Thursday, 2 January 2014

Caragh Reviews - Witch Finder by Ruth Warburton

Published - 2nd January 2014
Publisher - Hodder
Format - Kindle
Synopsis - London. 1880. In the slums of Spitalfields apprentice blacksmith Luke is facing initiation into the Malleus Maleficorum, the fearsome brotherhood dedicated to hunting and killing witches. Luke’s final test is to pick a name at random from the Book of Witches, a name he must track down and kill within a month, or face death himself. Luke knows that tonight will change his life forever. But when he picks out sixteen-year-old Rosa Greenwood, Luke has no idea that his task will be harder than he could ever imagine.

I was a big fan of Ruth Warburton's Winter Trilogy and was getting increasingly excited for her new release, Witch Finder. I received this book to review in early November.

Witch Finder started off well and was really intrguing. Luke's life seems simple enough until we see him taking part in a ritual for the Malleus Malefictorum - a secret brotherhood of witch hunters. Luke has his personal reasons for joining and is completely dedicated to following in the footsteps of those around him - that is until he meets his initiation target, Rosa Greenwood. 

Throughout the book Luke has many trials to face and he even learns about himself - as every good protagonist does. I love that Warburton carried over some of the same ideas she put forth in the Winter Trilogy and still used words such as 'outwith'. It made it seem more realistic after having read about them previously. Witch Finder wasn't what I expected at all - I thought it would be a similar style to her previous books but surprisingly it was very different. It clearly isn't set in a modern time period (which I LOVE!) and the whole thing felt both new and fresh but homely and comforting. It's quite a dark book actually. Of course it features romance, coming of age, family matters as almost all YA books do but it takes it to a darker place.

Admittedly, I thought the pacing was a bit slow. I'm not sure whether it's just the format of the e-copy I received or whether the printed book is the same but there were really long chapters! It was a while ago that I read it now but I think there may not have been real specific chapters at all, though the ending of the book totally made up for the occasional lack of action/intrigue. I believe i'm right in saying this is going to be a series and if so it has great potential. I'll be looking forward to seeing what the consequences are.

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