I’d like to begin with a huge thanks to Anne Glennie of Cranachan Publishing for inviting me to join the blog tour for Hag Storm by Victoria Wiliamson and sending me an early copy of this book in return for an honest review.
The Blurby bit on the back…
The witches are gathering…
“12-year-old Rab spends all of his time doing backbreaking work on his family’s farm instead of attending school, but when he finds a hag stone in one of the fields, everything changes.
Looking through its circular hole, he sees witches gathering in a coming storm, and they’ve set their sights on his family. Can Rab save his sisters from the clutches of the witches’ coven before their Halloween ceremony in the old kirk?“
3 things – Terrifying // Suspense // Rock with a hole in it
Terrifying – OMGoodness I was not expecting this to be so spooky! I really wasn’t. The descriptions of the witches are fantastic and when they make their entrance during a storm they become even more sinister.
Suspense – This is one of those books that really makes you sweat! (I’m so glad my dog was curled up next to me whilst I was reading) The way Victoria Williamson builds the tense and ever looming threat to Rab and his family is genuinely spine tingling.
Rock with a hole in it – Yep. A rock. With a hole in it. Never before have I ever been so terrified of something with a hole in it!
Will I ever be able to look at a doughnut in the same way ever again?! *screams*
The story starts with main character Rab who is one of the eldest siblings from a pretty big family who live and work on a farm. They struggle to make ends meet and do all the work they can to put food on the table and pay their rent but sometimes it’s just not that easy.
Everything on the farm begins to change when Rab stumbles across a small circular rock with a small hole on the center of it. Rab looks through the hole and sees something he does not expect.
Rab is a considerate and protective brother and he really does try to do what his parents say but sometimes he just can’t resist the urge to do what ‘he thinks’ is needed for the sake of his families dignity. But Rab must be careful as his actions may come back to haunt him!
This book is as scary as the come. It is crammed with all the mystery and magic you’d expect from a witchy tale and if I may… the witches are unspeakably obscene… I still can’t get the image of their black rags ‘fluttering’ as they creepily shuffle about. They remind me slightly of the witches from ‘Begone the Raggedy Witches by Celine Kiernan‘.
I think author Victoria Williamson has a real knack for keeping you on the edge of your seat. I loved the pacing and the build up of the ever present danger which is almost immediate and is what led me to devouring this book easily in one sitting.
Side Note* – In case you weren’t aware (like I wasn’t) this story is based on the life of Scottish Poet Robert Burns. Some of the magical elements you’ll read in this book are references taken from one of his most famous poems Tam O’Shanter. (Which you can also buy in Manga form from Cranachan)
Hag Storm by Victoria Williamson is a harrowing yet heart-warming must read. What is the scariest book you’ve ever read? Let me know in the comments below.
Oh and before you go, don’t forget to stop by the other blogs on the blog tour who are all raving about Hag Storm.