Review for Witch of the Wild Beasts
Blurb: When Evalina is imprisoned for witchcraft, will her supernatural bond with animals be her curse or salvation?
In 1854, Evalina Stowe witnesses the murder of her brother by Dr. Dowdrick, an enraged client at the tailor’s where they work. Desperate to stop him, she rouses a swarm of wasps that sting the doctor while she stabs him with scissors, and then flees. At a subsequent job when birds race to her defense, Evalina is declared a witch and sent to Philadelphia’s Eastern State Penitentiary.
While imprisoned, Evalina is horrified not only to learn that Dr. Dowdrick is still alive, but he’s experimenting on inmates. Determined to get inside his Eclectic Medical School, to expose his nefarious activities, she’s passionate about protecting fellow prisoners, especially Lewin, a child thief who knew her brother, and Birdy, a kind, resilient Welsh man serving time for a worker’s death while blasting granite for the railroad.
Evalina, her friends and her “wild beasts” work against time to unmask Dowdrick’s crimes when she participates with him in a symposium, showcasing Philadelphia’s premium doctors. If they fail, not only will the doctor’s evil deeds continue unchecked but Evalina and her crew will surely be hung.
Review: When an enraged client murders her younger brother, Evalina Stowe's anger and grief calls a swarm of wasps to sting him. When a cruel boss beats her, her birds swoop in for revenge. She's jailed for witchcraft in Philadelphia's Eastern State Penitentiary in 1854 and must endure solitary confinement. The villain who murdered her brother is still alive and doing horrible experiments on the prisoners. Evalina must find a way to stop him with the help of her friends in the prison and learning to control her powers. But will she unmask his guilt or find herself the victim?
A marvelously written historical paranormal read! The author does a terrific job transporting the reader back to 1854 and showing the harsh realities of life in that time. A time where even small children are sent to jail for their crimes. We see the world through Evalina's eyes, the cruelties and the wonders. She is a strong and lovable young woman, and my heart went out to her from the very start. I loved her feisty neighbor in the prison, Madame Dolly Rouge, and the patience of Amity who visits Evalina to help with her penance. Birdy swept me off my feet too. There are bits where we see famous people like Charles Dickens and Dr. Thomas Mutter. What they contributed to history wove well with this story. Highly recommended!