Synopses & Reviews
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.
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.
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.
"Schwab's first book is more poetry than prose, concerned above all with the moor, the night, and the wind. Lexi Harris wants to be 'of' the moor, but she's not sure how. Her father, who she thought held the secret, is dead, her mother is withdrawn, and her brutish uncle Otto is unsympathetic to Lexi's aspirations. He'd like to see her dressed like a 'proper' girl, responsive to the advances of Tyler Ward; Lexi would rather buckle on her father's hunting knife and visit the witch sisters, Magda and Dreska Thorne. When a stranger comes to the village of Near, and children begin vanishing from their beds, Lexi is determined to solve the mystery the more so because she's certain that the stranger is not to blame. Schwab puts more emphasis on mood than on plot; her characters are types, intriguingly sketched but underdeveloped. The details of the world of Near are likewise hints and tropes, and Schwab's use of present-tense, first-person narration heightens the sense of unreality, as though Lexi is less a fully realized person than a character the reader inhabits in a dream. Ages 12 up. (Aug.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Sixteen-year-old Lexi, who lives on an enchanted moor at the edge of the village of Near, must solve the mystery when, the day after a mysterious boy appears in town, children start disappearing.