THE WITCHES OF EAST END by Melissa de la Cruz

Posted 24 May, 2011 | Mary @ TheBookSwarm | | 7 Comments

Adult Paranormal
288 pages
Available June 21, 2011
Review copy provided by publisher

The three Beauchamp women–Joanna and her daughters Freya and Ingrid–live in North Hampton, out on the tip of Long Island. Their beautiful, mist-shrouded town seems almost stuck in time, and all three women lead seemingly quiet, uneventful existences. But they are harboring a mighty secret–they are powerful witches banned from using their magic. Joanna can resurrect people from the dead and heal the most serious of injuries. Ingrid, her bookish daughter, has the ability to predict the future and weave knots that can solve anything from infertility to infidelity. And finally, there’s Freya, the wild child, who has a charm or a potion that can cure most any heartache.

For centuries, all three women have been forced to suppress their abilities. But then Freya, who is about to get married to the wealthy and mysterious Bran Gardiner, finds that her increasingly complicated romantic life makes it more difficult than ever to hide her secret. Soon Ingrid and Joanna confront similar dilemmas, and the Beauchamp women realize they can no longer conceal their true selves. They unearth their wands from the attic, dust off their broomsticks, and begin casting spells on the townspeople. It all seems like a bit of good-natured, innocent magic, but then mysterious, violent attacks begin to plague the town. When a young girl disappears over the Fourth of July weekend, they realize it’s time to uncover who and what dark forces are working against them.

Though this story started out rather slow for me (I think, perhaps, it would have been better to lose the prologue. As often is the case, the prologue just bogged things down.), by the end of the first chapter, I was sucked into a world of old magic, immortal witches, a “hidden” town, and star-crossed loves. Once I was caught up in it, this book didn’t leave my hands until I finished it.

It all starts with Freya. She’s the youngest daughter of Joanna Beauchamp and engaged to Bran, a handsome philanthropist (too bad she can’t keep her hands off his brother, Killian, a smoldering hottie). Despite the restriction against her kind using their powers, she can’t help but whip up a cocktail with a little extra oomph for a friend whose heart is breaking. After all, a little magic never did any harm, did it? Then her sister, Ingrid, uses her magic to help a friend “unknot” herself and get pregnant. Soon, the whole town knows that Freya’s cocktails make the night so much more fun and Ingrid can help cure those niggling ills. Joanna is a bit more reluctant to use her magic but she does to put a smile on a little boy’s face — and to bring a friend back from the dead. (Zombies and griffins and vampires, oh my!) But this story isn’t just about these three women. No, there’s something rotten in the town of New Hampton and it’s up to the women to find out what’s causing the trouble before the townspeople decide it’s the witches who are the problem.

While I would have liked to get to know the characters a bit more individually, each woman is distinctive in her personality and in her brand of magic. Freya is the wild child, full of fun and sex and power. Ingrid is the staid librarian (literally and figuratively), winding and unwinding spells to create happy, healthy people. Joanna is the matriarch, able to bring back people and other living things from the brink of death. I look forward to seeing them develop in the next book of this new series.

Melissa de la Cruz artfully blends Norse mythology with witchcraft and the Salem Witch Trials to create the Beauchamp family. I really liked how she wove together threads from the myths and magic and, since she had several of her Blue Blood characters wander into this story, I’m wondering how far she’ll blend her two worlds. Her first foray into the world of adult novels, de la Cruz takes the reader on an intriguing ride. 

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7 Responses to “THE WITCHES OF EAST END by Melissa de la Cruz”

  1. This book sounds SO good! I can’t wait until it’s released so I can snag a copy. I still need to read her Blue Blood series as well, but it’s on my list! Thanks for sharing your review!

  2. De La Cruz has a habit of beginning very slow then the build is incredible as books go on. I noticed that with Blue Bloods, but where people got bored, I never did.

    Great review!

  3. Great Review! I’ve never read anything by Melissa De La Cruz before this though her Blue Bloods series is on my TBR list and man I couldn’t read Witches of East end fast enough!