Witches Steeped In Gold. Obeah-Inspired Fantasy.
Smart uses the lush landscape that roils with spiritualism and culture to craft her fantastical clash between covens that hold to opposing magical practices. Carefully crafting power dynamics and political stamina, Witches Steeped In Gold, brings a story that is heavily influenced by the Jamaican Spirit; slowly building the tension and setting the scenes for the approaching conflicts, locking the true power of spells in deep dialect.
The landscape and atmosphere are an integral part of the unfolding plot and we can both see and feel the hills, sea, and wind; taste the food, hear the rhythm and sway to the beat, reminisce on games once played on schoolyard fields.
She infuses words that are cornerstone in our culture, which become anchors for us, allowing us to inhabit the relationships and the struggle as they unfold.
The attitude and ambition that is spread throughout this story is fiery, the banter has wicked wit, the tone and reverence that accompanies interactions and obeisance is very reminiscent of the personalities that form the Jamaican society.
We especially enjoy the way that Smart has expressed the propah vs the wild qualities that are used to delineate and highlight the differences between the covens; a modern and familiar construct even today.
It took a while for us to get into this book, but once it hit its stride and found that sweet spot, we were off. The use of familiar words, behaviours, food, drink, games, storytelling form, and how integral our folklore is to our country, hooked us.