Author: Jessica Spotswood
Publisher: Putnam Juvenile
Publishing Date: February 7th 2012
Genre: YA Historical Fantasy
Series: Cahill Chronicles #1
A gorgeous, witchy, romantic fantasy by a debut author! Perfect for fans of Kristin Cashore and the Beautiful Creatures series!
Everybody thinks Cate Cahill and her sisters are eccentric. Too pretty, too reclusive, and far too educated for their own good. But the truth is even worse: they're witches. And if their secret is discovered by the priests of the Brotherhood, it would mean an asylum, a prison ship--or an early grave. Then Cate finds her mother's diary, and uncovers a secret that could spell her family's destruction. Desperate to find alternatives to their fate, Cate starts scouring banned books and questioning rebellious new friends, all while juggling tea parties, shocking marriage proposals, and a forbidden romance with the completely unsuitable Finn Belastra. But if what her mother wrote is true, the Cahill girls aren't safe--not even from each other.
I knew I wanted to read this book from the moment I saw it, but it took me a while to get to it. I am glad I did, I was able to find the audio. I Loved the audio, I loved the story, I loved the characters. It was an excellent read. Very exciting, thrilling, romantic, loved every moment of this book.
Cate is a witch, her sisters are witches, her mother was a witch. Witchcraft is forbidden and witches are not treated very nicely. Cate and her sisters are learning to control and use their power in secret. Their mother is dead and their father isn't aware they are witches. So they have a slight learning curve.
Society is controlled by The Brotherhood, they are extreme, they ate witches. They say witches are evil. they arrest witches, torture witches, and use witches. Cate is doing all that she can to keep her sisters safe and their secret hidden. Cate has to blend in, get married, be a good girl. It is hard when her sisters are not helping with the blending in and being a good girl. Cate has to find a way to keep everything under control. Everything starts to unravel when Cate discovers a family secret. Cate must choose between the boy she loves and her sisters, between freedom and safety, between being herself or conforming to something entirely different.
This book was better than I anticipated. I thought it would be my kind of read but I wasn't really expecting to get what I got. The book had everything, romance, suspense, family drama, magic, it was all there and it came together to create something wonderful. Once I started I couldn't stop. It wasn't necessarily fast paced but was definitely a page turner to the very end. Slow building but extremely intense.
I really can't narrow down what I liked best about this read. I know I loved the time and setting of this book. England in the late 1800's. It was set in the Victoria Era but everything was different so it felt even a bit more in the past, bringing back much of the Salem Witch Trials. The author painted the picture so perfectly with too, the way the dressed, lived, and spoke stood out well making everything feel natural and authentic.
Another awesome thing, the story. It was a dystopian set in the past. A bunch of men decide they know what's best to create a wonderful community that keeps everyone safe... of course this only counts for those that are not different, not powerful, and not a self thinker. So yup idiots because of course it backfires, of course there will always be something that doesn't go right and people who are unhappy and willing to do something about it. So there is that part of the story.... Then we have another part, the romance, the two that can't be together that want to be so badly. Sweet and perfect, yet can't happen.
There is almost a love triangle in the book but not really. There is the boy Cate loves and the boy she tries to love for her sister's sake. She needs to marry into good standing. She cares for both but only truly loves one. Both guys are actually great. Of course I want her to be with the one that she truly loves, but both are still wonderful guys.
Cate was a pretty cool character. I liked her bunches. She was loyal to her family. Even when she had to give up what she wanted and live a life she wouldn't be happy in, she always chose her family. Although they didn't always deserve it. She was brave and kind. She was also pretty smart.
Cate's sisters were a great addition tho the cast. Maura, the middle sister, was kind of a brat. Selfish and whiny. I didn't like her much but she does bring conflict to the mix. The youngest sister, Tess, was a real sweetie, smart and kind like Cate. Little more level headed though. She seems to be the glue that holds them all together.
Lots of great characters, from friends, enemies, and loved ones. There is a great mix, each character with a a unique voice of their own, together they work out a a pretty brilliant story. I was so completely pleased with this book, it went beyond my expectations, and the ending was just so extreme. I can't wait to read more.
A great addition to my collection, historical fiction, fantasy, romance, and suspense.... all of my favorites in one book.
I grew up in a tiny one-stoplight town in Pennsylvania, where I could be found swimming, playing clarinet, memorizing lines for the school play, or—most often—with my nose in a book. I've been writing since I was little but studied theatre in college and grad school. Now I live in Washington, DC with my brilliant playwright husband and a cuddly cat named Monkey.
I heart books, yoga, tea, cardamom cookies, the color pink, board games, theatre, twirly dresses, and bells chiming the hour. I’m frighteningly enthusiastic.
I use GR to keep track of what I read and to recommend books that I really love.