Although this novel is about witchcraft, there is no hocus pocus in its pages. It is full of cold realism which is lighted by dark humour, however it ends up being just as, if not more enthralling than any fanciful fiction. By bringing together such curiosities as grimoires, witch trials and more, this historical thriller come dark comedy will prove an intrigue.
It is May day, but this diary entry concerns its eve, and though the shadow of other events domineered them, I am determined to write of the joyous aspects of the day. Solely to try to keep back, for as long as possible, the melancholy that is all too eager to consume. The Puritans are causing an increasing amount of turmoil in our lands. Even though Charles's reign is interwoven with insanity, it is familiar insanity that is predictable and endurable. However, no matter how gravely bad things appear, I fear that these moments are but the calm before the storm shows its true ferocity. The melancholy seems to be winning, but I shall resist.
Dawn Lighted a singularly beautiful day that sported a western breeze, which when stepped into instantly stripped away ones fatigue. The cloudless sky fostered excitement for the evening's festivities, but also inadvertently caused the day to pass frustratingly slow. Twilight began as the moon was edging above the horizon, in the sign of Scorpio. Although beautiful the sight was, it caused panic. Since I knew how hard making the journey to be made would be in the dark. I quickly gathered what I needed and made way north along the River Lark's edge. It was a most serene walk. I wished to draw it out longer, but twilight never lasts long and so the sights were soon destroyed. Leaving me with but the stars, and an incomplete moon to light my way. I thought about going back every cautious step I made. However, I came to notice a faint glow a way away, which emanated from the depths of the wood the river carved through. I thus found my way to the proceedings, which had evidently started without me, with ease.
Much to my disappointment, there were only around twenty people present. What made it especially sad, was that memories of times when the age-old tradition had been ardently honoured, played out vividly in my mind. Ever since the arrogant minded Puritans became a predominant force in East Anglia, my fellow brothers and sisters have been too fearful to practice our so called bohemian beliefs. Those of us with the fortitude, come madness, to stick up for what we believe in are being drawn ever closer as a result. I learnt that Sarah Spinlow is with child. I cannot believe that the gods had cruelly denied her children for so very long. She is overjoyed. After anecdotes had been shared and new developments divulged, we sat down for a feast of fish, nuts and biscuits. It was nice despite not nearly being enough to give us our fill. Summer will in time ease our hardships though.
Ester was more than deserving of the title of May Queen. She is the personification of beauty. I knew it to be wrong yet I could not help but look to her with envious eyes. I should think the same went for the other women too. She cannot be much older than fourteen. To have such youth is glorious, I fondly remember when I had the privilege of wearing the crown of spring flowers. Ester has a bright future ahead of her, for she could surely manipulate any man.
As was traditional the May queen led the processional offering of last year's sacred broom blossom and seed pods, into the central fire of the wood clearing. During which the Matthew's son, James, sculpted a rhythm that later became the backdrop of a whole host of gayety. Some say that James is a young prodigy, I cannot but agree. Though sadly talent such as his has long been demonised by the Christian churches. Ester unwittingly caused yet more to envy her, as during a lull in the proceedings, she performed an aria with James. She sang with an enchantingly silk voice and moved majestically when in dance. Once all came to a close we were to choose a companion, to be married off with for the evening in the name of the southern star. However this was not to occur as our enemy struck fast and without warning.