Despite the similarities of the titles, the two stories are in no way related. They are both stand-alone tales, although both are set in the sixteenth century in central Europe. There are similarities in that many of the concepts and ideas from The Goddess were clearly developed in The Witch Within.
So, was the Witch Within the same standard as The Goddess Within. In a word, no. The Goddess Within still stands out for me as a wonderful story that is rich in texture and language, more so than The Witch Within. What is wonderful though is to see the development of the author between the two novels. We are not born perfect writers, it is a craft that we practice relentlessly and try to improve on and hone our skills in. Kenaz has done just that with these two novels. She has honed her writing skills from one to the other.
The Witch Within is still a wonderful story and one that I enjoyed very much. After being branded a witch by her village and most unsettling of all, by her parents, Talitha flees the small village she lives in, in Bohemia, to the cursed lands, where her Grandmother before her had also fled after a similar fate.
Here in these cursed lands, Talitha begins to realise and understand her true destiny. In a series of exciting and fascinating adventures, including an encounter with a tribe of similarly branded witches, Talitha looks for her place in this world. This is a lovely story, well told and I enjoyed it immensely.
I would recommend this to anyone who loves stories with strong, yet vulnerable female characters and who loves this mystical, fantasy-filled time in Central Europe. I only give this four stars because it is not as amazing as her other novel The Goddess Within. It is an excellent debut novel and indicative of the fantastic things to come from this talented author.
Please check out all of Iva Kenaz' work here: http://amzn.to/1N0600l