Modern witchcraft blends with ancient Celtic mythology in an epic clash of witches and gods, perfect for fans of V.E. Schwab's Shades of Magic trilogy and The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina.
Seventeen-year-old Dayna Walsh is struggling to cope with her somatic OCD; the aftermath of being outed as bisexual in her conservative Irish town; and the return of her long-absent mother, who barely seems like a parent. But all that really matters to her is ascending and finally, finally becoming a full witch—plans that are complicated when another coven, rumored to have a sordid history with black magic, arrives in town with premonitions of death. Dayna immediately finds herself at odds with the bewitchingly frustrating Meiner King, the granddaughter of their coven leader.
And then a witch turns up murdered at a local sacred site, along with the blood symbol of the Butcher of Manchester—an infamous serial killer whose trail has long gone cold. The killer's motives are enmeshed in a complex web of witches and gods, and Dayna and Meiner soon find themselves at the center of it all. If they don't stop the Butcher, one of them will be next.
Dayna Walsh, 17, feels most at home with her coven and away from her reverend father and his followers. Dayna has plenty to deal with the disclosure of her bisexuality in her small Irish town, her OCD, and the return of her estranged mother even before a witch is killed and branded with the mark of the Butcher, a serial killer hunting witches in 10-year cycles. When her coven accepts the help of a witch rumored to work in black magic, Dayna navigates her feelings for a new love interest and member of a rival coven. In her race to catch the Butcher, Dayna experiences coincidences that suggest her role within her own coven is more complicated than first believed. Latimer (The Strange and Deadly Portraits of Bryony Gray) infuses modern-day references with Celtic mythology while packing the novel with gory action, alternating viewpoints between the witches and those who hunt them. Despite unresolved subplots and a problematic depiction of Catholicism, the action sequences are cinematic in scope, and rich interior characterizations add depth to an arresting story. Ages 14 up.