Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Witchstruck (The Tudor Witch Trilogy #1) by: Victoria Lamb

Three-point-five stars rounded up to four

ARC received from Netgalley. This review is not biased in any way. There was no money, gifts, discounts, or favors exchanged for this review.
Meg Lytton has always known of her dark and powerful gift. Raised a student of the old magick by her Aunt Jane, casting the circle to see visions of the future and concocting spells from herbs and bones has always been as natural to Meg as breathing. But there has never been a more dangerous time to practise the craft, for it is 1554, and the sentence for any woman branded a witch is hanging, or burning at the stake.

Sent to the ruined, isolated palace of Woodstock to serve the disgraced Elizabeth, daughter of Henry VIII and half-sister of Queen Mary, Meg discovers her skills are of interest to the outcast princess, who is desperate to know if she will ever claim the throne. But Meg's existence
becomes more dangerous every day, with the constant threat of exposure by the ruthless witchfinder Marcus Dent, and the arrival of a young Spanish priest, Alejandro de Castillo, to whom Meg is irresistibly drawn - despite their very different attitudes to her secret.

Thrilling and fast-paced, this is the first unputdownable story in a bewitching new series.

So, I might like historical romance. Especially the 1400s-1800s. Might. And I might completely love witch books. I blame it on Charmed. Sadly, a lot of witch books are horrible. Sort of like angel books. And I might love European accents. Well, that's a given. Of course accents are amazing. To girls, anyway. After seeing the covers and the publisher, I decided I definitely had to get it. This is a reason I love Netgalley so much. You find all these new books, and if they suck, you didn't have to pay any money for them!

Meg Lytton is an apprentice to her aunt, a witch. She struggles in some spells, like any normal student would. Meg is a servant to Elizabeth, who was outcast because of suspicion of threats to her sister, the queen of England. Alejandro de Castillo is a priest in the making from Spain. He and another priest were sent to convert Elizabeth. Now, Meg can only practice her witchcraft in the extremest secrecy, or else she'll be hanged.

The characters of Witchstruck could have been written better. My favorite kind of books are character-driven ones, instead of being plot-driven. Witchstruck was part of both. If the characters had been more developed, I would have liked it a lot more. Meg was never certain of her mind, which I really didn't like. That being said, I enjoyed the characters. They just didn't completely seem real.

The love story between Alejandro and Meg is gradual in development, right up until the end. I've found this in many books: the romance is completely well paced, until a chapter or two before the end, when the author feels like it is necessary for them to completely love each other forever and ever and ever.

There's a lot of telling, rather than showing, which annoyed me a lot. Readers probably won't be as annoyed as I was, though.

This novel had an interesting plot, and I felt that it was well-paced. Some parts could have used more detail, but overall, it was very well written.

I'm planing to read the next book, as well as more of the author's works. I'm hoping this series gets better, as it has a lot of potential, but isn't amazing at being well executed.


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