The Familiars ePUB ß Hardcover

The Familiars [PDF / EPUB] The Familiars Young Fleetwood Shuttleworth a noblewoman is with child again None of her previous pregnancies have borne fruit and her husband Richard is anxious for an heir Then Fleetwood discovers a hidden doctor Young Fleetwood Shuttleworth a noblewoman is with child again None of her previous pregnancies have borne fruit and her husband Richard is anxious for an heir Then Fleetwood discovers a hidden doctor’s letter that carries a dire prediction she will not survive another birth By chance she meets a midwife named Alice Grey who promises to help her deliver a healthy baby But Alice soon stands accused of witchcraftIs there to Alice than meets the eye Fleetwood must risk everything to prove her innocence As the two women’s lives become intertwined the Witch Trials of loom Time is running out; both their lives are at stake Only they know the truth Only they can save each otherRich and compelling set against the frenzy of the real Pendle Hill Witch Trials this novel explores the rights of th century women and raises the uestion Was witch hunting really women hunting Fleetwood Shuttleworth Alice Grey and the other characters are actual historical figures King James I was obsessed with asserting power over the lawless countryside even woodland creatures or “familiars” were suspected of dark magic by capturing “witches”—in reality mostly poor and illiterate women.


10 thoughts on “The Familiars

  1. says:

    The Familiars by Stacey Halls is a 2019 Mira publicationVery impressive debut novel Fleetwood Shuttleworth is once with child hoping this time she will be able to give her husband Richard the heir he is so desirous of But when she stumbles across a letter written to her husband from a physician warning him that if Fleetwood should once find herself in childbed she would not survive To keep herself and unborn child from certain death Fleetwood hires the midwife of her choosing a young woman named Alice Grey Fleetwood knows that Alice’s methods are unconventional but she is desperate willing to try anything But when Alice is accused of witchcraft Fleetwood will do whatever it takes to free Alice but time is of the essence I loved this book This is the style of Gothic mystery that I first fell in love with This debut author has done an outstanding job of creating a heavily laden atmosphere of suspense casting doubts in all directions and pitting our heroine against those she should be able to trust against society and against time The fever pitch anxiety and furor which permeated the air during the real Pendle Hill Witch Trials creates the perfect backdrop for the danger paranoia and suspicions surrounding Fleetwood Using real life characters in the book is a nice touch adding a nice theoretical solution to an age old mystery Other real life props and events are scattered throughout the novel capturing the atmosphere of the times perfectly The story is a Gothic lover’s dream with the suspense building and building becoming nearly unbearable But the story is also one of courage of hope determination and of friendship and unbreakable bonds forged out of desperation I can’t say enough nice things about this one Right now historical fiction is one my very favorite genres and then add in these unmistakable Gothic elements a genre that is hands down my favorite of any genre then how can I go wrong? The straightforward prose fits the style of Gothic fiction I think and compliments the characterizations especially that of Fleetwood The pacing it pitch perfect never hurried which is what creates that fraught nervous sitting on pin and needles sensation and is where many young Gothic novelists flounder I’m sure it is harder to pull off a slower balanced pace now than in days past with the limited word count reuired by most publishers So apparently this author obviously understands this genre has studied it and appreciates the nuances that make it successful Overall Stacey Halls has my undivided attention I’m super excited to see how she progresses from here on out


  2. says:

    Four surprising witchy gothic also frustrating starsI cannot really believe in this is a debut novel because the story is so well crafted detailed and smartly written Well if it’s just first work of this writer I voluntarily like to read her future works So this is two women’s amazing fight and friendship story against all ignorance superstition judgmental and biased minds Fleetwood is afraid of losing her baby after three miscarriages at young age she is only 17 She reads physician letter written to her husband and understands this is her last chance to give a heir to himShe hires Alice as midwife who has untraditional methods but Fleetwood accepts any help she may get As they unconventional friendship grows King James’ minions wander around to accuse the innocent women for being witches weeding them out from the communityRising tension boiling anger and atmosphere surrounded by paranoia create doubts on Fleetwood‘s mind for making a choice about who she could trustSome parts of book makes your blood boil with anger uestion your beliefs and doubts about the people and their way of looking at the world When I search about the meaning of familiar I found out that it meant an animal close to the witches acting like her servant guardian spy protector companion This brings a different kind of meaning to the story and relationship of two womenMostly I liked Fleetwood’s change and growing by taking risks acting brave to protect her friend and baby It’s well developed informative but still frustrating with the parts show how the ignorance affect people’s minds and turned them into mentally blindAs a summary I liked it and I am happy to see upcoming works of the writerbloginstagramfacebooktwitter


  3. says:

    ‘’Justice means fairness Luck of prejudice’’ I’ve always loved Pendle Hill and the stories of the women who were accused of witchcraft during one of the darkest moments in the history of Europe The fascinating legends found a perfect home in Jeanette Winterson’s The Daylight Gate a novel full of darkness raw beauty and folklore Stacey Hall’s The Familiars is not as vicious as Winterson’s masterpiece but it is no less poignant atmospheric and an absolutely beautiful novel fully doing justice to its dark themes of prejudice injustice and sheer violence against women Sadly these are issues that have not been extinguished in our world Centuries later we face the same dangers albeit wrapped in a different ‘’civilized’’ packagePendle Hill and Malkin Tower are in the centre of attention in Fleetwood’ household She is the young wife of a noble house her mission to produce an heir a male heir let us not forget and things have not been going well Fleetwood is with child one chance to do her ‘’duty’’ Her fortune brings her to Alive an eerie girl who seems to know nature and its gifts as well as an experienced wise woman Or as well as a witchThe witch hunt is in full swing under the reign of King James and Fleetwood has to face her husband’s wrongdoings her fear for her pregnancy and the injustice against women who know Nature better than anyone ‘’I wouldn’t wish a girl’s life on anyone’’ The Familiars are the spirits in objects and animals that act as replicas of the so called ‘’witches’’ This belief lends the name to the title of this beautiful book that seems to be perfect Indeed I couldn’t find a single feature that would have made me reconsider my rating The technical elements are brilliantly composed The era the dialogue the atmosphere of terror of suspicion and prejudice will captivate your heart from the first chapters This novel is an example of how a writer can create female protagonists that do not resemble any stereotype but are fully imagined and brought to life so realistically that the readers feel as if they’re watching actual people of flesh and blood fighting for the right to have a voice This is why I won’t tire you over technicalities What I feel the need to focus on is the exuisite treatment of the themes that make this novel such a beautiful and frightening experienceThe main theme reflected in the use of the witch hunt era as the setting is the position of women in a society that seems to take an almost orgasmic satisfaction in supporting every possible prejudice against them Men practice infidelity because it is their ‘’right’’ Women are not even allowed to choose their own midwife Pregnancy becomes an obligation Something you must do because society tells you to And if you don’t want children of your own everyone will look at you at best with apprehension and at worst with disgust I am using the Present tense intentionally because things haven’t changed much Not as long as the Trumps of the world tell us what to do with our bodies and our own choices Religion and politics have always lent themselves as culprits of irrational actions dogmas have long been used as pretexts for absolute control over the fates of women Take the ridiculous Daemonologie written by King James as an example One of the most incompetent ludicrous monarchs of Europe that led dozens of women to their deathThere are men encouraged to feel superior by oppressing women because they feared their intelligence and independence Women bow to an absurd will and condemn other women because they are influenced by uneducated priests and are envious of the women who live their lives according to their rules without needing a man and a surname to sustain them or verify their existence These issues are still relevant to our world Many men cannot recognize women’s right to euality Many women still need a man to verify their worth Flushing out certain parts of our anatomy on Instagram projecting ourselves as objects does not help This is not emancipation It is outright prostitution Let us not fear the words and speak clearlyWhat can be better than a Historical Fiction novel that prompts you to think of how universal and relevant certain issues are how vital in our daily experience This novel by Stacey Halls is like a heavy storm that has been brewing for hours Like the grey sky over Pendle Hill Like the fragile hope that comes with the arrival of a child in the world ‘’Do we not have eyes and ears like our husbands and the men who will condemn them?’’ Many thanks to MIRA and NetGalley for the ARC in exchange for an honest reviewMy reviews can also be found on


  4. says:

