Thursday, November 26, 2020
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Fiction A Trial of Witches

A Trial of Witches

By Cameron Readman
Rogue Events £13.99
ISBN: 9781916195608
available from Amazon or Bothwell School of Witchcraft

The Bothwell school of witchcraft based at Herstmonceux Castle in Sussex runs 4 day courses where you act out a fantasy of being a student witch and follow a storyline.

They have now released a novel by Cameron Readmasn which creates a fictional back story to the creation of a Bothwell sanctuary in England by a Scottish coven decimated by the witch hunts instigated by James the King of Scotland and his unpopular minister Maitland.

Lord Earl Bothwell, Francis Stewart, is a powerful political figure and charming rogue but is also too impetuous for his own good let alone the coven that he is master of. Driven by his vanity and his hatred of Maitland he is too reckless and this costs him the lives of many close to him.

There are descriptions of torture and of a burning alive, as well as plenty of magic, and even an encounter with an elf, as well as betrayal. There are also two major plot twists toward the end, but no reveals from us!

The book's creator; Cameron Readman, is the Creative Director of Bothwell School of Witchcraft and has already created a rich background and lore around the school. While this is his first novel, he has been writing about Bothwell School of Witchcraft for the past two years, whether that be fictional articles for the student handbook, stories of the founders or simply the characters that people are given for the experience, it has all lead to this. The book was launched via the Crowdfunding platform; Kickstarter, on May 1st and it reached it's funding goal within two hours!

This is a fast paced story primarily set at the end of the sixteenth century from the time of James wedding to Anne of Denmark through the Berwick witch trials and Bothwell's fall from grace. It does feature real life characters such as Lord Bothwell and Agnes Sampson. There is even his half brother Hercules, although his fate differs from history.

Readman in his first full length novel has created a fine work which combines historical fact with a fictional account and mixed in some strong personal motivations for the main character, but there is no skimping on lesser characters and the witch finder Oswyn and King James are fully fleshed out.