Aug 14, 2022
for Anya Bergman’s ‘epic’
The Witches of Vardø,
lead title for Manilla Press,
Bonnier Jan 2023
The Witches of Vardø is set in Vardø on the Varanger Peninsula in Norway during the witch trials of the seventeenth century and is based on true events.
At the heart of the story is a group of women – mothers and daughters – accused of witchcraft and brutalised by the men in power. This is a propulsive, epic, feminist book about women, motherhood, female power, brutality and salvation.
Margaret Stead, publisher said: ‘The Witches of Vardø is a fierce, feminist look at male power and misogyny at the time of the witch trials of the seventeenth century. Anya’s novel is a story of danger, intrigue and female empowerment with a clever and surprising twist in its tail.
Norway, 1661, a few short years after the Great Plague. A dangerous time to be a woman…
Anna stands in the bow of a boat, blanketed in snow. Vardø, an island on the edge of the world, will be her prison, far from the King’s Court in Copenhagen.
She will meet other women when she reaches Vardø. Ingeborg is as clever and nimble as a cat; Maren is a member of the Sami community, as tall as a tree with long wild hair and amber eyes.
The powers of these Vardø women seem otherworldly, their power a threat to the Church and Kingdom. The Governor of Vardø must purge the island of witches, sending their ashes into the night sky. But these women are stronger than the King will ever be. All they need now is to show their true power.