Blog Tours, Reviews

BLOG TOUR Review: The Witches of Moonshyne Manor by Bianca Marais

I received an e-arc of this book as part of the blog tour organised by Random Things Tours. This did not affect my opinion of the book in any way.

Publisher: Harper360
Published: September 2022
Pages: 400


A coven of modern-day witches. A magical heist-gone-wrong. A looming threat.

Five octogenarian witches gather as an angry mob threatens to demolish Moonshyne Manor. All eyes turn to the witch in charge, Queenie, who confesses they’ve fallen far behind on their mortgage payments. Still, there’s hope, since the imminent return of Ruby—one of the sisterhood who’s been gone for thirty-three years—will surely be their salvation.

But the mob is only the start of their troubles. One man is hellbent on avenging his family for the theft of a legacy he claims was rightfully his. In an act of desperation, Queenie makes a bargain with an evil far more powerful than anything they’ve ever faced. Then things take a turn for the worse when Ruby’s homecoming reveals a seemingly insurmountable obstacle instead of the solution to all their problems.

The witches are determined to save their home and themselves, but their ageing powers are no match for increasingly malicious threats. Thankfully, they get a bit of help from Persephone, a feisty TikToker eager to smash the patriarchy. As the deadline to save the manor approaches, fractures among the sisterhood are revealed, and long-held secrets are exposed, culminating in a fiery confrontation with their enemies.

Funny, tender and uplifting, the novel explores the formidable power that can be discovered in ageing, found family and unlikely friendships. Heartbreaking and heart-mending, it will make you grateful for the amazing women in your life.

My Thoughts…

The Witches of Moonshyne Manor was the perfect read to transition from summer to autumn, with its witchy vibes, delightful characters, and a healthy dose of patriarchy smashing!

I have to admit, it took me a while to fully get into this as we are plunged into Moonshyne Manor in the midst of a crisis, meeting (almost) all the sisterhood members in close succession. I needed a few beats to remember who was who, but once I did, I soon became really attached to them. I loved how each witch had a special talent and an affinity for a different type of magic (plants, animals, inventions, seduction…) and how different all their personalities were.

It also quickly became clear that there was more, much more, lurking beneath the surface, with multiple risks for the sisterhood and old secrets coming to light. The author did an excellent job of spreading the clues around for me to pick up like tiny breadcrumbs drawing the trail to that beautiful ending. There were quite a few things I hadn’t seen coming, so I was very pleasantly surprised, but also kept wanting to read to finally understand how all the pieces fit together.

The alternating POVs worked really well to help me see things from the different sisters’ perspectives, and I liked how smoothly it all flowed: even though at times the writing was slightly repetitive, these sections were never prevalent and were improved by developments further down the line.

This book was so many things! It combines some of my favourite things, like witches, heists and secrets, as well as some tropes I love such as found family. It also tackles a wide range of themes, like ageing and the relationship between older and younger generations; the importance of friendships and family; love and forgiveness; and, above all, sisterhood. Mix them all together, sprinkle in a good dose of humour and magic, and you have a great, heartwarming, autumnal witchy read!

Rating: 4/5

Four butterflies to indicate rating.

Huge thanks to Harper360 and Random Things Tours for having me on this tour! Be sure to check out the other stops as well for more great content.

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