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Hex: Darkland Tales

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inspired by the north berwick witch trials we follow geillis duncan on the night before her execution, where she receives a strange visitor named iris.

Iris tells Geillis about some of the awful things done to women today and she refers to the two Met officers who took photographs of two murdered sisters. The book has its moments of lyricism and joy with recollections of days by the sea shore, frustrated by hopes of a simple life. Recently we have had a street in St Monans renamed in memory of a witch; Rachel Newton and Lauren MacColl’s album Heal and Harrow about those executed as witches; and a bill brought forward in Holyrood by Natalie Don MSP on behalf of the Witches of Scotland project, created by QC Claire Mitchell and novelist Zoe Venditozzi, asking for victims of witch hunts to receive an official pardon.

As the hours pass and dawn approaches, Geillis recounts the circumstances of her arrest, torture, confession and trial, while Iris offers support, solace and the tantalising prospect of escape.

No me convenció la forma de mezclar magia y realidad, pero puede que otras personas consigan entender mejor su propósito. Maybe the windows are closed but it still seems unlikely that, in the summer heat, the stench of her body could be bottled up tight inside. Fagan reveals that in the vast swath of time which separates Geillis and Iris, not much has fundamentally changed. Along the coast of Fife, in villages like Culross and Pittenweem, history records that some women were executed as witches. Other characters mentioned in the novel were also real historical characters like Geillis – Doctor John Fian, Agnes Sampson, Barbara Napier and Euphame MacCalzean.Men are coaxed into seeking pure Madonnas on the one hand and erotic La Belle Dame sans Merci figures on the other – a difficult business for any woman to achieve and a ludicrous dualism for any man to wish. Nevertheless, the reality of what happened the night that Janet Cornfoot was lynched at Pittenweem is hard to grasp as one.

Luckenbooth is a bold, haunting and dazzlingly unique novel about the stories and secrets we leave behind, and the places that hold them long after we are gone. Seaton had enabled Geillis to be tortured in a room she had previously cleaned for him and she says of her torturers, ‘ So much fun laying into a girl, right? It uses magic to beam Iris into the sixteenth century whilst refusing to use magic to allow Geillis to escape from her jail cell.Fascism seemed a way out because of its simple appeals but, of course, it led to even greater authoritarianism.

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