Series: I WISH...
Genre: YA Fantasy
Page Length: 368 Pages
Publication Date: June 2nd, 2015
Publisher: Little Brown Books
Source: ARC via publisher
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.
Virginia Boecker is a lovely person whose debut novel recently came out! She shared some random facts about the book on Twitter that prompted me to start reading The Witch Hunter. I was thoroughly entertained and saw minimal flaws. I'm pleased to bring a new series to my shelves that I can't wait to follow and continue!
Elizabeth is a witch hunter in an alternate universe England in 1558 where magic is banned. There are the Reformists (magic users) versus the Persecutors (who condemn magic). It's similar to the Reformation period of England over the conversion to the Anglican faith and Marian Persecutions. I really loved the historical ties to this novel.
Elizabeth is accused of being a witch and is sentenced to be hung. The infamous and most powerful magician, Nicholas Perevil rescues her and asks for her help to end his curse. This book is such a fun adventure. The action sequences and riddle-solving was loads of fun! There are quite a few shocking moments too.
I love the characters in this novel. Virginia's characterization was wonderful! Elizabeth is such a kickass protagonist, yet she has many insecurities and flaws. I loved seeing that there's a vulnerable side to this brave and strong girl, and it's more realistic and endearing. John is a gentle and sweet healer who Elizabeth meets while on the run. George, Fifer, Blackwell, and Caleb are all quite well-developed too.
The romance was so sweet and adorable!! Some people complained of a love triangle, but Virginia states that there's not, and I'd have to agree with her. It developed so sweetly, and there's no rush or instalove. It's the best!!
My one problem with this book was the lack of explanation. There's a plague supposedly started by magic that was never really explained. We don't understand a lot of the history of the country and why things are the way they are. The book was a tad light on world-building and description.
Overall I thoroughly enjoyed this novel and can't wait for the next one! Once again, the 2015 debuts are not disappointing.