The Witches' Mark

Donald Lightwood

Out of print

Quick Look

A gripping seventeenth-century adventure story set against a backdrop of witch trials, superstition and smuggling.

198 x 130 mm
Floris Books
Age Range:
From 8 to 12 years
144 pages
Publication date:
21 Sep 2006


Superstitious fishermen. Corrupt feudal landlords. Starving tenants. And an old lady who talks to the birds and animals, and is branded as a witch by the local villagers.

When fifteen-year-old Murdo befriends Old Pheemie he discovers the hard way that the East Neuk of Fife in the seventeenth century is not the place to be if you are associated with anyone believed to be a witch.

Caught up in matters beyond their control, Murdo and his friend, Alex, find themselves in a race against time to save Pheemie before the witch hunter, Silas Pow, arrives to find her witches' mark.

This is a gripping tale set against a backdrop of witch trials, superstition and smuggling.


'In this children's adventure, readers are caught up in a race against time to save Pheemie before the witch-hunter, Silas Pow, arrives to try to locate a witches mark.'
--The Scots Magazine, February 2007

'The Witches' Mark paints a very clear picture of what it was like to live in a time when witch trials were no longer common but superstition regarding witchcraft still had a strong hold on ordinary folk...Even the most minor of a wide array of characters are believable but Pheemie herself shines particularly brightly. With its refreshingly hopeful ending I would recommend this for kids of 10 and upwards.'
--Sophie, age 15, for Education Otherwise, Dec. 2006

'...The story moves at a good pace and clearly brings out the ideas and convictions of the age.'
--Mary Moffat, Historical Novels Review, November 2006

'I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to do a bit of light reading'.
-- Sarah Stevenson, Teen Titles, Issue 39


Donald Lightwood is a former drama adviser in Fife, with a wide experience of teaching and lecturing. He dramatised The Baillie's Daughter and The Desperate Journey for BBC Scotland. He is also the author of Don't Forget to Remember, The Long Revenge, and The Wonder on the Forth. He lives in St Andrews, Scotland.


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