ARC Review ~ The Witch Hunter

Author: Virginia Boecker
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.


  1. My happiness is limitless right now Rachel!!! I soooo qgree with everything even with the lacking of the explanation part :( which is the only downside of the story for me. And OMG YASSSS the romance. It was so sweet. Lovely review Rachel <3333

  2. I've really been thinking about this one since I'm not a huge reader of anything that involves magic but it sounds like a nice read especially since it involves riddle-solving. and I love the sound of that romance :D

    czai @ the Blacksheep Project

  3. you've got me curious Rachel! I had heard from some people that this one just didn't work for them but i'm definitely giving it a go after reading your review!

  4. This sounds absolutely amazing - kind of like a fantasy-like Salem Witch Trials, right? The characters and romance both sound absolutely amazing, and the plot sounds action-packed and stellar. I can't wait to give this a try and experience how great it is for myself! Thanks for sharing Rachel and, as always, lovely review! ♥

  5. I got an ARC at BEA that I'm quite keen on reading soon and I'm glad to hear that despite the lack of worldbuilding and explanation, you really enjoyed it!

  6. I'm really glad you liked this Rachel! This one has gotten a lot of mixed reviews, but I still want to read it. I love this time period and I think the historical aspect is what will really draw me in! And yay for no love triangle! :D

  7. Great review. This one is on my TBR. I wonder if the lack of explanation can be explained by the fact that it is the first in a series. Maybe there will be more explanations in later books?

  8. Ahhh, this one was quite disappointing for me :( Still enjoyable, but I guess I just didn't find the characters interesting and thought the synopsis was misleading. I totally agree with both you and Victoria that there's really not a love triangle. Of course Elizabeth has some lingering feelings for the boy who practically saved her life and gave her something to fight for! Even if, you know, it wasn't really for the right cause. Lovely review, Rachel!

  9. I am happy that you loved the book Rach! I myself didn't enjoy it as much as I believed I would - maybe I had too much expectations from the story- but I did like the whole witch concept. It's been a long time since I read a book about witches!
    Lovely review hun!:)

  10. I've been dying to read this book and review only confirms how good I think it's going to be.

  11. I've been hearing a lot about this book & it sounds really good. Hopefully I can get my hands on a copy soon! Great review, Rachel!

    ~Cari @ My Addiction: Books

  12. I've seen lots of hype for this one! I like the sound of it, but the lack of explanation would annoy me a bit. Nevertheless I really want to read this! Great review, Rachel! :)

  13. Yay! I liked this one too. Personally, the ending was really rushed for me and the odds seemed so against Elizabeth so I didn't really believe it. My fave part has to be Shulyer [that was so wrong] because he just had the best personality!

    I can't wait for book two.


I read, value, and cherish each and every comment. Although I don't have time to respond to most of them, I make every effort to comment back on your blog! :)