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Summary

Discover a magical historical saga of mothers, daughters and the power of witchcraft - perfect for fans of A Discovery of Witches, Outlander and Nora Roberts.

'It's true, ma petite. If they know - if they discover what we are - they will try to kill us'

Brittany, 1821. After Grand-mere Ursule gives her life to save her family, their magic seems to die with her. Even so, the Orchires fight to keep the old ways alive, practicing half-remembered spells and arcane rites in hopes of a revival. And when their youngest daughter comes of age, magic flows anew. The lineage continues, though new generations struggle not only to master their power, but also to keep it hidden.

But when World War II looms on the horizon, magic is needed more urgently than ever - not for simple potions or visions, but to change the entire course of history.

A Secret History of Witches is a moving historical saga that traces five generations of fiercely powerful mothers and daughters - witches whose magical inheritance is both a dangerous threat and an extraordinary gift.

Shortlisted for the Endeavour Award.

©2018 Louisa Morgan (P)2018 Little, Brown Book Group

Critic reviews

"Will sweep you away to a time of magic, love, and loss...Mesmerising." (Tish Thawer)

"Deftly captures the greatest magic of all: the love between mothers and daughters." (Jordanna Max Brodsky)

"A deeply satisfying and magical work of great craft." (Carol Goodman, author of Incubus)

What listeners say about A Secret History of Witches

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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Stop part way through

It was good, if a little Mills and Boon at points, until the queen mother appeared. We stopped listening because it was just beyond ridiculous, where before it had managed to make the unbelievable acceptable, we couldn’t go along with it anymore. Also as a pagan, the mispronunciations of the sabbats was irritating, but the mispronunciations of perfectly everyday words really took the biscuit.

12 people found this helpful

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Odd pronunciation of some important words

It's hard to get into this as I'm totally thrown by odd pronunciations. I'm a witch who's been around pagans for a while. I love reading historical or fictional accounts about witches even though most of it is fantasy and does not relate to real life Wiccans. I'm sure this is a great book but I'm not a fan of the narration. It's a dry, raspy academic sounding reading. And there are words that I've never heard pronounced like this like Samhain which the narrator reads as Sam-Hane. And Lith which she pronounces Lith-er. And even Sabbat has strange stress on syllables in this book. I kept thinking there was a male character called Louis Sept, then realised the narrator actually meant Louisette which should be more like Louise with an ette on the end. So however knowledgeable the author is with Wiccan traditions and the wheel of the year, hearing the odd pronunciations sounds like someone who's never met a Pagan and probably isn't interested to find out. So I'm curious, do publishers just get a voice artist to read then never check their product afterwards? Some strange things kept happening as well like sentences or pages that repeated twice and I checked on other devices and it kept happening. It seems to me there's a lot of money to be made when audible books are around £28 sometimes, or more, but publishers are behaving like it's just an add on perk or favour like they have produced a charitable reading for the blind to access, when we've actually paid a lot for it. I have come across annoying things about audiobooks like the fact it doesn't read the front pages, or the about book, nor does it ever read the afterword or info or acknowledgements at the back of the book, sometimes chapter numbers are missed too when ALL should be accessible to the visually impaired. Sometimes there are other mistakes too. Yet if we have visual problems and rely on an audiobook it's always a shadow of the cheaper text version. Anyway, my point is, publishers please check your audiobooks. And if you include elements of religion, culture or foreign languages, check that these are pronounced correctly otherwise it feels disrespectful. Also check that the voice is suitable and restful for someone who wants to listen for hours. Often I have to return an audiobook because the voice is hard, grating and painful with inconsistent volume. In this particular book, I don't want to be rude but mispronunciation aside, the voice just isn't a pleasant one to listen to for hours on end. I am continuing and hoping the story will distract me from these annoying bits.

6 people found this helpful

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A lovely listen

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It was a beautifully read trip though the ages, of love and loyalty, heartbreak and betrayal. I engaged with all the daughters of the goddess and their familiars. I didn’t want the book to end.

3 people found this helpful

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excellent

loved every min of this book especiallyas the book went through the various time scaled. highly recommended

3 people found this helpful

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Mixed feelings

Absolutely loved it, right up until the last book, The Book of Veronica, which I just found utterly unbelievable. What a shame!

3 people found this helpful

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Really enjoyable listen 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻

Really enjoyed listening to this book. A great story with an excellent narrator. Definitely recommend.

2 people found this helpful

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Wonderful

Everything about this book I liked I know it’s a work of fiction but lovely to hear about 'THE CRAFT' without all the devil/god stuff that has hijacked any mention of the women who knew how to heal and nurture passing through the ages of time.
So sad it had to end but ended very well

2 people found this helpful

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whats happening?

i got about 4 generations in before i got bored of the constant repetition
great writing but i dont really know where this could go

2 people found this helpful

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pleasant distraction

I felt the choice of narrator carried this for me a little as they did a fantastic job. I did enjoy the story but it was more a pleasant nostalgic ramble for me than something that compelled me onwards. I think there's room for that though and it was a really light and pleasant distraction to listen to while going about my own doings.

1 person found this helpful

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Gripping

Beautifully read Hard to put down despite the jumping through generations making new sub stories

1 person found this helpful