Woohoo! Paul Cornell's Witches of Lychford is out now and it's a doozy! Part of Tor.com Publishing's new line of novellas, the tale is a fairly small package (just over 80 pages) but packs a wallop.
The town of Lychford will soon have an important decision to make - whether to allow big box store Sovo to expand into their village. For some it means job opportunities and a chance to shop closer to home. For others, it's an invasion of sorts.
But Sovo's attempts are more than just the disruption of another superstore gobbling up local business. In fact Sovo's expansion would mean breaking long-held town lines that create a boundary between other worlds. If the borders fall, it could mean the end of everything.
I'm a pretty big fan of Paul Cornell's work so when I saw this one on Tor.com's list of upcoming titles I immediately preordered it. It was well worth it!
In Witches we meet three main characters - Judith, who is the town's crotchety old lady; Lizzie, the new vicar; and Autumn, Lizzie's once best friend and now owner of the local magic shop.
Judith is one of the few left who still knows the old ways and, as a result, is one of the few who knows what's coming. She quickly ties it to Sovo and determines to do something about it, but has crossed so many people over the years that even the anti-Sovo folks won't touch her.
Lizzie meanwhile has only recently run into Autumn after years of wondering why her friend cut ties so suddenly. Since she's still mourning the death of her fiancé, Lizzie could use a friend more than ever. But Autumn has good reason for not having spoken to Lizzie for so long.
Of course these three unlikely allies are the ones who ultimately must work together to save their village and, quite possibly, the world as a whole.
Cornell weaves a tight and fast-paced tale that's perfect for fans of paranormal fiction. It's also creepy and completely satisfying. Definitely not one to miss!