book cover of The Year of the Witching
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The Year of the Witching

(The first book in the Bethel series)
A novel by

A young woman living in a rigid, puritanical society discovers dark powers within herself in this stunning, feminist fantasy debut.
In the lands of Bethel, where the Prophet's word is law, Immanuelle Moore's very existence is blasphemy. Her mother’s union with an outsider of a different race cast her once-proud family into disgrace, so Immanuelle does her best to worship the Father, follow Holy Protocol, and lead a life of submission, devotion, and absolute conformity, like all the other women in the settlement.

But a mishap lures her into the forbidden Darkwood surrounding Bethel, where the first prophet once chased and killed four powerful witches. Their spirits are still lurking there, and they bestow a gift on Immanuelle: the journal of her dead mother, who Immanuelle is shocked to learn once sought sanctuary in the wood.

Fascinated by the secrets in the diary, Immanuelle finds herself struggling to understand how her mother could have consorted with the witches. But when she begins to learn grim truths about the Church and its history, she realizes the true threat to Bethel is its own darkness. And she starts to understand that if Bethel is to change, it must begin with her.

Genre: Horror

Praise for this book

"In this bone-chilling and breathtakingly beautiful debut, Henderson expertly weaves a tale of witches, secrets, and a girl's unwavering stance against supernatural forces and a corrupted church. The Year of the Witching is storytelling at its finest." - Rena Barron

"A thrillingly brisk and bracing tale of magic and power, I loved this book. It takes the best tropes of horror and witchcraft and gives them a refreshingly feminist twist." - S A Chakraborty

"The Year of the Witching is a dark wood ready to swallow you whole with its tense stakes and beguiling prose. Henderson takes witchcraft to its very depths, unraveling the horrific nightmares of bone-deep ideology and devastating oppression, and giving readers a complex heroine ready to face fire." - Dhonielle Clayton

"The Year of the Witching grips you by the throat from the very first page and refuses to let go. Gothic, dark, and utterly enthralling, this is a world I wanted to sink into and never leave. I adored this book." - Emily A Duncan

"A masterfully eerie, feminist story that binds itself to the reader’s mind and won’t let go. Alexis Henderson is an author to watch." - Shea Ernshaw

"Slow burn horror crossed with a powerfully feminist coming-of-age novel...this book will haunt your dreams." - Christina Henry

"Creepy, compelling, and compulsively readable, The Year of the Witching blends the terror of the supernatural with the all-too-recognizable human evils of power and dogma." - Fonda Lee

"The Year of the Witching is a dark, dramatic tale of oppression and rebellion, ideology and morality, with a complicated, appealing protagonist caught in a Handmaid's Tale nightmare. It's a fine addition to the body of feminist fantasy works, a great read." - Louisa Morgan

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