Always a Witch by Carolyn MacCullough is the long-awaited sequel to Once a Witch. Always a Witch is a fabulous sequel, but you might just want to pick up Once a Witch again so you remember what’s happening — you won’t want to miss a thing!
In Always a Witch MacCullough jumps right in with the action. Tamsin arrives at her family’s home to prepare for her sister’s wedding when strange things start happening. A handsome man from the past appears and appears to know Tamsin.
When the future of the Greene family seems to be at stake, it’s up to Tamsin to try to save them. Tamsin, who until a few months before thought she had no Talent at all (no special witch powers).
Tamsin’s powers are the most unusual and powerful in her family, and she’s the only one who can thwart the evil aspirations of the Knight family.
As with many time-travel books, it gets a bit confusing keeping track of the various permutations of who traveled where and when and then how that affected the future. For example, the young man who appeared in the beginning of the book never really gets a chance to do that after Tamsin travels back to his time and stops the Knight family from their plans.
But really, who cares? It all seems to work. The book is well written, the characters likable, and the plot intriguing.
It’s always fun when the bad guys are really bad, and in this book the Knight family wins the prize for super bad guys. They torture, experiment on, and kill children, for heaven’s sake! They also plan to start experimenting on the Greene family, which is what gets the Greenes in that time to start helping Tamsin.
MacCullough includes an interesting argument about why the Greenes really don’t care about what the Knights are doing to the humans. “Back in the old countries, before we came here, we were followed and persecuted. Sometimes killed for what we had. By those very same people. My own great-grandmother was burned at the stake because she could ease anyone’s pain and heal most sicknesses.”
Talk about lack of tolerance. No wonder they didn’t care about a few humans getting killed by witches. But when their own are threatened, it’s time to cast a spell.
What is an especially nice touch is how well the two titles work together: Once a Witch, Always a Witch. One only realizes what exactly MacCullough was planning with the titles when both books have been read.
If you haven’t read Once a Witch, great. You can get both books and read one right after the other. Lucky you. (Although rereading the first book is not an onerous task, rather quite an enjoyable one.) Visit MacCullough’s website for more information (it’s a great site).
Available at local bookstores like The Book Stall at Chestnut Court in Winnetka, The Book Bin in Northbrook, and Anderson’s Bookshop in Naperville and Downer’s Grove.
The review was based on the final hardcover book provided by the publisher for review purposes.