The Witch Hunter – Virginia Boecker – Little, Brown Books for Young Readers – Published 2 June 2015
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.
The Witch Hunter reads like a cross between Harry Potter and a tale of Camelot, set in 16th century Britain. There is friendship, spells, magic, nymphs and wizards, burning at the stake, kings, evil plots, pirates, magical midwinter parties, swords and seers. Excited yet? Overall, I couldn’t help but grin as I read it – it’s just so much fun. Light and yet dark, magical and scary, romantic and adventurous.
Elizabeth was raised as a witch hunter, trained to capture and arrest those performing or in the possession of magic in line with her kingdom’s anti-magic laws. As an orphan, her fellow witch hunters, Caleb especially, are all the family she has. But when she is found with witch’s herbs she is arrested and sentenced to burn at the stake. Abandoned by those to whom she was loyal, Elizabeth is shocked when she is rescued by none other than Nicholas Perevil, the most powerful and wanted wizard in the kingdom. Drawn into Nicholas’ world and protected by his small band of followers, Elizabeth begins to see there is more at stake than her life and there is more to her life than she has been led to believe.
A beautiful writing style and wonderfully developed world ensconce you in the best mix of magical details. I loved Elizabeth’s bravery and vulnerability, she was both strong and genuine. The magical world she finds herself thrust into is at times wonderfully familiar and yet equally original and fresh. The story ends well (no major cliffhangers here) and yet I can’t wait to see where the story might go and to see the romance develop further. For all lovers of fantasy, especially that with a historical setting, The Witch Hunter is the book for you.
The publishers provided a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Category: Young adult fiction
Age guide: Ages 15 and up.
Series: The Witch Hunter #1
Published: 2 June 2015 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers.
Format: Hardcover, paperback, ebook. 368 pages.