Gill McKnight has created a fantasy novel called Borage (The Plague Tree Coven Book 1) that is at the same time riveting and comedic. We see this tale through the eyes of a young fireside witch named Astral Projector. Astral comes from a long line of powerful fireside witches. In fact, it was one of her ancestors who founded The Plague Tree Coven many generations ago. Unfortunately for Astral, her powers seem to be very weak. She barely passed her exams in the witches’ school, and holds a place in the coven mainly because of her family background, and the fact that she seems to be the last Projector witch. Her mother disappeared several years ago and her grandma Lettice, who was the High Priestess of the coven, died two years before the story begins. Even her familiar, Borage the cat is less than helpful. The coven is now in trouble under the new High Priestess. It seems someone is draining the coven’s retirement funds. Astral is sent to work undercover for the coven at the financial firm of Black and Blacker. There she ends up working under Abby Black, one of the CEOs of the firm and a sexy and terrifying boss. Things are not right with the coven, and also becoming dangerous at Black and Blacker, and Astral is caught in the middle of both.
If you want to see a perfect example of world building, look no further than this book. Ms. McKnight has made a wonderful setting for this story in the small village of Golem, which on the surface looks like an idyllic village in England. Its inhabitants, however, are mostly witches, most either in or connected to the Plague Tree Coven. This village is populated with witches of all kinds, both good and not so good, and their equally exotic familiars. Astral’s house, which has been the Projector home for many generations, is amazing. You must read about it. The characters are quirky, funny, scary, and possibly evil; everything you might expect from a group of magical beings. The story is also exciting, humorous, and frightening. It will keep your interest from the first page to the last.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this novel. Since the title tells me this is the beginning of a series, I can’t wait to read more. You can get your copy at your local Amazon.
I received an ARC from Dirt Road Books for an honest review.