Bitter Magic: Inspired by the True Story of a Confessed Witch

We rated this book:


As the cover states, Nancy Hayes Kilgore’s latest novel, Bitter Magic, is “inspired by the true story of a confessed witch,” although the promise inherent in that line isn’t fully delivered in the book.

Margaret Hay is in the prime of her beauty and imagination as a teenage girl roaming the Scottish Highlands. Her family has means, she is tutored and churched, but she is disenchanted with the world she knows. When she meets local cunning woman (i.e., witch) Isabel Gowdie, a different way opens to Margaret and she must decide if the path of Christian righteousness she has been taught all her life is all that matters to her.

Beautiful descriptions of the fairy world into which Gowdie travels and the countryside the novel is set in serve as backdrops to far too much going on in the book. Perhaps Kilgore’s attention to historical detail got the better of the plot; there is so much going on that it is often difficult to feel anything for the characters. If the religious and social struggles of seventeenth-century Scotland are of interest to you, this may be up your alley.

Reviewed By:

Author Nancy Hayes Kilgore
Star Count /5
Format Trade
Page Count 278 pages
Publisher Milford House Press
Publish Date 10-Aug-2021
ISBN 9781620068427 Buy this Book
Issue September 2021
Category Science Fiction & Fantasy