'In THE WITCHES OF VARD, Anya Bergman summons a historic witch trial with breathtaking detail and immediacy. Utterly compelling, I could not put it down.' - Hannah Kent
Norway, 1662. A dangerous time to be a woman, when even dancing can lead to accusations of witchcraft. When Zigri, desperate and grieving after the loss of her husband and son, embarks on an affair with the local merchant, it's not long before she is sent to the fortress at Vardo, to be tried and condemned as a witch.
Zigri's daughter Ingeborg sets off into the wilderness to try to bring her mother back home. Accompanying her on this quest is Maren - herself the daughter of a witch - whose wild nature and unconquerable spirit gives Ingeborg the courage to venture into the unknown, and to risk all she has to save her family.
Also captive in the fortress is Anna Rhodius, once the King of Denmark's mistress, who has been sent to Vardo in disgrace. What will she do - and who will she betray - to return to her privileged life at court?
These Witches of Vardo are stronger than even the King of Denmark. In an age weighted against them they refuse to be victims. They will have their justice. All they need do is show their power.
'An intricately woven, timeless novel about prejudice, misogyny, freedom and the power and strength we can find within. Her writing is glorious and vivid. It swept me away, from the very first page ... This is a story of the past but highlights so much of a present world.' - Christy Lefteri, author of The Beekeeper of Aleppo
'A triumph. Brilliant, brutal, captivating, heartstopping, heart-wrenching, and with the best kick-ass feminist female characters ever. I adored it!' - Sinead Moriarty
'Utterly propulsive tale of three women's lives becoming entwined as they fight to survive and thrive in a time of madness' - Kiran Millwood Hargrave, author of The Mercies
Anya Bergman became interested in the witch trials of Vardo and the vivid folk tales of the north while living in Norway. Travelling to the Steilneset memorial, in which Louise Bourgeois and Peter Zumthor commemorated persecuted as witches, she became fascinated by their stories. Now resident in Edinburgh, she graduated with distinction from the Creative Writing programme at Edinburgh Napier University. She is working on her next novel, which unites two women and two time periods of global unrest and upheaval.