Holiday Sale! Save 20% on a BookBrowse membership - for yourself or to give as a gift.

Read advance reader review of The Witches at the End of the World by Chelsea Iversen, page 3 of 5

Summary | Reviews | More Information | More Books

The Witches at the End of the World

by Chelsea Iversen

The Witches at the End of the World by Chelsea Iversen X
The Witches at the End of the World by Chelsea Iversen
Buy This Book

About this book


Page 3 of 5
There are currently 29 member reviews
for The Witches at the End of the World
Order Reviews by:
  • Vivian H. (Winchester, VA)
    Beautiful writing/lackluster plot
    The atmospheric descriptions of places and people provided a beautiful setting for The Witches at the End of the World set in rural Norway. I've been entranced by witches since I first met The Mayfair Witches By Anne Rice decades ago. So, my expectations were high. The two sisters at the center of the book, Minna and Kaija, didn't cause me to want to know them better. There also could have been more insight into why the villagers believed witchcraft was the cause of their tragedy, their suspicions of strangers -particularly when one of the critical moments felt so contrived. The dots didn't always connect for me. I did love Tante Tilde.
  • Norma R. (Secaucus, NJ)
    This debut novel is a tale of witches set in 1677 Norway. Sisters Minna and Kaija have seem their mother burn and must escape their village and flee to live in isolation in the middle of the woods. They learn to be self-sufficient, but Kaija yearns to return to a life surrounded by people. The novel does a good job of making real how superstitious the people of the area are. Any sickness or misfortune is attributed to a curse. Anyone different or without strong social ties is assumed to be a witch. Very reminiscent of the events surrounding other persecution of those assumed to be witches. The main characters are witches. The novel made real the fear the characters lived with, and how they had to be secretive.
  • Renee T. (Seward, PA)
    The Witches at the End of the World
    Minna and Kaija's story is alternately told by both sisters, witches who approach their talents from opposite sides. Minna embraces her talents and wishes to punish all who have harmed her family, particularly those who burned her mother as a witch. Kaija wants to escape their forest solitude and live a life of perceived normalcy in a village. A betrayal and a curse fracture the relationship between the sisters resulting in a chain of tragic events that may or may not restore their feelings of love and sisterhood.

    I liked this book for its unique story and characters, and the questions it raises about the use or abuse of power and the strength of sisterly bonds. I think it could be listed as a YA title because it's protagonists seem to me to be not quite adults. I'll be ordering it for my library's collection since we have many patrons who enjoy a good witch book!
    Thanks to BookBrowse and Sourcebooks for providing me with an ARC for this title. It was an interesting and thoughtful read.
  • Viqui G. (State College, PA)
    The Witches at the End of the World
    The young witches (Minna and Kaija) who live at the end of the world (Norway in 1677) have been very isolated from civilization for more than 10 years. They left their village after their mother was burned at the stake for being a witch. The girls, now young women, have lived with their grandmother, Mormor, far away from any villages, until her recent death. Minna intends to continue to survive by her skill and spells far removed from human civilization. Kaija, however, wants to pursue a new life in the village from which they came. She wants to be regarded as a young woman, not as a young witch. This separation of two very tightly-knit sisters sets up the novel's conflict.

    I enjoyed this unusual premise in a novel because the author 's writing and descriptions were very vivid and believable. I also appreciated that any conflict between two sisters that grew up dependent on each other for emotional and moral support would be very complicated. There was a bit of repetition in some of the passages, but in general, the novel was unique, enjoyable and satisfying.
  • Dorothy M. (Broken Arrow, OK)
    Two Sisters at Odds
    I truly enjoy stories that use a dual point of view. That technique often gives readers a more complete picture of events than a story told through one narrator. The Witches at the End of the World by Chelsea Iverson gives readers a story told by sisters Kaija and Minna.

    Kaija and Minna grow up in the woods of Norway, raised by their grandmother because their mother was burned as a witch. When the grandmother dies, the two girls begin to realize how different they are from one another. Kaiji is much kinder than Minna and decides she is tired of living hidden away in a dark forest. Minna, on the other hand, sees herself as a witch and always feels a sense of anger and rage bubbling within her.

    Feeling betrayed when Kaija leaves, Minna unleashes her fury. Little does she know that she is setting in motion a fatal action that will have widespread repercussions. Readers will find insight through the two sisters' stories. How do those stories intertwine? What will be the result of Minna's curse? Will the two sisters be able to reconcile, or will the differences coupled with the curse be too great to overcome?
  • Juli B. (Prosper, TX)
    The Consequences of Witchcraft
    Finnmark, Norway - Autumn 1677
    Readers will quickly be enchanted by the story of two sisters who experience the devastating childhood trauma of tragically losing both parents, only to be taken away to the safety of an isolated forest where they are taught by their loving grandmother to embrace and hone their witchcraft skills. Eventually Kaija and Minna find themselves alone and at odds with how each wants to live their adult years. Memories of village life draw Kaija away from the woods and begin a series of complications trying to balance life with strict cultural boundaries while hiding the powers that literally itch to come forward daily. Minna feels alone and abandoned by her only blood relative. Both sisters must accept the repercussions of decisions made during fits of anger. Each must also recognize that their corner of the world is not accepting of those who come from different backgrounds. Suspicions will lead to threatening behavior that bring terrible consequences in this interesting debut novel by Chelsea Iversen. The pace of the story accelerates using alternating chapters between the sisters; readers might benefit from a short, but helpful glossary of Nordic terminology to better understand the incantations and rituals utilized by both sisters as they struggle to find acceptance and healing. Overall a unique and captivating read!
  • Peggy K. (San Marcos, CA)
    Careful what you wish for...
    A lovely story of two young witches. One wishes to be free of a restricted and lonely life. She leaves her home but her sister has nothing but hatred and a desire for revenge in her heart. Her curse will destroy more than ease her pain and cause misery but it is how these two come together that is the heart of this story. It is a tale as old as time and useful to remember in today's world.


Holiday Sale!

Discover exceptional books
for just $3/month.

Find out more

Award Winners

  • Book Jacket: The Covenant of Water
    The Covenant of Water
    by Abraham Verghese
    BookBrowse Fiction Award 2023

    Along the Malabar Coast of South India in 1900, a 12-year-old girl ...
  • Book Jacket: In Memoriam
    In Memoriam
    by Alice Winn
    BookBrowse Debut Book Award 2023

    Alice Winn's remarkable debut, In Memoriam, opens in 1914 at ...
  • Book Jacket: The Wager
    The Wager
    by David Grann
    BookBrowse Nonfiction Award 2023

    David Grann is a journalist, a staff writer for The New Yorker and...
  • Book Jacket: Remember Us
    Remember Us
    by Jacqueline Woodson
    BookBrowse YA Book Award 2023

    Remember Us is set largely across a single hazy summer of the 1970s in...

BookBrowse Book Club

Book Jacket
by Sandra Newman
From critically acclaimed novelist Sandra Newman, a brilliantly relevant retelling of Orwell's 1984 from the point of Smith's lover, Julia.

Members Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    The Witches at the End of the World
    by Chelsea Iversen

    Two sisters find themselves at odds in this historical fantasy set during a dark Norwegian winter.

  • Book Jacket

    Above the Salt
    by Katherine Vaz

    A sweeping love story that follows two Portugueses refugees who flee religious violence to build new lives in Civil-War America.

Who Said...

Beliefs are what divide people. Doubt unites them

Click Here to find out who said this, as well as discovering other famous literary quotes!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.