Wednesday, July 1, 2015

ARC Review: The Witch Hunter (The Witch Hunter #1) by Virginia Boecker

The blurb as seen on Goodreads:
Release Date: June 2, 2015
Publisher: Little, Brown Books
368 Pages

The magic and suspense of Graceling meet the political intrigue and unrest of Game of Thrones in this riveting fantasy debut.

Elizabeth Grey is one of the king's best witch hunters, devoted to rooting out witchcraft and doling out justice. When she's accused of being a witch herself, Elizabeth is arrested and sentenced to die at the stake. Salvation comes from a man she thought was her enemy. Nicholas Perevil, the most powerful wizard in the kingdom, offers her a deal: he will save her from execution if she can track down the person who laid a deadly curse on him.

As she's thrust into the world of witches, ghosts, pirates, and all-too-handsome healers, Elizabeth is forced to redefine her ideas of right and wrong, of friends and enemies, and of love and hate.

Lately I found myself reading strictly contemporary reads. You know how it is, every once in awhile you just get stuck in a genre rut. After numerous contemporaries, I decided to venture back into dystopian/fantasy. That's when I came across The Witch Hunter. Set in a world where magic is known, but outlawed, Elizabeth Grey finds herself at the center of a war - one where she thought she knew where she stood.

Elizabeth Grey is a witch hunter - a special group of people who are trained to capture magic users for the crown. When she's caught with witches herbs (which she had for good reason), she's tossed into prison to await her burning, which is just as it sounds - burning at the stake. Only she never makes it to her burning day. Instead, she's saved by the one person she's been trained to hunt down - Nicholas Perevil - the most powerful wizard in the land. Nicholas needs something from her, something only Elizabeth can provide. Soon Elizabeth finds herself surrounded by the people she normally captures and she must either learn to trust them or go back to life that had turned it's back on her.

This book surprised me. There were times when I thought I had it figured out, only for it to take a completely different turn. Elizabeth was not who I thought she was. She was definitely a flawed protagonist who at times wasn't very likeable. But over the course of the book, she became this character who took control of her own fate and she started making her own decisions. 

And it's not just Elizabeth who drives this book. There Nicholas, this powerful wizard who everyone should fear, but in all honesty, he's a lot like Dumbledore. Wise and honest and just wanting to protect his people. Then there's Nicholas' inner circle, a group of healers and magic wielders who have no idea that a with hunter is within their midst.  Each one brought their own brand of magic to fight their cause, but the one I was drawn to the most was John, the healer and son of a pirate. He was the one who really helped Elizabeth see more than just the lies she was told.

Like I said before, this book didn't go in any direction that I thought it would. I thought there would be a love triangle with Elizabeth between Caleb (her childhood friend, fellow hunter, and crush) and one of the new boys in Perevil's group. Didn't happen. I thought I knew which boy in Perevil's group Elizabeth would go for. Nope. And I also thought that I magically predicted the ending. Well, on that one I was kinda right, but mostly wrong. While this wasn't an edge of your seat thriller, I enjoyed the pace and story telling. Enough so that I am awaiting the next book to find out what happens.

I received an e-copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.


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