Published by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers on June 2nd 2015
Genres: Action & Adventure, Fantasy & Magic, Young Adult
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.
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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