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The Familiars

"A powerful yet stunningly beautiful read set at the times of the Pendle witchcraft trials."

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LoveReading Says

LoveReading Says

A stunningly beautiful, courageous read, one that crosses through time to 1612, when witchcraft allegations went hand in hand with fear, power and corruption. This is a work of fiction based on real people, local residents, Pendle witches and all. Let me tell you about the cover of this book, which really is very gorgeous indeed. The green leaves sooth, with fiery bursts of orange-red and gold, I then noticed the fox, the ring, pendant, feather… and last of all, the noose, which of course once I had seen, reached out and became all I could see. I tell you this, because the cover reminds me of how I felt about the book, mysterious, yet almost gentle, I let the words take me, I felt myself floating, and then bites of uncertainty and disquiet started gnaw at my awareness. The persecution of the women hammered home while an otherworldly existence lodged itself in my thoughts, and remains there. Deceptively powerful, moving and provocative, Stacey Hall writes with an eloquent pen. Opening a window into a vivid feast of a read, as a debut novel The Familiars stands out from the crowd.

Visit our 'Women's Words - 60+ works of feminist-minded fiction' to explore our collection of feminist-minded fiction from around the world, and across centuries.

Liz Robinson

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This is worth every penny to adorn any bookshelf and I would happily recommend, it is slow but engaging, well written which leaves you asking 'was she or wasn't she.

The Familiars written by Stacey Halls is a story based on a true historical timeline and real-life people, namely Fleetwood Shuttleworth born in 1595, who was a woman of gentry and mistress at Gawthorpe Hall. It is a work of fiction based on the premise of the Pendle witch trial in Lancaster 1612 and sadly highlights the plight of women disproportionately targeted as part of witch hunts during the time period set.

I'm generally not drawn to the 1600's as a story setting but I do have to admit that the inclusion of witches and the infamous trial did spark my curiosity as I've always been intrigued by witchcraft.... Read Full Review

Miriam Smith

This is worth every penny to adorn any bookshelf and I would happily recommend, it is slow but engaging, well written which leaves you asking 'was she or wasn't she.

The Familiars written by Stacey Halls is a story based on a true historical timeline and real-life people, namely Fleetwood Shuttleworth born in 1595, who was a woman of gentry and mistress at Gawthorpe Hall. It is a work of fiction based on the premise of the Pendle witch trial in Lancaster 1612 and sadly highlights the plight of women disproportionately targeted as part of witch hunts during the time period set.

I'm generally not drawn to the 1600's as a story setting but I do have to admit that the inclusion of witches and the infamous trial did spark my curiosity as I've always been intrigued by witchcraft.... Read Full Review

Miriam Smith

This excellent work of historical fiction is set in early 17th century Britain amid the witchcraft trials sweeping the country. It’s the sort of story that totally involves you till the end!

This excellent work of historical fiction is set in early 17th century Britain and gives some good insights into how both rich & poor existed and the relationship between the two. The heroine is a very young mistress of a large house, pregnant and desperate for a living child after 3 lost pregnancies. The story is woven very well and involves the witchcraft accusations sweeping the country then. It was a dangerous time to be a woman. So little evidence needed to be found guilty.... Read Full Review

Gill Wilmott