Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Review: The Witch Hunter by Virginia Boecker

Title: The Witch Hunter
Author: Virginia Boecker
Publication Date:  June 2nd, 2015
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Source: eARC via NetGalley
Where to find: Goodreads / Amazon / Book Depository
Summary: The magic and suspense of Graceling meet the political intrigue and unrest of Game of Thrones in this riveting fantasy debut.

Your greatest enemy isn't what you fight, but what you fear.

Elizabeth Grey is one of the king's best witch hunters, devoted to rooting out witchcraft and doling out justice. But when she's accused of being a witch herself, Elizabeth is arrested and sentenced to burn at the stake.

Salvation comes from a man she thought was her enemy. Nicholas Perevil, the most powerful and dangerous wizard in the kingdom, offers her a deal: he will save her from execution if she can break the deadly curse that's been laid upon him.

But Nicholas and his followers know nothing of Elizabeth's witch hunting past--if they find out, the stake will be the least of her worries. And as she's thrust into the magical world of witches, ghosts, pirates, and one all-too-handsome healer, Elizabeth is forced to redefine her ideas of right and wrong, of friends and enemies, and of love and hate.

Virginia Boecker weaves a riveting tale of magic, betrayal, and sacrifice in this unforgettable fantasy debut.
“It's an alchemical glyph; a series of symbols, each with its own meaning. The sun for illumination: a dawn of new existence. A square representing the physical world. The triangle a simple for fire: a catalyst for change. The snake- an Ouroboros- for unity.”
This was a fascinating debut novel by Virginia Boecker. This book has magic, deception, plots, and political intrigue. I loved the world and the characters. I was fascinated by the story and loved finding out all the aspects of the plot as they unfolded.

This is one of those stories where magic is illegal and those with magic are against the King and his Inquisitor. I found this aspect of the story great, especially the idea of the Witch Hunters. The witch hunters are trained by Blackwell to capture and bring in those practicing magic so they are burned at the stake. On the other side of this you have the Reformers, who are against the laws forbidding magic.

The characters in this book were extremely well-developed, even the minor characters. As for the main character, Elizabeth, I loved how she was this cute, seemingly innocent girl, who was actually extremely brave, strong, and not at all innocent. I loved this characterization where she was always proving everyone wrong and taking care of things herself. I also loved the quirkiness of Nicholas and a lot of the other Reformers.

One of the things I really loved about this book, was the fact that the romance was not a large aspect at all. Yes it was there but not throw in our face like many other books and that was refreshing. This book definitely focused on the adventure for Elizabeth and her journey toward helping the Reformers and eventually deciding which side she stood with. The side that taught her everything she knows or the side that saved her when she needed saving.

I really enjoyed this book and I’m looking forward to the next one. This book felt very complete at the end, but there are still many loose end that need to be tied up in future books. My only complaint with the book was that it is supposedly  an alternate 16th Century England, but to me felt like it could have been present time. There was little world-building to indicate a past time period. There were many mannerisms and saying that felt much more present day then 16th Century. While this irked me, I still really enjoyed the book as a whole. I just would have preferred a more 16th Century feel.

*I received a copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*

Let me know in the comments what your thoughts are if you've read the book or if you plan to read it!

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