With the publication of City of Ghosts in August, Vengeful in September, and the first issue of The Steel Prince in October (with the following issues to be released a month a part), it’s safe to say that Victoria Schwab has had a busy year. Although her publications for 2018 are almost over, fans were given a surprise earlier this week (October 16), when Entertainment Weekly announced that Schwab’s long out-of-print debut novel, The Near Witch, would be reissued early next year.
Described by Publisher’s Weekly as “more poetry than prose” and Kirkus Reviews as “highly atmospheric”, Schwab’s debut novel is part ghost story, part fairy tale, part romance. Set in the town of Near, which has a few haunting secrets of its own, Lexi begins searching for missing children with an old fairy tale and a nameless boy to guide her, according to the book’s official synopsis:
The Near Witch is only an old story told to frighten children.
If the wind calls at night, you must not listen. The wind is lonely, and always looking for company.
And there are no strangers in the town of Near.
These are the truths that Lexi has heard all her life.
But when an actual stranger-a boy who seems to fade like smoke-appears outside her home on the moor at night, she knows that at least one of these sayings is no longer true.
The next night, the children of Near start disappearing from their beds, and the mysterious boy falls under suspicion. Still, he insists on helping Lexi search for them. Something tells her she can trust him.
As the hunt for the children intensifies, so does Lexi’s need to know-about the witch that just might be more than a bedtime story, about the wind that seems to speak through the walls at night, and about the history of this nameless boy.
Set to be reissued in the US and UK by her UK publisher, Titan Books, the re-print of Schwab’s first young adult novel is set to feature an introduction by the author and the first print publication of a prequel story titled “The Ash-Born Boy”.
Sure to please fans of City of Ghosts who have not yet read Schwab’s debut, The Near Witch is set to be reissued on March 12, 2019 simultaneously in the US and UK. In the meantime, check out the new cover for The Near Witch, below.