5 out of 5 stars
Elizabeth, orphaned at a young age after a deadly outbreak of plague, is one of the king’s best witch hunters. She lives in a world where both practicing magic and following magic is illegal, and will earn you a place at the pyre.
So when Elizabeth is caught with witch’s contraceptive herbs (never mind the fact that she uses them to protect herself when the king ‘requests her presence’), she’s thrown in jail, being left to rot with all the other witches and magic sympathisers. But then her saviour comes in the form of the most powerful wizard in the country, and Elizabeth is forced to reconsider everything she has ever learned about magic. For wasn’t it magic that saved her?
I <I>loved</I> this book, right from the get go. I loved Elizabeth; she has her flaws and vulnerabilities (namely in the form of her best friend, Caleb) but she’s so strong. I loved seeing how her interactions with John, George and Fifer change throughout the book – ESPECIALLY Fifer.
To begin with, I didn’t like Fifer all that much, which was probably more to do with the fact that I loved Elizabeth, and Fifer was rude. I hate all this ‘girls feeling threatened by each other’ in YA books, but Elizabeth and Fifer are both very headstrong girls.
(plus it’s understandable that Fifer is nervous when she finds out Elizabeth is a witch hunter, what with her being a witch and all)
But towards the end, they really care about each other. YAY FOR FRIENDSHIPS.
John was an excellent love interest, too. There’s no insta-love, and John is sweet and kind.
(what’s that you say? No brooding bad boys? NOPE. None!)
This was such a fun, action packed read. I loved all the characters (apart from, y’know, the baddies), and I loved Virginia’s writing. My ONLY complaint is that the world building confuses me a bit. I presumed it was set in early England, but the language wouldn’t really reflect that. But that’s such a minor complaint.