    The novel is based on true events Pendle Hill Witch Trials and most of the characters did exist although it was the Author's imagination that directed their actions The story revolves around a noblewoman Fleetwood Shutterworth who is expected to provide her husband with an heir She miscarages several times and one day when pregnant again she meets a local woman Alice Grey who has a knowledge of the herbs and skills which may help Fleetwood during her pregnancy The story seems simple but the Author managed mastefully to create a novel which I couldn't put down There are several themes in the novel which I found interesting position and fate of woman in the early 17th centrury prejudice against wise women which in conseuence led directly to the accusations of witchcraft and then to stake and the role children played during the so called witchhunt A very good atmospheric novel which I would recommend to FH loversMany thanks to Stacey Halls Harleuin Mira and Netgalley for providing me with ARC in exchange for my honest review


  5. says:

    The events described in the Familiars by Stacey Halls take place in the year 1612 Fleetwood is 17 years old and lives a lonely existence with her husband of 4 years in a gloomy isolated mansion in northern England She’s pregnant but has previously had problems with miscarriages She’s anxious to give birth successfully as Richard her husband is desperate for an heir The novel shines a light on the glaring misogyny of the times the exalted status of the midwife and the magic that fills the gaps that scientific knowledge hasn’t yet reachedThe mindset and attitudes of 17th century England are cleverly imagined With a lack of doctors and medical know how rural communities depended on ‘wise women’ and their use of herbs potions and techniues handed down over the years This atmospheric novel looks at how archaic country lore mixed with fear and ignorance was sometimes catastrophically perceived as witchcraftI found the narrative to be unexpectedly gripping and fast paced and in Fleetwood a character easy to root for as she struggles against the uniformly unpleasant bigoted and misguided men of the story There are few male characters with redeeming featuresThe Familiars is an enjoyable vivid and atmospheric read much recommendedNote I learnt on completing the book that the main characters were real historical figures the manor house Gawthorpe Hall exists and is open to the public and that the author Stacey Halls is a native of the area with a lifelong fascination of the Pendle witch trials which are central to the story


  6. says:

    There are times when I get absolutely giddy over a book that I’ve just finished so much so that I start babbling to my neighbors call up family members talk about it to strangers in stores despite their strange looks as though I’ve lost my mind That is exactly what I have found myself doing with Stacey Halls new book The FamiliarsAre you familiar with familiars? Yes I know I’m part Scottish so these things are embedded into my DNA but for many I now realize they are not A familiar is an animal that is close to a witch who does certain things for the witch They can act as protectors spies a type of servant or most often a close companion If you see one you most often will see the other because they rarely are separatedFleetwood Shuttleworth is the 17 years old mistress at Gawthorpe Hall The year is 1612 and she pregnant for the fourth time The problem however is that she has yet to bring a child to term something both she and her husband are concerned about each for very different reasons By chance Fleetwood encounters a woman in the forest on her property This woman Alice Gray claims to be a midwife and promises Fleetwood that she can help her give birth to a healthy child They agree on terms and Alice is brought into Gawthorpe Hall where Fleetwood almost at once begins to feel better There are problems however King James as we all should know is on a witch hunt and his minions who wish to stay in his favor will do whatever necessary to stay in the king’s good graces including accusing innocent women of witchcraft Fleetwood has the misfortune of living near Pendle Hill and one of her husband’s dearest friends and benefactor’s is just the sort of man to gather up innocents to appease the king – and that is exactly what he does – including Alice GrayI live in a town named Pendleton settled by men originally from Pendle Hill We actually have a place called Pendle Hill in our tiny town so I have a strange slightly bizarre fascination with the Pendle witches of Lancashire When I first read about The Familiars I was led to believe that it was a witch story and somewhat cutesy That is far from the truth This is a story of the women in the surrounding village who eventually were charged with murder and witchcraft at Pendle Hill specifically Alice Gray It is the story of Alice’s friendship with Fleetwood and the extreme measures that Fleetwood took in order to save her friend It is a beautifully told story of women devotion love motherhood history and so much but it is very much rooted in historically accurate research At the heart of the tale is Fleetwood and her desire to bring her child into the world safely and alive In order to do so she truly believes she must have Alice by her side It isn’t about magic or witchcraft it is about herbs and knowledge passed down from one generation of women to the next As we learn these women were being rounded up far too often because of men who merely wanted them gone for reasons of cheating anger because the women were knowledgeable not unlike what is happening today when intelligent women are mocked in the public arena They were also being hanged because their religion no longer aligned with that of King James Then as now religion was a source of war Isn’t it amazing how absolutely nothing has changed after all of this time? How we have learned nothing from the past?I absolutely loved the transformation of Fleetwood from silly frivolous socialite to the mature woman willing to fight for her child and her friend Women will do that when they have the right influences to guide them and it was beautiful to see how Alice so uiet and unassuming could give the much needed confidence to Fleetwood not with magic but through friendship and care In the end this is a novel of historical fiction and it stays true to the story Twelve women were charged with witchcraft some were hanged one landed in stocks for a fortnight and one is released This is a wonderful imagining of their story one that I highly recommendThank you to #Netgalley #Harleuin Mira and #StacyHalls for my advanced copy of #TheFamiliars


