ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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​​​​​​​The Magic of Reclaiming Power

Alix E Harrow’s The Once and Future Witches is an ode to the transformative power of female anger with each character.

The exquisite cover of Alix E Harrow’s The Once and Future Witches (2020), with its elaborate curlicues, might make you think that it is a comforting book to slip into, with its delicious witchery and magic. Reader, do not allow yourself to be misled. This is a book about power. It is about those who have it, and those who are trying to get it. Chances are, it will resonate quite forcefully with those who have experienced oppression, indignity, and humiliation. Harrow is primarily interested in the many complex ways that power works in this world, and how it wreaks injustice. In this book, the primary force she reckons with is patriarchy.

We begin in a world where the existence of magic is well known but it is not practised; it is outlawed. Harrow introduces us to household magic, also known as harmless magic, that is practised by maids, servants, and other women in service to make their lives a little easier—to remove a stubborn stain here, to keep mud off hems there. These are ways in which magic lives on in the everyday lives of the working class, especially now that powerful magic is considered uncouth and criminal by polite society.

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Updated On : 27th Mar, 2023
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