Review: THE NEAR WITCH by Victoria Schwab

The Near Witch (The Near Witch, #1) 
Victoria Schwab
282 pages
Publisher: Disney/Hyperion
Release Date: August 2nd, 2011
Source: ARC from Publisher
Rating: LOVED

The Near Witch is only an old story told to frighten children.

If the wind calls at night, you must not listen. The wind is lonely, and always looking for company.

And there are no strangers in the town of Near.

These are the truths that Lexi has heard all her life.

But when an actual stranger-a boy who seems to fade like smoke-appears outside her home on the moor at night, she knows that at least one of these sayings is no longer true.

The next night, the children of Near start disappearing from their beds, and the mysterious boy falls under suspicion. Still, he insists on helping Lexi search for them. Something tells her she can trust him.

As the hunt for the children intensifies, so does Lexi’s need to know-about the witch that just might be more than a bedtime story, about the wind that seems to speak through the walls at night, and about the history of this nameless boy.

Part fairy tale, part love story, Victoria Schwab’s debut novel is entirely original yet achingly familiar: a song you heard long ago, a whisper carried by the wind, and a dream you won’t soon forget.

With powerful strings of words, Victoria Schwab weaves an original tale that will leave you breathless, and content. Her impeccable writing style is professional, vivid, and flowing. Schwab is definitely one author we’ll have to look out for.

Our heroine, Lexi Harris, is a tracker, just like her deceased father. When looking out of her window at the brooding moor one night, she catches her fist glimpse at the stranger.

There are no strangers in the town of Near.

The following night, a child disappears from his bed without a trace. No one knows how, there are no footprints, no signs of struggle, nothing. People start asking questions, and out of fear, they start assuming answers. It’s the stranger they say, it’s that boy, the one with the dark hair, river-stone eyes, and wind-soft voice.

But Lexi knows it can’t be him, at least she thinks so. And she’s going to find out who the culprit really is. But time is of the essence – the villagers need to take the blame out on someone… with a bullet.

I loved everything about The Near Witch, from Lexi to the moor. But more than anything, I loved Victoria Schwab’s writing style. The way her descriptions flowed, I could see the moor, feel the wind, and hear it’s whispers.

However, I don’t believe The Near Witch is getting nearly as much buzz as it should. It deserves to be placed among the likes of Leviathan, Incarceron, and even Divergent – though I can’t compare it to anything else. The Near Witch is a fairy tale, a debut unlike anything you’ve ever read before. Listen to the wind, pick it up when it debuts, and get lost in Schwab’s world and see for yourself.

Add THE NEAR WITCH to Goodreads


Hafsah Faizal is a YA author, designer, and blogger. Her designs have graced the sites of New York Times bestselling authors, bloggers, and more. She resides in Texas, with her family.

July 16, 2011



  1. Reply

    Liz. R

    July 19, 2011

    Ahh I can't wait to read this one. The synopsis alone is enticing enough, but now after your review I just have to read it! Glad you enjoyed and thanks for the review.

  2. Reply

    Amy @ bookgoonie

    July 19, 2011

    My review posts this Wednesday. I agree–fabulous book. My daughter & I couldn't put it down. The only thing I don't like about the book is the cover.

  3. Reply


    July 19, 2011

    Agree with you totally – the cover was the only thing I didn't like about the book as well.

    Both the story and the writing were definitely beautiful and fantastic :)

  4. Reply


    July 19, 2011

    I want to read this one so bad! Thanks for the great review!

  5. Reply


    July 26, 2011

    Brilliant review, Hafsah. I've heard so many wonderful things on this one that I'm just super excited to get my hands on a copy. I'm so glad to hear you loved it. Thanks for your review! =]

  6. Reply

    Sherry Soule

    July 27, 2011

    Thanks for the thoughtful and well-written review. This book sounds awesome! I can’t wait to read it now.


    Sherry Soule Official Website

    Author of the Spellbound Series

  7. Reply

    Nicole@The More the Merrier

    November 20, 2011

    I really want to read The Near Witch and review has me wanting to get this book even more.

  8. Reply


    December 5, 2011

    This wasn't really one for me. I tried to enjoy it. I can't really pinpoint what it was about this book. Just not my cup of tea I guess.

  9. Reply


    January 27, 2012

    It was a very unique book but it wasn't one of my favorites. Your review makes me want to give it another try though!

  10. Reply


    February 5, 2012

    I heard about this book briefly but I didn't here much about it later on. This sounds like a fantastic read. If it's like Divergent and Incarceron that I'm so going to be reading it very soon…love those books. Thanks for the great review! :-D

  11. Reply

    The Writer in the Background

    March 9, 2013

    This was a beautiful book!