Set in Gilded Age New York, The Age of Witches by Louisa Morgan is the story of Annis Allington, a soon to be of age young women with her own dreams and goals, but a pawn, as were most girls from privileged families in that day, in both her father’s world of wealth and power and her stepmother’s world of magic. Little does Annis know that within her runs the blood of two lines of an ancient witch who used her magic for good but was hung by fearful and malicious people. Her death set the course for her prodigy, some would use their magic altruistically and others would use it for personal gain. Annis must decide whether her dreams are worth sacrificing the good in her heart.
Louisa has created a wonderfully, realistic period piece that transports you back to the late 1800’s, a time where everything seemed to be gilded in gold yet many times was corrupted underneath. This metaphor for the life is similar to what Annis’s stepmother Francis, a witch who has chosen the dark magic, has cultivated. Annis is forced to submit, against her will, to her stepmother’s schemes, or risk loosing her beloved stallion. While Annis has been ignorant of the power she possess, her coming of age prompts her aunt Harriet, who practices benevolent magic, to take a more active role in helping Annis learn the truth of who she really is.
The Age of Witches is a very entertaining and enjoyable read. The historical details that Louisa includes add richness to an already captivating story and the way she weaves the magical aspect through the plot make it seem quite plausible. It is a wonderful blend emotions that will have you spell-bound one moment and remind you that we all are given choices as to the kind of person we will be the next. Best of all, The Age of Witches is a teen appropriate tale of intrigue, first love, and self-discovery that can be enjoyed by all ages.