movies ever to this day!In the town of Near a mysterious stranger shows up and then children start disappearing in the middle of the night... Lexi has to find out who is responsible for taking the kids, before her sister become one of the missing and prove Cole innocent before her Uncle shoots him for no other crime than being an outsider (therefore he must be blamed.)Now "Cole" as Lexi has named him has quite the tragic history... NO. I will not tell you what it is, you must read the book, but you should probably have a few tissues handy. Just saying.The people of Near are ready, willing and able to blame Cole for the children's disappearance. Lexi, however thinks it is the Near Witch calling the children from their beds each night... The only problem with her theory is that the witch has been dead for a loooong time.You can't believe how this turns out!!! I am literally DYING to put spoilers all over this review!!! Just *ugh* because I can't say anything or I will give everything away!Victoria Schwab has written a completely entrancing, romantic and suspenseful read in The Near Witch. Absolutely amazing! Never a dull moment in this utterly enchanting tale- I couldn't put it down! This is a MUST READ of 2011!
amwo on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The Near Witch by Victoria Schwab is a novel I have been eagerly waiting to read. I just had this feeling that Victoria Schwab's writing was going to be absolutely beautiful. Well, after finally reading it, The Near Witch did not disappoint.I was instantly hooked by the creepy and mysterious themes throughout the story. I haven't read many witch novels, but this one really intrigued me. Near is a town where everyone knows everyone and everyone knows what's right and what's wrong. Everyone is intrigued by the idea of witches, but deathly afraid of them at the same time. Victoria Schwab created a beautiful world with her talk of witches and lonely wind that you should be careful not to listen to.I very much enjoyed the Salem Witch Trial effect Victoria creates in The Near Witch through her input of superstitions, fairytales, and her excellent mix of characters. She gave us the strong female character and protagonist, Lexi, a teenage girl determined to protect her family and find out the truth. Then she gave us Cole, the mysterious yet comforting stranger who was determined to help set things right in Near and protect Lexi. But then you had the villagers and the ones in charge of protecting them. Otto, Lexi's uncle and the Protector, who always seemed to do what was "necessary", and then the Council, who were too wrapped up in tradition and duty to see outside the obvious. The overall mix of characters and events in The Near Witch caused a witch hunt that ended up going far beyond just protecting the children.Aside from the interesting mix of characters, Victoria also had some of the most descriptive and beautiful writing I have seen in a long time. In the Near Witch, everything was about the scenery and the moor. If you live in Near, the moor and everything that is a part of it is a part of you. Victoria described the scenery beautifully. From the rich, steady earth to the haunting melody of the moor wind, Schwab drew you in as a reader so that you felt the icy but ever changing feeling of the moor all the way down to your bones.Victoria also did an impeccable job writing the relationship between Lexi and Cole. Both of them had a strange connection to the moor (for different reasons) and you could see that in their relationship. Cole and Lexi's relationship was complicated, as he had some interesting secrets to hide, and Victoria portrayed that well in her writing. Cole constantly seemed like he was a part of the wind, about to drift away at any second, but for Lexi he was more solid and whole. Amidst all of the problems Lexi and Cole encountered throughout the book, the fact that they clung to the newest and strangest thing of all, their relationship, said a lot about their characters. I am frequently disappointed by relationships in YA novels, especially fantasy ones, but Victoria Schwab did an excellent job of adding depth to Lexi and Cole's relationship.Victoria Schwab payed attention to every miniscule detail in The Near Witch, creating a story that is both beautiful and scary, nerve-wracking and breathtaking. If Victoria Schwab can write a debut this good, I can't wait to see what she does next.
writersherry on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book is haunting and beautifully written. I liked the heroine and the romance was believable. A must-read for fans of witchcraft, supernatural, and Gothic tales!