  7. says:

    What a wonderful Enchanting and captivating novel An unputdownable ripped from real life tale that kept me up late at night Having read Stacy Hall’s The Foundling I couldn't wait to get my hands on The Familiars and it certainly didn’t disappoint The Familiars is an extremely well written fictionalized account of the Pendle witch trials in 17th century Lancashire EnglandStacy Halls is a journalist and grew up near Pendle Hill She was always fascinated by the Witch trials from a young age Drawn from real life figures her novel tells the story of Fleetwood Shuttleworth a 17 year old Noblewoman who is pregnant for the fourth time She finds herself caught up in the trials when Alice Gray her midwife is accused of witchcraft Fleetwood needs Alice to help her deliver a healthy baby and Fleetwood risks everything to try and help AliceThe author skillfully conjures up the daunting landscape of the country and timeand creates a wonderful sense of time and place and her dialogue is believable and I loved being dropped right back to the 1600s I enjoy historical fiction as it introduces the readers to events in history which otherwise may have been forgotten The 1600 was a bleak time in history for woman and to be accused of witchcraft must have been terrifying and it didn't seem to take much to earn a reputation as a witch back then Stacy Hall’s has written a very crisp and beautiful debut and certainly an author that I gad to have add to my favorites list I think readers who enjoy historical fiction or books by authors such as Diane Setterfield or Kate Morton may well enjoy Stacy hall novelsI so glad I order hard copies of these books as they will display beautifully on my real life bookshelf


  8. says:

    Instagram || Twitter || Facebook || || Pinterest I reuested this book because I was in a witchy mood and the concept of feminism and girl power set against the backdrop of the witch trials during the rule of King James appealed to me In case you didn't know King James was all about that witch hunting life He wrote a book called the Demonology and Shakespeare actually wrote Macbeth with witches to appeal to his audience ie King James The witch trials in the United States were terrible but the 100 or so women killed tops pales in comparison to the hundreds of thousands of women who were murdered in the UK on account of being witchesFleetwood is a seventeen years old pregnant and the wife of a lord Theirs was a marriage of convenience she has the money and he basically treats her like chattel condescending to her and talking to her the way one would a child or misbehaving dog So she's understandably shocked and outraged when she finds a hidden message from a physician advising against pregnancy as the next will be her last Especially since he doesn't seem concerned about her health at all despite 2 miscarriagesWanting to live and wanting their child to live Fleetwood enlists the help of a mysterious woman she finds gathering herbs on their property one day This woman is Alice a midwife and wise woman who has gained her knowledge from the maternal line Alice's knowledge of herbal remedies actually ends up helping Fleetwood and she finds herself feeling better than she has in months All of that changes however when a friend of her husband Roger starts arresting and imprisoning women to await trial for execution He's heard about King James's penchant for witch hunting and figures the murder of the innocent will be a fine feather in his cap when it comes to his own ambitionsTHE FAMILIARS is a very frustrating book because on the one hand it doesn't fail to highlight how little respect women had back in the day and how showing any sort of knowledge or ambition as a woman could uickly lead to suspicion and fear On the other hand it's a really great story of women bonding together and using what limited power they had to accomplish great things sometimes at the expense of the status uo The writing style and message kind of reminded me of Margaret Atwood so I think if you're a fan of Atwood and pro feminist historical fiction you'll enjoy this book Thanks to the publisher for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review  35 stars


