One Solstice Night
Take equal parts of “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” and “Kiki’s Delivery Service” and give them a solid twist and make it a love story then you might have something close to One Solstice Night. But you should read the book anyway just to be sure.
OSN is a new novella by Elora Bishop, http://elorabishop.wordpress.com.
A self described “Author of magical lesbian love stories” I had read her previous work, “The Witch Sea” and enjoyed it. I got a copy of OSN and instead of completing my curriculum redesign I read it. I am glad I did.
The book is rather short (one of the downsides) but very entertaining. The book focuses on Isabella Fox (a very mediocre witch) and her talking familiar Alice. Isabella has just been run out of her last town and she needs a new job. As a witch for hire, especially one that is only so-so, she doesn’t have a lot of options. So she ends up with the town of Benevolence (which is part of a series I guess). Benevolence is quiet to be boring and she only has one spell to cast every year (and she is not even convinced it’s needed) and it would be the perfect gig. Except for the Outcast.
There are a lot of cool locales that I hope we get to see in other books. The Hag Bar in the World’s Largest Swamp was a really cool idea. It was very easy to see all these witches, holding brooms and their drinks walking around, drinking, chatting. I wish I had thought of it. Benevolence is an interesting town. I enjoyed the causal magic people were using and Bishop did a great job of detailing the inhabitants.
What I liked about this tale is there is a certain timelessness about it. No indication is given on when it takes place or even where, leaving it all up to your imagination. I think this is a good thing to be honest.
We get witches as a given but we also get “Changers” which are people that can change into animals. Not like werewolves, one minute they an animal the next they are human. I liked it to be honest.
The love story part of this is between Isabella and another woman (natch) and it is very well handled. There is nothing here that would be above a PG-13 level really. The relationship builds over the course of the book and when it happens you believe it.
The climax of the book is something Isabella didn’t expect (nor did I) and frankly the action parts really pushed this book in my opinion. I will not spoil the end, but I will say I can’t wait to read more about Isabella.
My only issue with the book. It was not very long. It is described as a novella, but it is on the short side of that I think. I like short stories and this is closer in size to that (maybe longer) though the plotting is more novel like. In truth though to make this story longer would have been unnatural. There is a well defined begging, middle and end here and to make longer would have seemed odd.
In the end, girl finds girl and they live happily ever after. At least till next year when she has to do the spell again. ;)
I would love to read more about Isabella’s future adventures.
What strikes me the most about this book is how much it would work as a Witch Girls Adventures setting. http://channelmlive.com/witchgirls/wgahome.html and http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/channelm/witch-girls-book-of-shadows-witch-girls-second-edi
The Hag Bar would be right at home with everything else in Witch Girls. I can also practically stat up Isabella Fox, Emily Deer, Mrs. Cat, Mrs. Goose and Alice in my head now.
It does make me want to read some of Bishop’s work.