Wednesday, June 3, 2015

The Witch Hunter by Virginia Boecker

Published: June 2nd, 2015
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Pages: 368
Copy: Netgalley
Summary: Goodreads

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 seem to be one of the few people on the planet who wasn't waiting with bated breath for this one, so I had no great expectations for it. Which is just as well really, since for me it was just OK.  I did enjoy the setting - I love me a good historical storyline and apart from the 'unexplained' ban on magic, I quite liked the setting.  It did have quite an authentic appeal to it.  But, something was missing.  I was never completely convinced of Elizabeth's suitability as a witch hunter.  You don't wander the country rounding up people for the pyre, and then feel sorry for doing it.  

There is a fairly large reveal towards the end of the book and to my mind it had been supremely obvious almost from the beginning, so the surprise was missing for me there.  Also I don't think I ever really felt the romantic connection between Elizabeth and John.  Personally I thought he could have done better.  Don't get me wrong, there were some exciting parts to the story and some instances made me smile - a pirate's son who gets seasick for one - but The Witch Hunter was basically just an OK read for me.  I enjoyed it, but nothing stood out for me.  What did you think?

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