The Witch’s Trinity – Erika Mailman

The Witch’s Trinity is set in Germany in the 1500’s, at a time when witch hunting was rife. All it could take was one passing comment or half-hearted accusation, and a woman could be given a trial for witchcraft. A trial that she would be very unlikely to pass – and therefore be put to death by a brutal burning at the stake. And this is what happens in this book.

In the village of Tierkinddorf, the crops are failing, the animals are dying, and the people are panicking. They have no food and are slowly starving, their skin hanging from their bones. They are resorting to desperate measures to survive, as well as looking for someone to blame for their plight. So when a Dominican friar arrives in their village suggesting that the work of the devil is responsible for their problems, their search for a scapegoat becomes more focused. Now no woman is safe from pointing fingers. A hideous trial and burning soon take place… but the village’s problems are far from over. It hasn’t removed the problem. The people are still hungry, so begin to think the wrong person has been accused.

Old woman Gude, mother to Jost, feels sure she will be the next to be accused. As the last person of her age still living, she gets strange looks. It doesn’t help that her daughter-in-law resents her for still being alive and having to feed her. As her resentment grows, Gude lives in fear of the accusation that will surely come… and presently, it does. What happens next is Gude’s tale of her imprisonment, impending trial, and the aftermath.

This is a harrowing and gripping tale. The mix of Paganism and Christianity is fascinating, as the villagers are influenced to shake off their old ways and embrace God. But this becomes difficult indeed when food is scarce and lives are at risk. I was hooked on this story from the very beginning. The tension is palpable throughout, and it’s a wonderful storyline. Anyone looking for a fascinating peek into a fiction based on historical fact will enjoy this.

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