  9. says:

    Book Reviewed by Stacey on wwwwhisperingstoriescomThe Year 1612 Pendle Lancashire Seventeen Year Old Fleetwood Shuttleworth has been married for four years and in that time she has been pregnant three times too losing each child before their birth dates Fleetwood is once again pregnant and hoping to make it to full term with her child so she can give her husband an heir to carry on the Shuttleworth name Unfortunately she comes across a letter from the local physician which was written after she lost her third child which states that if she would be to fall pregnant again it is unlikely that she will surviveFleetwood is distressed by the letter and wants to confront her husband about it but doesn’t know how She decides to go a different route and hire a local woman to be her midwife a woman that knows all about potions and herbs and promises to deliver a healthy baby – Alice GreyThere is talk amongst the local people of witches in the area and her new midwife is soon finding her name bought into the accusations of witchcraft Fleetwood is sure Alice is innocent and with the trial looming close and if found guilty Alice will be hung Fleetwood will do anything to save her new friend even going against her husband for the young womanThe Familiars is a historical novel set in the era when people who were a little different were accused of being witches and killed not only in the UK but across the world too One of the most famous and best recorded witch trials in the UK was in Pendle Lancashire now dubbed the home of the ‘Pendle Witches’ where twelve people went on trial and ten found guiltyMs Halls has weaved her superior tale around the events from 1612 and brought into her fictional novel some famous names from the trials including Alizon Device and Alice Grey The Shuttleworth family are also a well known real family from the area tooFleetwood although only seventeen has been through some hard times Not only is it illegal to get married at the age she did these days but you just couldn’t comprehend a young girl of seventeen having been married for four years and not only being pregnant four times but losing three of her children before birth too I found her character although a little weak minded at times yet she was intriguing and I enjoyed watching her evolve as the plot progressedWhilst the book is set during the Pendle Witch trials for my liking there wasn’t enough about them in the book mainly because I love a good book featuring witches and this is what made me choose to read the story in the first place What information there is is historically accurate and you can tell that the author has a keen interest in the past and has done lots of researchOverall the book left me satisfied and I thoroughly enjoyed it It left me feeling enthralled with parts and spellbound by others The pace felt a little slow to at times but in my personal opinion slowness works in historical fiction as it allows you to really grasp the past and understand it The pace does pick up as you near the endThis is a book that I feel is going to be a bit like Marmite in that if you have an interest in historical fiction or indeed the witch trials or Pendle you will love it If you have no interest in these subject then I can’t see it being of interest to you


  10. says:

    5☆ Spellbinding Superbly Written It Pulled Me In A Book that Will Stay with Me for a very long timeThere is only one word to really sum up THE FAMILIARS and that is SpellbindingFleetwood has tried so very hard to have a child but nature has been cruel and she has never carried a baby to full termWell that is until nowFleetwood is pregnant again and is determined that this time round she will do everything she can to protect her babyShe discovers a letter sent to her husband Richard telling him that his wife is not to conceive any children or she will die during childbirth she is simply devastated and doesn't know what to doSo when Fleetwood meets Alice in the woods one day she is convinced she can help Fleetwood deliver the baby and keep her alive so she asks Alice for helpBut this partnership isn't going to be easy when Alice is accused of practising Witch CraftBut can Fleetwood keep Alice and her baby safe and give her husband Richard the baby he so desperately wantsTHE FAMILIARS is such a Powerful Heart Breaking and Enthralling read it Pulled me in and Got Under My Skin It's a book that I will remember for a very long timeI simply adored all the Witch references and the eerie yet heart breaking storyline was Compelling yet PoignantIt also has a Gothic feel to it which only added to the spellbinding essenceIt's hard to believe this is a debut novel it's superbly written with Strong Female Lead Characters that were perfectly written and enchantingIf you enjoy Historical Fiction with an eerie gothic feel that has a captivating and powerful plot then you will adore THE FAMILIARSI can't recommend reading this Gorgeous Book EnoughStacey Halls is definitely going on my to watch out for listThank you to Tracy at Compulsive Readers Tours and Zaffre Books for this copy which I reviewed honestly and voluntarilyMy Review is also on my Blog Website


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