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Summary

Traveler, cleric, witch. The villagers in the sleepy hamlet of Lychford are divided. A supermarket wants to build a major branch on their border. Some welcome the employment opportunities while some object to the modernization of the local environment. 

Judith Mawson (local crank) knows the truth - that Lychford lies on the boundary between two worlds and that the destruction of the border will open wide the gateways to malevolent beings beyond imagination. But if she is to have her voice heard, she's going to need the assistance of some unlikely allies.... 

©2015 Paul Cornell (P)2015 Macmillan Audio

Critic reviews

"At once epic and terribly intimate. This is the story of a village, not a city, and all the more powerful for that; not all big fantasy needs an urban setting. Beautifully written, perfectly cruel, and ultimately kind. This is Cornell at the height of his craft." (Seanan McGuire, New York Times best-selling author of the InCryptid and October Daye series)

"Rich in charm...local politics and witchcraft writ small and personal, but large in consequence. [Cornell] adeptly describes the emotion of magic; its effects and internal ignition of wonder. The feel of being exposed to magic for the first time and the feel of doing magic and having it done to you have never been better described in any story." (Bill Willingham, author of Fables and Down the Mysterly River)

"Masterfully creepy and sinister, all the more so for taking place in the beautifully drawn English countryside." (Jenny Colgan, author of Doctor Who: Into the Nowhere

What members say

Average customer ratings

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  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Fantasy and reality in a beautiful mix!

A beautiful story made even better by the reading done by Marisa Calin. Highly recommended short story - for me even better literary performance than the regular series Paul Cornell is famous for.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • AZ
  • 30-10-15

A Timely Fantasy

What did you like most about Witches of Lychford?

A great autumnal listen and a fantasy for our times. The story has blended flavours of Good Omens, The Sugar Queen & a Guardian Column by Owen Jones. A small town on the cross-roads of reality, a diverse trio of strong women including a bereaved Reverend, an elderly witch and a skeptic who was abducted by the fey stand in the way of all life collapsing. If you are not a fan of big business and austerity and do enjoy a good fantasy with a predictable but not too tidy end, I recommend this book.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

It was a story that was easy to listen to in one or two sittings.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

A thoroughly enjoyable story

As others have said, it would have made a good novel. I loved the characters and enjoyed the story and would be very happy if the author wrote a sequel!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Another excellent offering from Paul Cornell

If you could sum up Witches of Lychford in three words, what would they be?

Magical, fascinating, engaging.

What other book might you compare Witches of Lychford to, and why?

Somewhere between Terry Pratchetts' Witches and Midsommer murders. ... or 'The Famous three go mad in Lychford'

Which character – as performed by Marisa Calin – was your favourite?

Judith - she is a grumpy old superstar - think of a rural Maggie Smith

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

The subtle humour in the book was excellent - especially the reference to lesbianism. Absolute gold!

Any additional comments?

Marisa Calin was a really good reader.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

fascinated story telling

excellent story for fans of this author. well read takes the listener into the village and the lives therein.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

enjoyable

I prefer the hard boiled procedural of the shadow police - but a nice excursion for Mr Cornell - for those who like Foxglove Summer by Ben Aaranovitch.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Love Everything by this Author, highly recommend!

I love the amazing worlds within worlds that Paul Cornell creates & transports you to. & the wonderful choice of such talented sympathetic voice artists who read his works, always seem like the perfectly considered performers.. He has fast become one of my favourite authors & I eagerly await any new works from him & Ben Aaronovich, if you like Ben, you’ll like Paul.. or perhaps, love him as I do... xxxx

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Nice afternoon listen

Bought this on a whim and I'm glad I did.

It was a good story, albeit a short story and I think so much more could have been done, expanding into new chapters after the conclusion of this 'episode', going a little more into the lives of the three protagonists, but I was still happy to listen and found the performance of Marisa Calin very pleasant to listen to.
My first Paul Cornell book and I'm happy to say it's not going to be my last. If you have an afternoon free and fancy doing as I did, sitting on the beach or in the garden listening then I highly recommend the Witches of Lychford

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Brilliant listen

I love the way the author normalises the paranormal

I really hope there's more of these to come as it's refreshing to have an all female lead with no bloody forced love interest

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Brilliant.

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes I would! I liked the book so much I'd love for there to be more books to learn more about the 3 main people & the fairies.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Jeffrey W. McClure
  • 13-11-15

Superb story and narration

This Novella is a relatively short listen but is well done in every aspect. The narrator is perfect for the story. If you like a good mystery where the protagonists discover that there is a world beside ours with occasional people crossing over in both directions you will enjoy this tale.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • S. Yates
  • 09-02-18

Well done, just wish bks 2 & 3 were on audible

Though this may be fantasy, it is firmly entrenched in reality. Witchcraft, evil, faeries, spells, spirits, and the like may exist, but so do town halls, NIMBY debates, financial downturns, and the press of super stores and their promise of increased jobs and depersonalized service. Of course, here the super store in question would break ground and reroute roads, walls, and barriers that are there for a reason. I loved meeting some of the residents of Lychford, especially the titular witch (singular at the beginning, but plural by the end). The grounding of the fantasy/magic portions of the book in solid rules and the mundane details of village life worked very well. Cornell did a lot in a very brief length. My only complaint is that I wish the book were longer -- but with two more books in the trilogy at least I have something to look forward to.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • Meep
  • 13-04-17

Disappointing

I bought this book because of all the great reviews. I liked it so much after listening for a while that I went and bought another book by the author. However, SPOILER ALERT, SPOILER ALERT, SPOILER ALERT SPOILERS TO FOLLOW
just at the very moment I was thinking to myself "one of the many things that makes this book so great is that the author didn't feel the need to pointlessly torture some member of the animal kingdom" the author decided to do just that. I have had it with this sort of behavior from magical authors. There is no need for it, it's disgusting and pointless. A two star rating is probably harsh, because the story has many good points. It's well written, the characters are well defined and unique, and it posses great atmosphere. None of that matters to me because now I'm furious at the author for betraying my trust.
Also, there's a surprise at the end that I absolutely did not see coming and that depressed me quite a bit. It's possible that there's going to be a sequel and that the author plans to deal with these issues then, because there are many loose ends at the end of the story that don't get tied up.
The reader is perfect for this story and does a wonderful job.

10 of 17 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Julie
  • 13-11-17

Witches vs. Fairy

I enjoyed the audible version of this modern fairy tale dealing with 3 women who join together to defeat some nasty fairy folk. One of the women is an older "witch;" one is a young witch who's interested in the science of the craft more than the magic; and the third is an Anglican minister who isn't sure what she really believes. All three are dealing with grief. It's the start of a trilogy, which I might continue. The writing and dialog are very good.

Audible 20 review sweepstakes.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Joanna
  • 25-07-17

Witches

An excellently created story with believable, interesting characters. While the story did fall out pretty much the way I expected it to, there was one moment where I genuinely sat open-mouthed in surprise. A thoroughly enjoyable way to spend an evening.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful