Series: The Witch Hunter #1
Published by Little on June 2nd 2015
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Buy on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, The Book Depository
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.
Wow, oh wow: a book that compares itself to Game of Thrones within the description’s first sentence? Color me intrigued. When I first heard about this book, I remember thinking, “Well this sounds like it will be right up my alley.” And it was, although not entirely in the way I originally bargained for.
I really enjoyed this book. The main character, Elizabeth, is incredibly believable. Her struggle as she grapples between the beliefs she has been taught all her life and the recent discoveries she’s made about magic was wonderful. She didn’t immediately drop her beliefs at the first sign of change, but she was still willing to hear from the other side and take their opinions to heart. Her development was huge, and I loved living this story through her eyes.
The secondary characters are just as amazing. John was a breath of fresh air. It seems as though I’m always drawn to the traditional “bad boy” characters, and John was anything but. His kindness, intelligence, and dedication made him an incredibly endearing character (although I did find myself wishing for some flaw). George was hilarious, and I adored his every line. Fifer was fiery and provided realistic anger to the plotline. However, my favorite character has to be Schuyler. He’s hilarious and intriguing, while still managing to hold onto his dark, undead side. View Spoiler »Also, Schuyler and Fifer have definitely been added to my list of OTPs…SO ADORABLE. « Hide Spoiler. The other characters (Caleb, Nicholas, Malcolm, and Blackwell) are also well-written and serve their purpose.
The plot of the story meandered at a decent pace, keenly maintaining my interest…until about the last 100 pages. Everything picked up and action was happening left and right. Suspense and fighting and secrets and prophecies galore. I loved it. I immediately needed the second book so the story wouldn’t end. But alas, that won’t be released until June of this year.
Despite loving the characters and the story, I do have one (minor) qualm. Pieces of the story were predictable, so moments where secrets were revealed were not always as dramatic as they could have been. However, that predicability set up some nice anticipation for the second book. I need to know if my ideas and theories are correct, gosh darnit! Some of the tropes and plotlines have been seen in other novels, which probably aided to the predictability. Despite this, I did love the story and still found it entertaining.
Lastly, as a warning, there are hints of rape at the beginning of the book. It’s used as a catalyst for Elizabeth’s troubles, and is never outright stated, but you can tell it’s there. Keep that in mind if you’re questioning whether or not to pick up this book.
Overall, I loved this story, especially the characters. And, while I don’t think it lives up to the insanity that is Game of Thrones, I cannot wait to get my hands on a copy of the second book in the series, The King Slayer, to find out how my favorites fare and how their stories end.