Friday, July 20, 2012

Book Review: Witchsturck

Author: Victoria Lamb
Publication Date: July 5, 2012
Publisher: Corgi Children’s

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 practice 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.

I love to read anything to do with witches or warlocks and I always have. One of my favorite things to study about was always the Salem Witch Trials, and even though this book is not about the trials the cover did remind me of them. I am fascinated with the fact that people were terrified of anyone that they believed to be a witch or even anyone who studied the craft. I, still to this day, cannot believe that women burned at the stake for accusations of witchcraft. I knew that this book would have to be something along those lines, so of course I was sold!

To start off I am just going to be up front and honest that this story fell really flat for me. I guess my expectations were just too high and I could not wait to get into the story, but it was not able to hold my attention nor was the story line anything to brag about. I was expecting more action and more witchcraft and maybe even more witches. It was the same story line that you see with most historical fiction along the lines of, main character is a witch she is trying to hide from witch hunters because she does not want to be burned at the stake. Yes, there were added details such as Meg trying to protect Lady Elizabeth from accusations of treason, but they were just not enough to support the weak plot.

I feel that I am being really harsh with my judgment of this book, but if you are a reader of Charming Chelsey’s you know that I hardly ever ridicule a book. I usually enjoy the characters first and foremost and even in that department I was disappointed. Meg Lytton is the young witch whom the story revolves around, but her character was neither fun nor enjoyable. She often seemed timid to me and never really embraced herself as a witch. Also the male character, Alejandro de Castillo, was dull as well. These characters, I felt, were just taking up space on the pages. They did not give me a reason to love them and want to follow them throughout the book. Alejandro is not a man that I would want to call my beau! At times I felt like he was too skittish and afraid to really make clear his feelings for Meg.

When I read about witchcraft in books I want the author to go into detail about what type of witches they are and what kinds of magic that they possess. This should be a world where the author’s imagination can really flourish. It was obvious that Meg and her Aunt Jane were in fact witches, but they hardly ever practiced the craft and I believe that there should have been more of that. Meg did complete a few spells, but I would have liked for it to be more in depth. This is a world where the main character possesses a gift and I just felt like she did not put it to use enough.

I am not saying that this book is altogether horrible. The story line could have been amazing! And there were things that I did enjoy. I liked the Lady Elizabeth who had been exiled by her sister, the Queen, Mary. If some of you are familiar with this story you that Mary is whom they derived the term “Bloody Mary” from because there was a significant amount of bloodshed during her reign. I thought that was very brilliant of the author to bring these two sisters and their story into it because that was a very alarming time during history. I am not saying that you should not pick up a copy of this book because you should. Everyone’s opinion will be different from mine!


  1. Honest review! Sorry you didnt get the fireworks but i like cover too

  2. Thank you for the honest review. The summary makes the book look interesting, but I haven't heard of it before reading your review