Title: Half Spent Was the Night
Writer: Ami McKay
Publishing House: Knopf Canada
Date of Publication: October 16th 2018
Rating: 5 stars
‘’Christmas days have come and gone, the New Year lies ahead. Strange things happen Between the Years in the days outside of time. Minutes go wild, hours vanish. Idleness becomes a clever thief, stealing the names of the days of the week, muting the steady tick of watches and clocks. These are the hours when angels, ghosts, demons and meddlers ride howling wind and flickering candlelight, keen to stir unguarded hearts and restless minds.’’
Eleanor, Adelaide and Beatrice. The three most famous witches in New York in an era when the gaslight didn’t manage to shed light in the darkest of corners. As the new year is about to make its entrance, the three witches accept invitations to a great ball. Danger is hidden among the revellers in a night when the veil between the two worlds has become thinner…
‘’The storm subsides. The day begins. For a brief while in the early morning, the city is a perfect winter scene – church steeples and storefronts flocked and frosted, sidewalks and streets made clean and new – a snow globe at rest in Nature’s hands.’’
Although Ami McKay’s The Witches of New York has been on my list for quite some time, Fate decided that this beautiful novella would be my introduction to the world of the three witches. And what a journey it proved to be, brief yet so exciting! The atmosphere of New York during the era of elaborate masquerades and visions under the gaslight, the winter wonderland of old, the traditions of Christmas Past, and most importantly, the stormy, unbreakable bond between the mortal world and the land beyond our own. In a winter’s tale ghosts, demons and angels walk among us, witches cast their spells against dark forces, pagan deities acquire human form to survive.
See your future with the help of chestnuts and fire in an imaginative divination. Eat Engelszopf, the angel’s braid dedicated to the goddess Perchta, the heathen goddess of the Alpine legends, the Mistress of Yule. Taste syrup made of elderflower, a holy plant with medicinal and magical qualities. Let Eleanor, Adelaide and Beatrice welcome you to their world. After all, we all needed a bit of magic during this weird Christmas.
It won’t be long until I start reading The Witches of New York.
‘’In the corners of the world where ancient forests shelter mystical creatures, and sacred springs hold the voices of nymphs, wise women pause Between the Years to honour the one who rules them all, the Queen of Witches.
Some call her the Mistress of Yule, others call her Frau Perchta, or Holle, or Bertha, or Bright One, or the Lady of the Dead. Her name does not matter half as much as her gift, for she alone has the power to lead the Wild Hunt.’’