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November 6, 2011

Review: The Near Witch by Victoria Schwab

Hello everyone!

I hope you're all having a great, relaxing Sunday! Here's a book I find very appropriate for this kind of weather and for lazy days...

The Near Witch 
by Victoria Schwab
Released: August 2nd 2011
Hyperion Books, Hardcover, 282 pages


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.

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.

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.

My thoughts (spoiler free):

I must admit that The Near Witch wasn’t what I expected it to be. It was an amazing book though and I totally recommend picking it up if you haven’t already! It came out in the summer, but I think it’s the kind of book you might enjoy reading on a cold day, laying on the couch in front of the crinkling fire and drinking hot chocolate. It’s such a beautiful story and it reads more like a fairy tale for grown ups. It’s engrossing, touching, haunting, imaginative and vivid in the same time. Victoria Schwab’s writing is absolutely stunning *includes major fan girl moment here* and the whole story has this eerie, mystical, otherworldly  feel to it that makes you forget about everything and devour each and every page of it! So, simply put, I ADORED this book! 

Lexi lives with her mother and sister in the town of Near. It’s a small, peaceful, close community; everyone knows everyone and everyone knows the old story of the Near Witch and about the two witches who still live close to the moors. But one day, everything changes, when a stranger comes close by. There’s something different and mysterious about him and Lexi is immediately interested in him – but so is the whole town, because children start disappearing and he seems to be the most viable suspect. Because no one ever comes here and the old Witch is gone so really, who else could take the children from their beds in the middle of the night, right? Riiight. 

The city council starts looking into the matter immediately, but they don’t seem to have any success in finding the missing children or keeping it from happening again. And being her father’s daughter, of course Lexi can’t just sit there waiting, doing nothing. Besides, there’s something odd going on and she might be the only one who can find out what it is - before it’s too late and the children are gone for good. So she sneaks out, puts in practice all the hunting and tracking tricks her father had thought her and starts her own investigation, despite her family’s warnings and complaints. She meets the stranger, ‘Cole’ and she immediately knows that he’s innocent. He’s quiet, aloof, reluctant to tell her anything about him and tends to disappear into thin air, but eventually, he comes around and helps her solve the mystery. And if there’s anyone who can decipher the nature’s signs and the wind’s whispers to get to the bottom of the problem, it’s them. 

Lexi is a fabulous heroine! Her father had died and though she tries to live a nice, quiet, life with her mom and her sister, she can’t be the kind of girl her mother wishes her to be. And she will never forget her father; she can’t forget the stories he used to tell and everything he had thought her. She’s strong willed, tenacious, clever, intuitive and extremely caring. She’s also very tough and courageous – she keeps wandering around the town or in the woods in the middle of the night looking for clues. *shivers* She loves her family, respects her uncle and the town elders, cares about her friends and the children and she’s ‘on good terms’ even with the creepy old witches everyone seems to avoid and to be afraid of. She can tell that whatever the men are doing to find the children is ineffective; they’re not looking in the right places or for the right people. She can feel that there’s something dark and twisted lurking around and if she doesn’t find out what that is quickly, things will end badly. Thankfully, so does ‘Cole’ and dealing with the problems surrounding the disappearances brings them closer together. And this ‘Cole’… whoa, he’s another mystery altogether! A delightful one at that!:) “With his pale face, dark eyes, and sad mouth, he seems made of black and white, just like the world at night.” The love story that develops between them is tentative, sweet, beautiful and so adorable – even though they seem to be surrounded by danger, darkness, creepy wind and mist all the time.

And then there are the witches. They are old, powerful and downright scary. They talk in quotes and riddles, use words with double meaning and complete each other’s sentences – it’s like they’re always casting some spell.*shudder* But they also seem to know more about what is happening in their small town and they prove to be very useful in solving the missing children enigma. 

Anyway, Victoria Scwab is a fantabulous story teller! Seriously, she could write weather reports and I’d still read them.:)) And The Near Witch is an amazing book - dark and eerie, rich and intense… It’s impossible not to get immersed into the story from the very first line! Everything about it is so mysterious, beautiful and captivating!

I gave it 4 stars (and not a perfect 5 stars rating) because I’m an action junkie and sometimes it felt like the story was dragging or getting too long and I just wanted for something to happen already! But don’t let my impatience mislead you; The Near Witch is a book not to be missed! *has another fan girl moment because Victoria Schwab’s writing is so freaking good*

***Review copy provided by the publisher Hyperion in exchange for my honest opinion. Thank you!

Find Victoria: Blog / Twitter
Get the book: The Book Depository / Amazon

Happy reading!



  1. WOW. I am kicking myself for waiting so long to read this!! It sounds AMAZING. Beautiful writing? Creepy disappearances? Witches? Sweet romance? Fantastic heroine? And a mysterious love interest? This book was made for me!

    "Seriously, she could write weather reports and I’d still read them." hahaha. I am desperate to dive into Victoria's incredible writing! Amazing review <3

  2. @Brodie I know the feeling! It's been sitting on my TBR pile for months and one day I just picked it up, without even planning on it and I felt sorry for not reading it sooner! I read it in one sitting, it's that good! And though the story is interesting, it wouldn't be the same without Victoria's amazing writing. AWESOMENESS! I hope you enjoy it, if you decide to pick it up. ;)


Thanks for stopping by! I love comments! ♥

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