I have a love hate relationship with witch books. I LOVE witches. I haven't found many in the Young Adult genre that I have even liked. I haven't read all of them, so I'm not saying they are all bad. I'm just saying I haven't had a lot of luck. But, I enjoyed this one! It had a lot going for it. First, it's a historical witch story, set during the times when witch burnings, hangings, drownings and beheadings were commonplace. I'm not giddy about those aspects, but it makes the danger to the character Meg, very real, when she is in fact a witch and due to her insistence at using her powers, she could be killed at any time. She is a bit reckless, I think, and stubborn when she's just had a brush with death and then insists on using her powers. No matter though, I still liked how she worried more for Elizabeth, the princess, and didn't seem like a simpering fool. We've only just begun to see her powers and I can't wait to see what else she'll be capable of in the next book.
Second -the romance was interesting, a Spanish priest and a young witch. Alejandro is protective of Meg, a very good thing considering some of the things that happen. He is much more open minded about witchcraft than the English are and he isn't one to condemn her for it. Nor is he able to leave her to her plight. He has to rescue her from her enemies several times but only because her plans went awry not because she's helpless. I would never call her helpless, resigned maybe, not helpless.
I like the political climate, that time between Queen Mary and Elizabeth, waiting to see if Mary will produce an heir. Honestly, I don't know the history of the time, but I could look it up with no trouble. The truth is, it's very interesting to read the women trying to figure out if Elizabeth will go to the tower and be a prisoner or will Mary forgive her and if so will Elizabeth be welcomed at court. And what then?
It isn't extremely historical if you're worried about that. No talking about the privy and unheard of buildings and items of clothing and such. It's all very general in terms of an historical novel. I'd say it's placed in the past as opposed to set in the past with historical characters and events. You don't necessarily need to know the politics to enjoy the novel. Overall, it was a solid beginning to the series and I am definitely interested in seeing where Alejandro and Meg go with their romance. Also what's in store for Elizabeth and what happens with Queen Mary. I'm looking forward to the next book in the series.
I received a copy of this novel for review from the publisher through NetGalley. I was not compensated for my review. All opinions expressed are my own.show more
by Heather Rosdol