Alizon Grey has murdered her father and she’s not sorry. Caged, cart bound and on her way to be burned as a witch, Alizon is tormented by smug magistrate John Bowman — pompous, self-righteous, dangerous. Thomas Whittle, her other jailer, is almost silent and far more deadly. She has hours to live barring a miracle. Or something far darker.
Jen Williams‘ first published novella is a headlong dive into the woods which wastes none of its heroine’s, or reader’s, time. That simple premise — a cart, a witch, her guards — is quickly upended for protagonist and reader both, and Williams uses that chaos as the driving force to hurl you and Alizon into the heartwoods of some incredibly dark territory. Every chapter is short. Every sentence is earned. As Alizon fights for every breath and every second she’s still alive, Williams uses her as a still point in a roiling storm of blood, chaos, and something unknowable yet dreadfully familiar out in the woods, just past the treeline.