A Story That Never Ended
For the fans of The DaVinci Code—with three generations of extraordinary women keeping alive the ancient Goddess faith.
“Whenever you are of need, come to Me when the moon is full and I, Hecate, Queen of all witches, will guide you, my daughter, to your heart’s desire.”
In 1665, Baroness Elisabeth von Galler is faced with the frenzy of the witch trials raging through Europe. Her son-in-law acquires dispensation from the Kaiser to hold trials in Riegerburg. As the “Faith-Keeper” of an ancient Goddess-worshipping community, can she save her loved ones from certain death and her faith from disappearing?
In 1938, Hitler takes over Austria, and Katarina Lilienthal fears for the lives of her Jewish husband and daughter. Armed with the secret Book of Shadows, her legacy passed down from Baroness von Galler, and her intuition will she be able to save her family before the horror begins?
Seventy years later, Sarah Lilienthal inherits her beloved Oma’s secret book. Katarina’s deathbed wish is for Sarah to travel to Austria—the place Sarah’s grandparents barely escaped with their lives on the verge of WWII—and make amends with Oma’s estranged family. Sarah is cast on a quest to find her true self and the origins of the book by traveling to Riegersburg, where the Book of Shadows’ journey began.
Kindle AISN: B082Z85FYZ
“The Witches of Riegersburg is a work of historical fiction set from the seventeenth to the early twentieth centuries, as well as the modern-day, and it was penned by author Julie Anne Stratton. The novel is suitable for adult readers due to some scenes of a sexual nature and one particularly harrowing scene of torture and violence. This time-spanning novel focuses on several characters and concepts, all brought together by Sarah, a young American woman who discovers an inherited book of shadows. Sarah’s investigation into the book leads her to follow her grandmother’s origins to Austria, where she delves back in time to discover the persecution of witches and what that really means.
Author Julie Anne Stratton has crafted a compelling tale of self-discovery, family history and heart with just a little touch of magic along the way. Sarah makes for a blank slate kind of heroine whom we can follow on her journey of self-discovery as she heeds the calling from her Oma and begins her quest to uncover the secret of the book and the place it came from. The prose is beautifully crafted with fine word choices that give emotion and atmosphere to every scene, and the presentation of Riegersburg is vibrant and enveloping in both past and present. Overall, this is a well-researched and well-plotted drama with plenty of genre-crossing content to please readers of all kinds. I’d definitely recommend The Witches of Riegersburg for fans of historical, family saga, drama and interpersonal narrative styles of fiction.” — K.C. Finn for Readers’ Favorite (five stars)
“The book focuses on three epic interconnected stories of brave resistance to different forms of oppression. It is unusual and refreshing for a book to so thoughtfully showcase the many ways people stand up to faith, class and gender based violence. Instead of making a spectacle of trauma, especially trauma faced by women, the author emphasizes the humanity, fortitude and dignity of people facing horrors. While other authors might choose to create a dichotomy between those oppressed and their oppressors, this author offers a nuanced portrayal of human motivation and choice where no one group of people is explicitly good or bad. Instead, the author is steadfast in holding her characters accountable for their deeds and decisions. I very much appreciate that acts of courageous resistance do not erase the negative outcomes for characters who have participated in and benefited from oppressive systems. Heroism, in these stories, is about doing what is right regardless of recognition and bravely facing the consequences for causing others pain. The author posits that we are responsible for our individual deeds as well as the deeds of the systems we choose to uphold. It is powerful fodder for contemplation given the state of our world. I love that so much depth is packaged in the page turning action of the book’s dramatic narrative. Overall, The Witches of Riegersburg is an uplifting set of stories that celebrate humanity’s capacity for integrity, courage, and persistence.” — Cathy, Amazon reviewer (five stars)