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Jackie Cornwall


The Three Witches

When author Jackie Cornwall discovered the hilltop town of Vejer de la Frontera in the Province of Cadiz, she was fascinated by the variety of its inhabitants and the richness of its history in the melting pot of Europe, looking out towards Africa. She quickly realised that the town would be the ideal setting for a novel.

Before the novel could be written, though, some research was necessary, and the result was ‘Vejer de la Frontera: a History’ (2011). A book about Flamenco, ‘A Summer in Flamenco’, followed two years later, written with Adrián Brenes Ureba and illustrated with photographs by Kelly Lawlor. Both history and flamenco play an important part in the novel which finally emerged, ‘The Three Witches’, which reaches back as far as the Spanish Civil War to explore how the evil of the past can be relived in the present. By this time, the original novel had grown into six, and the Icarus Mendoza Sequence was born.

The Three Witches is set in 1984, as the Cold War reaches its endgame. When UNESCO lawyer Katharina de Breton finds three year-old Icarus beside his dying mother on the streets of Paris, the discovery sets off a train of events which sends her on a journey into the heart of an international conspiracy. Desperate to adopt the abandoned child, she must first confront some of the darkest forces of the age, as well as the machinations of corrupt government.
Katharina is one of three women who once fought together to make a revolution, though their participation has been airbrushed out of history. Each one must live with their past. And when Katharina needs a favour from a corrupt politician, his conditions are almost to harsh to bear. She finds refuge in the small town of San Amaro, as well as deadly danger.

The book introduces a set of characters who will become the most important in her life: unassuming aristocrat Toñio Vera, idealistic David Paramor, warm-hearted little Dani and his friend Ella, and of course, young Icarus himself.
Set in the picturesque Andalusian town of San Amaro de la Frontera, a town ‘very like’ the author´s home, Vejer de la Frontera, in the far Southern province of Cadiz. this is a thrilling novel of love lost and found, of unexpected friendship and of desperate adventure.

The Three Witches is the first book in the Icarus Mendoza sequence, which recounts Icarus´ life from 1984 to the present day. An interlocking sequence of covers has been designed by Kath Hockey, a work of art in themselves.

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