Night of the Witch
Sara Raasch and Beth Revis
Published October 3, 2023
About Night of the Witch
A witch and a hunter. Vengeance is their mission. Love is their destiny.
Fritzi is a witch. A survivor of a brutal attack on her coven, she’s determined to find her only surviving family member and bring the hexenjägers—zealot witch hunters—to justice for the lives they ended. To do this, she will need to take down their leader—Kommandant Dieter Kirch.
Otto is a hexenjäger and a captain, the second in command to Dieter Kirch—but that’s just his cover. Years ago, the hexenjägers burned his innocent mother alive, and since then, he has been planning a move against the witch hunters that tore his family apart. And now, the time has come for them to pay for what they’ve done.
When Fritzi and Otto are unexpectedly thrown together, neither is sure they can trust the other despite their common enemy. But all they have is one another, and they both crave revenge. As truths come to light and trust shifts, Fritzi and Otto uncover a far more horrifying plot at the center of the hexenjäger attacks . . . but their own growing feelings for each other may be the most powerful magic of all.
The story alternates points of view between Fritzi and Otto. Fritzi is the daughter of a powerful witch, but she doubts her own power because of a mysterious voice in her head she’s been taught not to trust. Otto also doubts the authorities in his life. First, because his father was cruel and then because he doesn’t even believe witches exist. He is sure the people the soldiers burn are innocent. And he’s determined to save as many as he can.
I really enjoyed the way the story is anchored both in history and folklore. It felt very immersive. I also liked that Otto separated his trust in the church from his own personal faith. It allowed the story to explore ideas about faith as something separate from an institution. I really liked how the narrative explored that theme with both Fritzi and Otto.
Something about the story reminded me a lot of the duology that starts with GIVE THE DARK MY LOVE by Beth Revis. Plotwise, the two have very little in common. The fact that both stories contain a strong, magic-oriented heroine alongside a politically strong/savvy hero might be why I kept making that connection.
The story is also a bit dark– delving pretty unflinchingly into the history of the witch trials in Europe. It’s got a pretty fiery romance in it, too, so it’s not all grim.
In any case, I think fans of that duology or of European history in the late 1500s will find this an engrossing story. I am really glad I read it, and I think if there’s a follow-up book, I’ll be sure to read that, too.
Recommended for Ages 14 up.
Major characters are German.
Profanity/Crude Language Content
Strong profanity used somewhat frequently.
Kissing between boy and girl. Kissing between two girls. In one scene, two characters have sex in a bathing pool.
Fritzi hears a voice telling her to sever her connection with the Well, which she has always been taught represents good magic, and draw from wild magic, which she’s been taught is evil. Fritzi and her coven worship three goddesses: the Maiden, the Mother and the Crone. Otto is part of a witch-hunting unit of soldiers under the Catholic church.
Situations of peril. Witches and suspected witches are burned at the stake. Most scenes reference this without describing it, but there are brief, graphic descriptions in a couple of places. Graphic descriptions of torture. One scene describes a boy torturing and killing a kitten. Battle scenes.
Characters drink beer as a part of their meals.
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