I really enjoyed this extremely refreshing and original debut novel. I was intrigued by the unique premise, and hooked from page 1. I appreciated the aspects of the historical time period as well as Boecker’s blend of fantasy and magic. She’s crafted a vivid story world, and the book would not be the same without it.
I loved the irony of the main conflict – a witch hunter being accused of practicing witchcraft. For our protagonist Elizabeth Grey, who is one of the best, this is a terrible accusation. She’ll be burned at the stake, a sentence she was more accustomed to doling out herself. But when she’s rescued from this horrible fate by Nicholas, a powerful wizard (the most wanted criminal in the kingdom), her ideals and beliefs are challenged.
Elizabeth is a strong female lead. It was easy to sympathize with her and to root for her to succeed. She’s strong and capable (seriously, she could kill you), but she’s also vulnerable. This, in my opinion, is a realistic and believable character. At first, she held tightly to what she’d been raised to believe about witchcraft, so it was interesting to see her slowly let it go. When Elizabeth comes to realize she’s a major player in a prophecy, she has to embrace it and place her trust in her new friends in order to uncover the truth about the evil in her kingdom.
This book is a page-turner – high stakes, high tension, not so predictable. There’s adventure and mystery and romance (but no insta-love!). Also humor and plenty of magic. Definitely an enjoyable read!
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