The Witch of Blacklion by Joy Ross Davis

★★★★★  With witches, romance, and a hearty helping of Celtic lore, Joy Ross Davis’ The Witch of Blacklion could be described as a folksier Outlander, but stands tall on its own merits. Rich prose and well-crafted characters allow Davis’ story to bloom. Blacklion endears itself to readers through a mixture of slice-of-life narrative and supernatural intervention—a combination that by all accounts should not work—but Davis pulls off with aplomb. In Blacklion, four Irish locals find their quiet lives turned upside down thanks to an intimidating (but secretly kindly) shape-shifting witch named Old Shelley and a bored angel named Mordecai. By weaving these otherworldly elements with charmingly mundane characters and real historical events, Davis crafts a thoroughly engaging narrative, allowing for maximum escapism into the exact sort of romance and magic that today’s readers crave.