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Publisher's Summary

To save her child, she will trust a stranger.

To protect her secret, she must risk her life.

1612 Pendle Hill, England

Young Fleetwood Shuttleworth is with child again. As the mistress of Gawthorpe Hall, she is anxious to provide her husband with an heir. But none of her previous pregnancies have come to term. Then she discovers a hidden letter from her physician that warns her husband that she will not survive another pregnancy.

Distraught over the frightening revelation, Fleetwood wanders the woods of Pendle Hill, where she comes across a young local woman named Alice Gray who is gathering herbs. A midwife, Alice promises Fleetwood she can help her deliver a healthy baby. But soon Alice is drawn into the frenzied accusations of witchcraft sweeping the countryside. Even the woodland creatures, the “familiars,” are suspected of practicing the dark arts. Can Fleetwood trust that Alice is really who she says she is?

As the two women’s lives become intertwined, Fleetwood must risk everything to prove Alice’s innocence in order to save her own unborn child. The hunt for witches reaches fever pitch. Time is running out. The trials are about to begin. Both their lives are at stake. Only they know the truth. Only they can save each other.

Set against the dramatic backdrop of the real Pendle Witch Trials of 1612, this rich and compelling novel draws its characters from historical figures as it explores the lives and rights of 17th-century women, ultimately raising the question of whether witch-hunting is really just women-hunting.

©2019 Stacey Bartlett (P)2019 Harlequin Enterprises, Limited.

What listeners say about The Familiars

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

good but not worth the big hype

I just finished listening to the book and I have mixed feelings about it .. it was ok and interesting considering it's based on true events and characters but I don't think it's worth the big hype . most reviewers gave the book 5 stars but I am starting to distrust reviewers. the book is a bit slow and by the end of the book I lost interest m I just wanted to know how it would end . lol of I were reading the book i'd just read the last chapter .. was it worth listening to ? I guess .. though I wish I had gotten it on sale rather than waste my credit on it .

5 people found this helpful

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  • NH
  • 04-22-19

Excellent historical fiction

I won a paperback copy of The Familiars ARC through a Goodreads contest. It took me a while to get to it. When I began it, I was drawn in very quickly. I enjoyed the book so much I purchased the Audible audiobook also. The book takes place in the early years of the 17th century in an England full of change. After decades of Elizabeth Tudor, that dynasty has come to an end and the new dynasty, the Stuarts, is led by a very different kind of King. Witch hunts are raging through England under King James I's direction. As usual, women are the target. Any woman who does not fit the societal norms or works as a healer or midwife is likely to fall under suspicion. Fleetwood Shuttleworth is pregnant and afraid she will lose this baby as she did the previous three. Her husband Richard needs an heir. When Fleetwood meets a young lady in the forest who says she can help her to have a healthy pregnancy and delivery, Fleetwood brings her home with her. The book does a good job examining the motives of men who hunt witches. Billie Fulford-Brown does a very good job of narrating and the audiobook has excellent production values.

4 people found this helpful

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Fun listen, but some strange errors

This historical fictional, based on a true story is quite interesting. The reader is good, but it is confusing that the two main men in the story are called Richard and Roger, the reader or the text often mixes them up especially toward the end. Richard was angry, after Richard spoke for example into the trial is clearly not right. A think better editing would help the writing a lot.

1 person found this helpful

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SLOW

The last 2.5 hours of this book had too much detail for me. It was incredibly slow at the end with very little action.

1 person found this helpful

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Loved it!

I really enjoyed listening this book. I love hearing stories that keep you rapt and unable to stop listening.

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Its Good!

I just finished this book and I'd say it was pretty good. I felt it was also important to read this because it is based on true facts. It was well written; you could absolutely picture, smell and truly be in the moment of the main character. It kept my attention throughout but I will say I was kind of looking forward to finishing to see how it ends whereas sometimes I'm dreading the end because I love the book so much I don't want it to end. Good read though and the narrator did a terrific job!

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Good book

This really was a good book. Very enjoyable to listen to. The Narrator did a great job.