The Near Witch by Victoria Schwab (Hyperion Books, 2011) [republished as by V.E. Schwab]; audiobook read by Heather Wilds (Blackstone, 2019) A claustrophobic fantasy that paints the evils of superstitious fear (and a pig-headed patriarchy) but which makes a protracted novel out of what should have been a novelette—and then omits the more interesting of the final confrontations. Narrated with…
Doctor Who: The Witch from the Well by Rick Briggs (Big Finish, 2011) As ever, Big Finish have gone beresk with their screeching creature effects. Notwithstanding such overindulgence, this pseudohistorical take on the seventeenth-century witch trials offers uncommon nuance and character depth. A particularly good story for Paul McGann and Julie Cox (as Mary Shelley).
The Witches by Roald Dahl (Jonathan Cape, 1983); audiobook read by Miranda Richardson (Penguin, 2013) Scary and horrid and yet rather wondrous and fun, Roald Dahl’s take on witches remains a classic of middle grade fiction. Miranda Richardson’s audiobook reading is nicely pitched (notwithstanding her overly grating Grand High Witch and some oddly lacklustre, unnecessary sound effects).
The Witches and the Grinnygog by Dorothy Edwards (Faber & Faber, 1981) Somewhat abstruse and unlikely to appeal to post-millennial YA readers, Edwards’ tale of pagan magic reawakening in a small English village remains a curious, highly ambitious work, told always indirectly and sketching out its titular characters by painting the landscape around them.