Books: The Cheapest Vacation You Can Buy











{December 21, 2013}   {ARC Review} Witch Finder by Ruth Warburton (Witch Finder #1)

18039069From Goodreads: 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.

_____________________________________________________________________

This novel actually started off slowly for me. At 30% in, I was thinking that I really didn’t want to finish it–I just wasn’t hooked, but I always give books the benefit of the doubt, as I did with this one, and as I went on, it got much better, and by the end I was turning the pages so quickly I would have had whiplash had I not been reading on a stationary Kindle.

The way Rosa’s family treats her and those around them is disgusting and very hard to stomach. There is a scene with a puppy that horrified me, and I nearly put the book down right then because I hated the heir so very much, but I kept going, because by that point, I was very interested in the plot.  And, this novel tackles some great topics for younger readers, such as racism and abuse, two aspects that are rampant within the text, stemming from the Brotherhoods hatred of all “witches” and the abusive relationship between Rosa, her brother, and her “fiancé.” Through it all, the novel shows how clouded one’s judgment can be based on hatred, and how entitlement and greed can ruin families. They were great lessons for readers about refusing to take abuse, though for a while there I was afraid Rosa was just going to roll over and take it.

While it may sound like Rosa is a week character that needs saving, in truth she is not. She is the subject of abuse on many levels, from physical to mental, and as a 16 year old without a friend in the world, she struggles on a very real level with her own wants and needs versus pleasing her family. At times I did want to reach through the pages and shake her, but then again, she must contend with the lesser of two evils–abuse from her family, or the death and destruction of others. Her selflessness is very real, but when it comes down to it, she refuses to stand on the sidelines and allow others to be terrorized. I really did like her and Luke (and they’re the only characters I really did like, save Cassie, the fiancé’s sister, but she was extremely miniscule).

The love relationship in this novel was slow between Luke and Rosa, and I liked that he saw her for what she was, a young girl abused and afraid, versus a witch worth killing. His attempts on her life were extremely interesting to see unfold, especially as his conscious plays a huge part in it all, and his attempts to finally stand up for what is right, along with Rosa’s make them vivid and real.

I can’t wait to see where the sequel of this one takes us because, while not ending on a cliffhanger per se, we are right in the middle of the action and you just know there is so much more to be told.  Four stars.

4 stars

Hodder Children’s Books has been extremely gracious in allowing me to read an ARC of this novel, via Netgalley, prior to its release on January 2, 2013.

Advertisements


et cetera
%d bloggers like this: