Rage Burns Bright, Love Burns Brighter – Extasia Review

There is something undeniably eerie about Claire Legrand’s latest horror novel, Extasia (out today!). Sure, eerie seems a fitting word for a story rife with ghosts, magic, and gruesome, unsolved murders. But what had me shrinking into myself and shuddering in my reading nook wasn’t so much the gore and hauntings as the setting – a post-apocalyptic neo-puritanical society – and the way women are treated therein.

It is here the reader finds Amity, entrenched in ritual, and seeking to prove her worth in spite of her mother’s sins. But even Amity has her secrets; everyone in Haven does. And bit by bit, Legrand weaves a tantalizing tapestry, revealing the history of the place, its people, and their hurt. Though perhaps a bit slow to start (my personal favorite kind of beginning), once it gets going Extasia rages and calls out for blood in an ode to sisterhood I simply couldn’t put down.

Because this book is sisterhood (and love), in all its incarnations. The relationships Claire has written are real and messy and these women don’t always get it right. They’ve been hurt by the men in their lives for far too long, and each of them finds different ways to cope and heal, often at odds with each other. But they support the others in their coven nonetheless. They find a way.

Wherever you are,
whatever you fight,
may your eyes see much,
may your rage burn bright.

For all its horrors, Extasia also contains a great deal of gentleness and strength and I cannot begin to express how much I needed both of those things. I also loved all the mentions of flowers throughout, and couldn’t help but look up the various symbology. And that ending? So many twists and turns I never saw coming. Plus, who could say no to queer witches kissing in the woods? Yes, you heard me – QUEER. WITCHES. KISSING. in the WOODS (and then some).

All the stars! It’s Claire; did you expect anything less?

Get the book | audiobook

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