My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Kindle Edition, 365 pages
The Parliament House Press
Expected publication: March 3rd 2020
Men have gone missing before.
The village of Krume is plagued by a haunted wood and a hungry witch. It’s been that way for as long as Hans and Greta can remember, though they have never seen the witch themselves; no one has.
When men start to disappear once again in the cover of night - their bloody hearts turning up on doorsteps - the village falls into frenzied madness.
Hans and Greta, two outcast orphans, find themselves facing accusations of witchcraft and are met with an ultimatum: burn at the stake, or leave the village forever.
With nowhere else to go, they abandon their only home.
As they venture into the strange forest, their path is fraught with horrific creatures, wild and vivid hallucinations, and a mysterious man tied to the witch's past.
The Shrike is watching, just beyond the deep darkness of the woods.
The Shrike & The Shadows – The Witch of Krume Book 1 by Chantal Gadoury and A.M. Wright is a retelling of Hansel and Gretel only the names (and places) have been changed to protect the innocent … okay, just kidding about that last part! It’s actually about Greta and Hans, the village of Krume, the haunted woods that surround it, and the Shrike (the witch) that preys on the not so innocent men of the village.
To start, this is not your classic fairytale that you’d read to children! For one, The Shrike is a witch that preys on men by using their lust against them. She lures them in to the woods by appearing as a beautiful woman and then things end badly for them, heart ripped out of the chest kind of badly. Did I mention there’s sex in this book? Ok, well yeah, there is, so like I said, not your classic fairytale. The villagers of Krume are a superstitious lot and at the bidding and lies of a few nefarious villagers – I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the pervert douche Father Emory here - are certain that the siblings are practicing black magic. Hans and Greta have a choice: Stay and burn for the crime of witchcraft or be banished from the village. Hans (who I’ve nicknamed the Horndog in my own mind) and Greta (the patient) choose banishment so in to the forest they go and what a forest it is! Here they encounter a series of misfortunate events and some unfortunate creatures. I’d like to mention that The Shrike is an absolute terror. I’m just going to leave it at that.
For me, this is where the story really takes off. The authors did such a wonderful job in the telling of this tale! It had tremendous atmosphere, was easy to envision, and the characters were well-developed and flawed – just the way I like them! It was an absolute delight to read and I’m really looking forward to the next in the series.
A big thank you to NetGalley, The Parliament House, and Xpresso Book Tours for the opportunity to read and review this book.
Side note: I’ve been sick with some funky chest cold so I read this last night and didn’t go to bed until 5:30 am until I finished it and I don’t regret it a bit!
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