(Belated) Character of the Month: Angelica Blackthorne

mysterious girl -Images throughout  from here on Tumblr

OK, hold onto your horses…this month’s Character of the Month is a major one: spell-caster, shape-shifter, siren and sadist, Angelica Blackthorne (more commonly known as the Blood Witch.) Ultimate anti-heroine, ultimate villain, ultimate temptress, with her beautiful looks concealing a rotten, diseased heart and a mind warped by madness. Where to  begin with such a character? Well, let’s begin at the very start…

When thinking about introducing Angelica’s character, I had no real idea that she would become the lodestone character she becomes in The Blood Witching- to have a whole novel named after her dark arts just emphasizes her importance, and her terrible, unforgivable actions have a major bearing upon its predecessor, The Breathing Ghosts. And yet, even in the early stages, I was inspired by ethereal, eerie songs such as King Crimson’s ‘Moonchild’, and the super-powerful, super-sensual enchantresses of myth and legend- Circe with her man-hating magic and fearful retribution, Hecate, the alluring but mysterious goddess of witchcraft, and perhaps most importantly of all, Morgan Le Fay, the shape-changing sorceress and seducer of Arthurian legend, who learnt her craft in that most unlikely of all places, a ‘nunnery’, – a place perhaps similar in religious conviction and fervour to Angelica’s own very Puritan village.

For Angelica’s fate is tragically and irrevocably twisted up with the Salem Witch Trials- a period of time which has profound, life-changing and ultimately devastating consequences for her, her family, and those closest to her. (Who may not be quite whom she believes them to be.) Without giving too much away of the plot, the Angelica who leaves Salem- and her small village- behind is a far different creature then the one born within its strict confines. Tragedy, torture and trial after trial have left their impression kneaded into her mind, and her grip on reality begins to subside, even as her own power grows.
Lusting after yet more power, she turns to the dark magics- the blackest of black sorcery, until even her own lover begins to grow wary- and perhaps even afraid- of her. Angelica Blackthorne dies, only for the Blood Witch to be reborn in death, decay and yet more blood. Rowan Oakwood, Nerissa Naughton and her cousin, Nathaniel, all come to grief through her connection with Angelica, and even those who know her only tenuously think of her in fear.
And yet maybe- just maybe- Angelica’s aching vulnerability could provide her a moment of redemption, even in the midst of her madness and violence… perhaps, just perhaps, things are not quite as clear-cut as they first seem, for it is clear that the most powerful witch at the heart of The Blood Witching is also capable of a powerful love…
…A love that will have myriad consequences…

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