Monday, 3 March 2014

Review: A Witch in Winter

A Witch in Winter (The Winter Trilogy: Book 1)
Release Date: 5th January 2012
Pages: 346
Publisher: Hodder Children's Books
Author: Ruth Warburton
Source: Purchased at Bookstore
Purchase Book: Amazon UK | Amazon US

Anna Winterson doesn't know she's a witch and would probably mock you for believing in magic, but after moving to the small town of Winter with her father, she learns more than she ever wanted to about power. When Anna meets Seth, she is smitten, but when she enchants him to love her, she unwittingly amplifies a deadly conflict between two witch clans and splits her own heart in two. She wants to love Seth, to let him love her—but if it is her magic that's controlling his passion, then she is as monstrous as the witch clan who are trying to use her amazing powers for their own gain. When love is tangled up in magic, how do you know what's real?


A Witch in Winter is the first in The Witch Trilogy told in the first person. Anna, a young girl tell us her story of her new life with her father after her mother left them. They start fresh in a town called Winter. From the get go, with a name like Wicker House, you already get the sense something will be eerie about their new house. One thing Anna doesn't know... she is a witch, from a long line of witches, who unfortunately learn the trade from their mothers. With no mum in tow, it's up to Anna to figure out what and who she is. It gave me a quick flashback to Spellcaster as the mothers keep abandoning their families and daughters who aren't full witches.
When Anna finally discovers she has powers, she takes it all in stride and you get the sense she is just an ordinary girl, nothing out of the ordinary, which was a relief for a change. That is until she meets a new group of witches, new friends and Seth. 

It reminds me of those moments when teenage girls wish they could enchant a boy to fall in love with them... well Anna and her new friends accidentally do it without evening knowing. Unfortunately, while Anna might really like Seth, having a boy fall madly in love with you under a spell doesn't feel the same. Even if they break the spell, how will she know if it is truly broken or if Seth really loves her? Now that is torment! My only negative comment on this is that Seth isn't too memorable in my opinion, not a heartbreaker that you want to dive into the book for. But who knows, my opinion could change in book two.

Aside from this little complicated romance, there is a battle looming between two groups of witches, sort of like the Cullens vs Volturi. It's normal witches sick of a group of witches trying to control their way of life. The cool thing about it is that they use their magic to fight, but again I really felt like I was comparing it to the Breaking Dawn battle scene, even though I tried not to.

I chose this book solely on reviews online and recommendations from fellow book bloggers. There was a lot of chatter around it, and I felt like another YA witch book.

Simple cover with a girl and a backdrop of a house and lightning. Nothing too spectacular, but not dull either.

Final Comments:
This book was interesting, I read through it fairly quickly. I'm not going to spoil the ending, but there really wasn't an expected cliff hanger leaving me wanting to read on. I almost thought there was no book two. 
I'm always a fan of giving new British writers a shot, and was pleased with the first book. I recommend it to YA fans who like a bit of witchery, or someone looking for a light book that you can fly through. Not too heavy, not too light... just right! On to book two!


New Series: Witch Finder

I am currently in the middle of writing my review for A Witch in Winter and stumbled across a new series being written by Ruth Warburton - Witch Finder. I haven't read much about it except the blurbs and a few reviews, but as we all know, every review is different and you can't honestly judge it until you read it yourself. I would say it is an on the fence book at the moment from what I have read, but you have to admit, the digital cover is pretty cool (to the right)!

Aside from the cover, this book intrigues me because it is based in London in an era that I love to read about. Also due to the fact I used to work in Spitalfields and developed an interest in it's rich history. Throw in some witches, it may be a good read. 

The book is out now, so if you loved Ruth's Winter Trilogy, you can grab a copy now as the book came out in January. If you have read it, feel free to get in touch with your review so I can share them along with my review when I finally get my hands on a copy.

London. 1880. In the slums of Spitalfields apprentice blacksmith Luke is facing initiation into the Malleus Maleficorum, the fearsome brotherhood dedicated to hunting and killing witches.

Luke’s final test is to pick a name at random from the Book of Witches, a name he must track down and kill within a month, or face death himself. Luke knows that tonight will change his life forever. But when he picks out sixteen-year-old Rosa Greenwood, Luke has no idea that his task will be harder than he could ever imagine.