Blog Tour and Review: The Weaver and the Witch Queen


I'm excited to be taking part in the blog tour for The Weaver and The Witch Queen by Genevieve Gornichec.

This is an adult fantasy and, like most YA and adult fantasy books, does have some content that some readers might want to know about. You can find out more at Genevieve Gornichec's website.

The Weaver and The Witch Queen by Genevieve Gornichec

Published on July 25, 2023 by Ace Books/Penguin Random House. Thanks to the publisher for providing an advance copy for review.

Plot Summary for The Weaver and the Witch Queen by Genevieve Gornichec

Oddny and Gunnhild meet as children in tenth-century Norway, and they could not be more different: Oddny hopes for a quiet life, while Gunnhild burns for power and longs to escape her cruel mother. 

But after a visiting wise woman makes an ominous prophecy that involves Oddny, her sister Signy, and Gunnhild, the three girls take a blood oath to help each other always.

When Oddny’s farm is destroyed and Signy is kidnapped by Viking raiders, Oddny finds herself set adrift from the life she imagined. 

Gunnhild, who fled her home years ago to learn the ways of a witch in the far north, is on her way to her exalted destiny. But the bonds–both enchanted and emotional–that hold them together are strong, and when they find their way back to each other again, those bonds will be tested in ways they could never have imagined in this rich, searching novel of magic, history, and sworn sisterhood.

Review of The Weaver and The Witch Queen

I used to read YA fantasy when I first started blogging back in the 2010s. 

Now, I don't read much fantasy at all anymore, but The Weaver and the Witch Queen made me want to reconsider that. 

I decided to take this one on for a couple of reasons. 

First, I'm excited that in the decade since I read a lot of fantasy, many fantasy books have expanded out of European history and are now inspired by history and folklore from around the world. 

Second, I have Scandinavian heritage and know next to nothing about Scandinavian history, so I thought The Weaver and the Witch Queen would be a good place to start.

I really enjoyed the book!

Extensively researched and based on Norse history, this book follows three women and explores their bond. 

The story gets off to a strong start. After a witch visiting their village makes a disturbing prophecy about three young girls, sisters Oddny and Signy make a blood oath with their friend Gunnhild to protect and help one another, and have no idea what that somewhat innocent childhood gesture will require of them.

A decade later, Signy is kidnapped by Viking raiders, and Oddny vows to find her. Meanwhile, Gunnhild is honing her powers as a witch.

The Weaver and The Witch Queen had everything a fantasy should: strong characters in peril, relationships of love and loyalty that are constantly tested, a magic system, and plenty of action and adventure. 

The story also felt more modern than the fantasy I used to read back in the 2010s, with a strong feminist bent and a transgender character who was thoughtfully portrayed and integrated in a way that felt natural to the story. Some of the dialogue seemed a bit contemporary, but hey, unless we all want to read Old Norse, it's all a translation anyway. 

Gornichec's writing is strong and I loved that the book included a full character list and a list of unfamiliar terms at the back. 

Gunnhild's character (among others) was based on a real historical figure and I wanted to know more! 

If you go to Genevieve Gornichec's website, you can also find a reading list, her touring schedule, and how to get a signed copy of The Weaver and the Witch Queen.

From the 2020s to the 2010s

Since YA All Day is being developed into a bit of a 2010s YA throwback site, I'm trying to pair each of my new review titles with a 2010s book that feels a bit similar.

The 2010s in YA was ALL about fantasy triologies. 

The pairing for The Weaver and The Witch Queen is ....

The Crewel World trilogy by Gennifer Albin (2012)

Feminist for its time, Crewel also has weaving themes. 

Adelice is gifted with the ability to weave time with matter, the power to manipulate the very fabric of reality, a gift that gives her unparalleled power. But if controlling people eat is the price of having it all, Adelice isn't interested.