Novel: The Witch Hunter (The Witch Hunter #1) by Virginia Boecker
Published: June 4th, 2015 by Orchard Books
Genre: Fantasy, Paranormal, YA
Rating: 3.5/5 stars
I received this book from the publisher -THANK YOU- via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion in any way.
Synopsis: Sixteen-year-old Elizabeth Grey doesn’t look dangerous. A tiny, blonde, wisp of a girl shouldn’t know how to poison a wizard and make it look like an accident. Or take out ten necromancers with a single sword and a bag of salt. Or kill a man using only her thumb. But things are not always as they appear. Elizabeth is one of the best witch hunters in Anglia and a member of the king’s elite guard, devoted to rooting out witchcraft and bringing those who practice it to justice. And in Anglia, the price of justice is high: death by burning. When Elizabeth is accused of being a witch herself, she’s arrested and thrown in prison. The king declares her a traitor and her life is all but forfeit. With just hours before she’s to die at the stake, Elizabeth gets a visitor – Nicholas Perevil, the most powerful wizard in Anglia. He offers her a deal: he will free her from prison and save her from execution if she will track down the wizard who laid a deadly curse on him.
This was one of my most anticipated releases of 2015. While I definitely enjoyed it, I didn’t love it as much as I was hoping to. Don’t get me wrong, I would still really recommend this book! I think I just went into it with my expectations too high.
This is the story of Elizabeth, a young witch hunter. It starts when she arrests a group of necromancers with her best friend and fellow witch hunter, Caleb. In a series of quickly unwinding events, Elizabeth herself is accused of witchcraft and sent to jail, waiting to be burned at the stake.
This story is action packed. That’s the least I can say. In fact, at times I felt like this book should have been a tad longer. Several times, I had to reread a certain passage because suddenly so much happened that I was lost. And I definitely enjoyed reading this book, so I would have loved to see it a bit longer so there is more time for all the events to unfold. I really felt like I was going along with Elizabeth on her journey/quest. I love how fast-paced it was because it truly made me feel like I was watching a movie.
I do have a few questions about the story though. Or maybe a remark would be a better term for it. I do not like how this story dealt with the subject of rape. Especially because it didn’t. You know it happened, we all do, but Elizabeth doesn’t show a thing of it. She’s not angry, doesn’t feel gross, isn’t afraid of being touched by someone. All those aspects are missing. I just would have loved to see her actually deal with it.
Even though I have these remarks, I still highly enjoyed reading this book. I stayed up for hours reading, instead of going to sleep. I just needed to know what was going to happen!
Elizabeth. I have mixed feelings about Elizabeth. I do quite like her. She’s strong, decisive and does her best to survive. But I don’t understand her motivations. Like, why did she become a witch hunter? She doesn’t have an actual reason! She just followed Caleb. In that sense, I hate that she never really did anything about it. She had questions, aspects of the witch hunt and its organizer, Blackwell, that she mistrusted. Why follow him? Why do any of this? I just don’t get it. However, that also shows how much Elizabeth evolves during the story. How she learns to stand up for what she believes is right, instead of what is easy. So the character development is really present there.
Caleb. I feel like I don’t know enough about him to truly blog about this character. While he is mentioned so often, we don’t really get to know him. But again, I have the same question: why are you a witch hunter? I don’t understand!
John. I love John. He is the kind of person I would want to be with too -in real life. He is kind, caring, funny and sweet. He’s just adorable.
Blackwell. WHAT. IS. THE. MATTER. WITH. YOU!
As I said, I enjoyed this read. It was fun and fast-paced, and the story just sucked me in. I do think it should have been somewhat longer, so all the twists and turns could fully unfold. But I liked the plot line, the characters and I will definitely pick up the sequel when it releases. I do recommend this book, but I think it will be even more enjoyable when you are aware of the remarks I made earlier.