(Website, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads)Published by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers on April 28th 2015
Genres: Action & Adventure, Fantasy & Magic, Young Adult
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.
I could not wait to get my hands on The Witch Hunter by Virginia Boecker. The description told me this book was going to have everything I love in books – magic, deception, and great characters. And…it did!
Elizabeth Grey is a Witch Hunter and one of the King’s best. After the plague took her parents, Elizabeth crossed paths with Caleb and from that point on he became her family. Elizabeth is a fighter and she is willing to do whatever she can to protect the people she cares about – Which I loved about her. As she learns more about what is really going on around her, Elizabeth begins to realize who is really important to her and who she can trust.
The story begins with Elizabeth and Caleb on a hunt and although Elizabeth is still very much a strong fighter, something has been off with her. Something she hasn’t been able to tell Caleb (Sorry – I’m not saying what) and when the unthinkable happens and she finds herself accused of witchcraft, she thinks Caleb will be the person to save her. But the last person she even imagined would come to her rescue, Nicholas Perevil, the most powerful wizard (and most wanted wizard) in the kingdom, is the one who saves her and things get even more interesting.
Boecker has created this world where magic is something to hide and it is the Reformers that are trying to change the way things are. There are rules and if someone is captured by the Witch Hunters, they are taken to Blackwell, the man who trained and leads the Hunters. It is very clear that Blackwell has a plan and he doesn’t care who gets in his way. He will have what he wants and sacrifice anyone who will further his goals.
We also find out that Nicholas is sick and he has been directed by a seer to find Elizabeth as she is the one who will save him from the curse he is under. While they head off on their mission, there is plenty of action, some mysteries are uncovered, and there are definitely some swoony bits – which always make me happy.
I loved the way Boecker developed all of the characters in this book – the only exception being Malcolm, the King. He was made to be a “bad” guy but I never really got to understand why outside of the things we were told about him and his actions. I wanted to actually meet him and see for myself who he really was.
I talked about Elizabeth but let me chat about the others for a few minutes. First there is Caleb – he is the only person she feels like she can trust and it is clear that he cares about her, just not in the way she was hoping. As Elizabeth begins to learn more about Blackwell, she comes to realize just how important a role Caleb has in what is going on with everything.
Amongst the Reformers you have Nicholas, George, Fifer, and John. I loved how Boecker introduced Elizabeth and her background to these characters. They all fear and hate the Witch Hunters and for good reason. As they realize who she really is, they each come to terms about her background in their own way and it was done in a way that made it believable. Each of these characters has their own personalities and as I said, I liked them all. The banter, the friendship, and the loyalty they have amongst the group…if I were on the run and trying to stop something horrible, I would want them all by my side.
Ok, I can’t say anything else for fear of giving anything away. Overall I thought this was a fantastic story and I couldn’t bring myself to put it down. Considering how impatient I am with series books, I have to admit I am happy I forced myself to wait. I don’t know how I am going to wait so long for the next book to come out as I’m excited to see where Boecker takes the rest of the story based on the ending and if anyone wants to give me an early copy, I’m definitely okay with that (I want to do my part in supporting this series, you know). If you’re looking for a book with plenty of action, some deception, some swoon, and characters that will have you rooting for them all along the way, definitely check this one out when you can.
Thank you to the publisher for the review copy!