My name is unimportant. All you must know is that today I become one of the four saints of Haven. The elders will mark me and place the red hood on my head. They will give me my true name, and with my sisters I will stand against the evil power that lives beneath the black mountain—an evil that has already killed nine of our village’s men. I will tell no one of the white-eyed beasts that follow me. Or the faceless gray women tall as houses. Or the girls I saw kissing in the elm grove. Today I become a saint of Haven. I will rid my family of her mother’s shame at last and save my people from destruction. I am not afraid. Are you? Claire Legrand, author of Sawkill Girls, returns with an emotionally searing and lyrically written novel that beckons readers to follow its fierce heroine into a world filled with secrets and blood—where the truth is buried in lies and a devastating power waits, seething, for someone brave enough to use it.
It’s a Claire Legrand book, so I want to read it. The Furyborn trilogy is one of my favorite series, and I really loved Sawkill Girls as well. So, when I found out that Claire’s next horror book was one about witches, set in a world after an apocalypse, and secrets buried beneath lies and power that lurks close by, I was very much looking forward to reading it. Trigger warnings: physical and emotional abuse, sexual abuse, blood, gore
This is a book that digs. A book that grips your heart in it’s hands and squeezes as it looks you right in the eyes and does. It doesn’t let go. It’s horrifying. It’s so, so good.
The way this book was written, it was full of rage and yearning and the need to rip something free from the life that has kept secrets from you. It just seeps with talent. It’s red and bleeding and it seethes with anger. It hurts and it’s something so, so incredible.
This is a book that unfurls and blossoms and burns. Everything about it goes through a journey, everything seems to change, and I think that’s what makes it so amazing. The world keeps expanding. There are still new lines to cross, new edges to push against. There’s more to explore, to realize.
It’s hard to find words to the type of good this book is, because it’s the kind of book that leaves you speechless, breathless. I often find myself like that with Claire Legrand books.
This book evokes such a kind of horror. Of long, tall women made of gray, with smiles for faces, and mouths made of flies. Of the magic that has been bleed into the Earth. Of the pain that the girls are made to endure because that is how it has always been. Of witches that twist skin and break bones and burn and kill. It makes yours eyes widen, your breath catch. It sends something shivering down you back, into your spin, into your bloodstream. And the way it is written, oh my gosh, it’s stunning in a way. It’s amazing and terrifying and downright horrifying all at the same time.
I loved the characters. Their names change throughout, but I loved them all. I loved how they dealt with their anger, all in their own ways. They all saw the world, and what it needed to do, in their own way. I loved their coven and their magic and their discoveries and what they wish to do to the world.
This book burns outward. I love it so, so much. It burns and aches and rages and it’s queer and it’s terrifying and there’s magic that feels like a prick upon the finger. It bleeds and heals and fights and angers and burrows down until it makes the core of it burst outward. It’s absolutely spectacular.
Also, I want the [redacted] book. I will fight the publisher for the [redacted] book. Please, publisher, buy the [redacted] book.