Review: Toil and Trouble

Hello my dears!

How are you doing today? We’ve made it, once again. We’ve made it to mid week! Today’s post is the first review my Twitter companions voted for when asked what October reads they would like to see reviews on; Toil and Trouble, edited by Jessica Spotswood and Tess Sharpe.


Are you a good witch or a bad witch?

Glinda the Good Witch. Elphaba the Wicked Witch. Willow. Sabrina. Gemma Doyle. The Mayfair Witches. Ursula the Sea Witch. Morgan le Fey. The three weird sisters from Macbeth. History tells us women accused of witchcraft were often outsiders: educated, independent, unmarried, unwilling to fall in line with traditional societal expectations.

Bold. Powerful. Rebellious.

A bruja’s traditional love spell has unexpected results. A witch’s healing hands begin to take life instead of giving it when she ignores her attraction to a fellow witch. In a terrifying future, women are captured by a cabal of men crying witchcraft and the one true witch among them must fight to free them all. In a desolate past, three orphaned sisters prophesies for a murderous king. Somewhere in the present, a teen girl just wants to kiss a boy without causing a hurricane.

From good witches to bad witches, to witches who are a bit of both, this is an anthology of diverse witchy tales from a collection of diverse, feminist authors. The collective strength of women working together—magically or mundanely–has long frightened society, to the point that women’s rights are challenged, legislated against, and denied all over the world. Toil & Trouble delves deep into the truly diverse mythology of witchcraft from many cultures and feminist points of view, to create modern and unique tales of witchery that have yet to be explored.


I found myself picking this book up during the Spookathon this year. This book completed my challenge for a book with purple on the cover and it was also the group read. I have a great ready buddy who read this and absolutely loved it. I really really trust her judgement when it comes to reading recommendations (we have very similar tastes) and so I knew this one would be the one I would read during the readathon.

Favourite Things

Afterbirth by Andrea Cremer was definitely one of my favourite stories in the book alongside Love Spell by Anna-Marie McLemore which broke me in the best way. I actually reread these stories and would happily read again the next time something spooky calls to me.

Overall Thoughts

As with most anthologies, there are usually some stories I really like and some that I am not so keen on, and this book was no different. There were some stories that completely blew me away, whilst some left little to be desired. As is the way with most anthologies. I did really like the individual voices that each story had and I’ve found myself some new authors to check out!

If you haven’t read Toil and Trouble, would I suggest you read it? Yes, I rated this book 3/5 stars and would recommend to anyone that loves empowering ladies in literature and a witchcraft element.

Peace and pages 

2 Replies to “Review: Toil and Trouble”

  1. I’m quite intrigued by this one. I’ve seen it a couple of times now and over all everyone seems to like it. And I’m always searching for good witchy books ☺️
    Great review and I’m glad you enjoyed it!

    Liked by 1 person

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