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The Witchery (Harper Fiction)by James Reese
Synopses & Reviews
New York Times bestselling author James Reese has been praised for his lush and evocative prose, his bold exploration of illicit sexuality, his deft handling of historical settings, and his extraordinary rendering of the supernatural. His novels are sumptuous trips back in time to an era filled with unforgettable characters, human strife, and emotions that transcend time. Now, in his most imaginative book to date, Reese takes the witch Herculine on a voyage that will test her in every way, elevating her from the depths of despair to triumph.
In the middle decades of the nineteenth century, Herculine is summoned from self-imposed exile by her teacher, the witch Sebastiana d'Azur, and told to sail from the Florida territory to Havana. There she is to search out one Queverdo Brù—a cruel and demonic man whose house holds terrible secrets—to learn of a certain "surprise." But lies and truths conspire to separate Herculine from those she loves, and she finds herself alone with Brù, who sees in her something he has long sought, and now seeks to use, harshly, as he practices that most ancient of arts: alchemy.
Escaping Brù, Herculine sails from Havana, knowing Sebastiana is near. In the Florida Keys, she reunites with her and meets her "surprise"—the shocking product of a forbidden encounter ten years prior. Surviving an Indian attack on a sparsely settled key, Herculine and family decamp to Key West. There they set out to make their fortune—by means magical or otherwise—as Herculine is tested at every turn by the harsh landscape and haunted by thoughts of her own demise.
With The Witchery, James Reese brings to a close a remarkable trilogy—a story told by a character who "invades our consciousness" (Tampa Tribune) and set in "the heady atmosphere of a bygone era brought deftly to life" (Eric Van Lustbader). Spanning decades ravaged by war, disease, and ideals that tore a nation apart, Herculine's ultimately triumphant struggle is both a universal one—marked by love, loss, fear, and regret—and yet quite particular, as told by one of the most inventive novelists working today.
In the middle decades of the nineteenth century, the witch Herculine, at the request of her teacher, Sebastiana d'Azur, sails from the Florida territory to Havana in search of one Queverdo Brand#249;and#8212;a cruel and demonic man whose house holds terrible secrets. Separated from those she loves by a conspiracy of lies and treachery, Herculine possesses something within that the evil Brand#249; has long desired and now seeks to use, harshly. Escape is essential, and it will carry the witch and her loved ones to a harsh and perilous landand#8212;one that will test them at every turn . . . and fill Herculine's mind with dread visions of her own demise.
With The Witchery, James Reese brings to a close his remarkable trilogy of magic, upheaval, lush sensuality, and epic history as viewed through the eyes of one of the most extraordinary characters in contemporary fiction.
With "The Witchery," Reese brings to a close his remarkable trilogy of magic, upheaval, lush sensuality, and epic history, as viewed through the eyes of one of the most extraordinary characters in contemporary fiction.
About the Author
James Reese has held various jobs in the nonprofit sector, working on behalf of the arts and the environment. He lives in South Florida and Paris, France.
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