Tuesday 7 November 2023

BLOG TOUR: Solstice (The Widdershins Trilogy Book 3) - Helen Steadman

England, 1673. Still a world of witches, witch trials and witchfinders.

When a new vicar arrives to take over the parish of Mutton Clog, the village finds itself in the grip of puritan fever, and suspicious eyes are turned on Rose Driver.

Rose’s mother, brother and grandmother were all put to death by the fanatical witchfinder, John Sharpe.

Almost quarter of a century after the Newcastle witch trials, Sharpe is no longer a threat. Rose should be safe in her quiet village, but is history about to repeat itself?

Find out in Solstice, the powerful conclusion to The Widdershins Trilogy, which tells the story of one woman’s struggle for survival in a hostile and superstitious world.

The Widdershins Trilogy was inspired by the little-known Newcastle witch trials, where fifteen women and one man were hanged for witchcraft on a single day in August 1650.

What did I think?

Solstice is the third book in the Widdershins Trilogy and it is a fantastic conclusion to an absolutely superb series.  It can be read and enjoyed as a standalone but it is simply breathtaking when read as part of the series.

Rose Driver, the daughter of Jane Chandler from the previous books, is one of the main characters in Solstice and she is brought beautifully to life through Helen Steadman's vivid writing.  The story is told from two points of view; that of Rose and her nemesis, Patience Leaton, whose father is the new parish vicar.

Patience takes an instant dislike to Rose, especially when Rose catches the eye of Patience's twin brother Earnest. Patience is overcome with religious fervour and it's almost as if she is possessed by the devil, which is rather ironic when she accuses Rose of being a witch...just like her mother and grandmother.  

Reading Solstice is like stepping back in time with every single turn of the page.  The sights, sounds and smells of 17th century County Durham seem to emerge from the pages of the book and completely immerse the reader in the era.  Helen Steadman is an impeccable researcher and the depth of her knowledge is evident throughout the book.

Wonderfully immersive and completely spellbinding, Solstice is a magnificent piece of historical fiction that deserves its place on my favourites shelf.  I have adored every book in this wonderful trilogy and Solstice is a very fitting end.  An easy five stars and highly recommended.

I received an ARC to read and review for the blog tour and this is my honest and unbiased opinion.

My rating:

Buy it from Amazon

About the author:

Helen Steadman's first novel, Widdershins and its sequel, Sunwise were inspired by the 1650 Newcastle witch trials. Her third novel, The Running Wolf is about a group of master swordmakers who defected from Germany to England in 1687. Helen's fourth novel, God of Fire, is a Greek myth retelling as seen through the eyes of Hephaestus, perhaps the least well known of all the Olympians. Helen is particularly interested in revealing hidden histories and she is a thorough researcher who goes to great lengths in pursuit of historical accuracy. To get under the skin of the cunning women in Widdershins and Sunwise, Helen trained in herbalism and learned how to identify, grow and harvest plants and then made herbal medicines from bark, seeds, flowers and berries.The Running Wolf is the story of a group of master swordmakers who left Solingen, Germany and moved to Shotley Bridge, England in 1687. As well as carrying out in- depth archive research and visiting forges in Solingen to bring her story to life, Helen also undertook blacksmith training, which culminated in making her own sword.

Follow the tour:


  1. Thank you so much for this wonderful review, Michelle, and thank you for all your support from the very start when even I didn't know that Widdershins would grow into a trilogy!

  2. Thanks for the blog tour support x