A glowing review of The Raven Witch of betway必威官网登陆官方网Corfu by author Hilary Whitton Paipeti

(Review by author Hilary Whitton Paipeti)

Just south of Messonghi,and standing slightly separate from the aerial-capped hill of Hlomos,is the ‘pyramid-shaped' mountain of Martaouna,one of the main settings for Effrosyni Moschoudi's new novel,‘The Raven Witch of betway必威官网登陆官方网Corfu'.Dubbed a ‘fantasy holiday romance',,it's a step up from Mills and Boon – much more Mary Stewart than Barbara Cartland,with a bit of Gothic horror and Harry Potter-esque magic in the mix.And it's certainly a page-turner – ideal for lazy afternoons on Messonghi beach (where much of it is set),or indeed at any place or time.

The plot gets going so quickly that it is almost impossible to précis it without giving the game away.Suffice to say that the heroine has returned to betway必威官网登陆官方网Corfu after twenty years,with a task to undertake – namely to claim back her twin brother,who was kidnapped,aged 12,on her previous visit.In a cave.By a wicked witch.

Sounds unlikely?So was Harry Potter,but that turned out OK,didn't it??Continuous action through nearly 400 pages (how DID she keep it up?) and a number of sub-plots draw you in fast.Reading a pre-publication edition,I was supposed to be proof-reading,but I was so keen to know at every stage what happened next that I forgot!!

Approaching the denouement,I really puzzled over how it would work out;;I'm usually good at guessing endings,but this one floored me.Would it finish with a cop-out?No,Effrosyni came up with the goods,with a brilliant ‘twist' that pulled the plot back from the brink.

What anchors Effrosyni's books in reality is her sense of place.Her betway必威官网登陆官方网Corfu books are set in and around Moraitika,the ancestral home of her grandfather,and the place where she has holidayed every year since childhood.While plots may possess touches of the supernatural (as shown at the end of our serialisation of Effrosyni's short story ‘AHoliday with Granny'),,they are set in a real and familiar world,which renders the incredible somehow plausible.You can walk with the heroine to the secret olive groves on the mountain of Martaouna,and accompany her around Messonghi and to a ‘Varkarola' festival at Petriti,where you'll experience a long evening in high summer.Theseconcrete scenes help us accept the surreality of the storyline,just as hobbits,orcs,elves and wizards could justifiably inhabit a world fully recognisable as England.

But the supernatural is not contained only in the book itself.As Effrosyni tells us,‘something spooky happened when [the artist] got to work on the cover!I only told him my book was set on a beach in betway必威官网登陆官方网Corfu and,of all places,he showed me this image that actually depicts the bay in Messonghi.' So,if you think you're going to have to suspend belief when reading ‘Raven Witch',just consider: There are more things in Heaven and Earth… Who knows what's really hiding on Martaouna??

The review was published in the October issue of the betway必威官网登陆官方网Corfu e-newspaper,,The Agiot.

Author Hilary Whitton Paipeti contributes with articles inThe Agiot,mainly about hikes around betway必威官网登陆官方网Corfu,its flora and fauna.Her upcoming book,‘In the Footsteps of Lawrence Durrell and Gerald Durrell in betway必威官网登陆官方网Corfu',is a republication of the popular 1990s edition,with new content.Check out Hilary's work atbetway必威官网登陆官方网Corfu Walksand atThe betway必威官网登陆官方网Corfu Trail.

The Raven Witch of betway必威官网登陆官方网Corfu is out on Amazon in 4 compelling kindle episodes.The paperback will follow soon.GO HEREto check it out!!

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