The Near Witch || A Pied Piper Retelling

The witch is lonely and always searching for company.


Title: The Near Witch
Author: Victoria Schwab
Page Count: 354 pages
Genre: Fantasy
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Publisher: Titan Books
Release Date: March 12, 2019
Buy It: Chapters Indigo







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.

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.

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.




Schwab is an author I’m constantly battling in my head with. It’s either a love or a hate for her books. I’m happy to report I loved The Near Witch! I am sure this is heavily due to the fact that she wrote it pre-fame. Vicious, one of her other titles, was a book I loved and it too was written pre-fame.

The Near Witch left me feeling warm. I felt cosy and happy reading this re-telling of the Pied Piper. The main characeter was so loveable I was definitely following her every step.

The marshy setting was perfect for this story and added another element to it. The side characters were so great I loved discovering more about them as the story went on.

This is an adult fantasy but can blend into YA and even middle grade. This is one for all ages. Definitely recommend this book if you like fables and re-tellings!

9 Replies to “The Near Witch || A Pied Piper Retelling”

  1. I feel like I’m seeing this book everywhere lately for some reason. I thought it was a new Schwab title!! I have yet to read any Schwab books, but really want to see what all the hype is about. The book that I think is totally up my alley is A Darker Shade of Magic. I love retellings though and everyone raves about Schwab, so I just added this to my TBR.

    1. She’s a hit or miss for me I enjoyed this one and love vicious!

      1. She has so many titles out! I’d really like to read at least one book that she wrote so I know if I like her stuff

        1. Definitely try vicious then!

          1. I will! Personally though I think A Darker Shade of Magic will be the book of hers I like the most.

          2. acouplereads says:

            Many people are split between the 2 series. I liked vicious because it’s her pre fame written book and both main characters are anti protagonists

          3. Oooh! Anti protagonists are so cool!! That alone will probably make me want to read it first now!

          4. acouplereads says:

            Let me know! I loved it and love discussing it 🙂

          5. I will put it on my list for once I get through my mountain of fall ARCs.

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