Saturday 8 June 2024

Book Review: The Trial of Anna Thalberg by Eduardo Sangarcía (Historical Fiction)

The Trial of Anna Thalberg
Eduardo Sangarcía
Restless Books
10 September 2024
eBook - PDF
Historical Fiction
ARC via Edelweiss

Does evil lurk in the shadows of the forest, or in the human heart? Eduardo Sangarcía’s tale of one woman’s witch trial opens the door to deeper horrors.

Anna Thalberg is a peasant woman shunned for her red hair and provocative beauty. When she is dragged from her home and accused of witchcraft, her neighbors do not intervene. Only Klaus, Anna’s husband, and Father Friedrich, a priest experiencing a crisis of faith, set out to the city of Würzburg to prove her innocence. There, Anna faces isolation and torture inside the prison tower, while the populace grows anxious over strange happenings within the city walls. Can Klaus and Friedrich convince the church to release Anna, or will she burn at the stake?

Set in the Holy Roman Empire during the Protestant Reformation,
The Trial of Anna Thalberg is a story of religious persecution, superstition, and human suffering. While exploring the medieval fear of witches and demons, it delves into enduring human concerns: the historical oppression of women, the inhumanity of institutions, and the existence of God. Frantic in pace and experimental in form, this is an unforgettable debut from Mexican author Eduardo Sangarcía.


The Trial of Anna Thalberg was a book written in a fascinating style. For the first chapter or two I found it a bit disconcerting as we jumped around the narrative, but once I got used to it and settled in, it became easier to follow and less of a distraction. The story was a simple one but was presented in an interesting way via many different viewpoints, and despite its brevity it had a lot of emotional depth. I can see some readers struggling with the unusual form, but if you are willing to give an unusual style of writing a try and enjoy historical fiction, it is worth checking out. I am giving it four stars.

I received this book as a free eBook ARC via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. 

No comments:

Post a Comment