Review of India Holton’s League of Gentlewomen Witches
India Holton’s second installment to the Dangerous Damsels series releases today! I was fortunate enough to sit down with India to discuss her books on the upcoming GateCrashers Podcast releasing Wednesday, but until then, grab a cup of tea and cozy up to enjoy my written review of India Holton’s The League of Gentlewomen Witches.
I’m going to be honest and say writing this review feels a little daunting. I named India Holton’s debut novel, The Wisteria Society for Lady Scoundrels, my favorite read of 2021. It felt like magic in my hands as I devoured it. Could the second book possibly live up to the sparkle of first? Well, of course it did! But how can I adequately write *in words* how much I loved this book without resorting to strangled huffs and gesticulating wildly with my arms? It feels quite impossible, which also feels wrong because nothing is impossible in Holton’s books. While this will ultimately be a review of her new release, The League of Gentlewomen Witches, this review is also a love letter to both of her witty absurd little books that have fired their battle cannons right at my heart.
Holton’s imagined Victorian London holds two warring factions of respectable ladies; the delightfully thieving pirates of The Wisteria Society and the aggressively charitable League of Gentlewomen Witches. Both of these organizations have one puzzling thing in common; the deliberately muddled history of a woman named Beryl Black. Beryl’s amulet takes center stage in this newest novel, as witch Charlotte Pettifer is determined to steal the amulet from its highly guarded display case in a London Museum. Unfortunately for Charlotte, so is every other pirate and witch in her general vicinity. This quest to liberate Beryl’s amulet from its suffocating case of glass has Charlotte crossing paths with pirate Alexander O’Riley, a decidedly handsome marauder who happens to despise witches – I promise he has a good reason to be weary.
Of course, Alex and Charlotte’s team-up leads them to experience many moments of deliciously witty banter and where’s-my-fainting-couch-because-this-is-so-swoon-worthy levels of tension. Can Alex come to terms with his past and Charlotte’s witchy-ness? Can Charlotte break free from a prophesized family legacy I’ve told you nothing about? Maybe! You should definitely read the book!
If the job was open, I’d probably walk down the street in a sandwich sign hawking these novels – that’s how much I love them. Holton has an incredible wit and proclivity for humor that leaves readers in stitches. Her novels read like nothing else, but give me faint hints of a bunch of different things I absolutely love, like the absurd comedy of plays like Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest, the musical A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder, along with William Goldman’s classic novel The Princess Bride.
In case you haven’t picked up on my successful use of subtlety in this review, I’ll speak plainly: Read this book. Read the first one, also. They’re hysterical. I’ve never had more fun reading words. If you’re looking for action, adventure, magic, and love, then I suggest you hop on your broom and fly over to your local bookstore to pick up India Holton’s League of Gentlewomen Witches today.