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Thursday, July 10, 2014

Witchfall by Victoria Lamb

Title:  Witchfall

Author: Victoria Lamb
Publisher:  Published March 25th 2014 by Harlequin Teen 
ISBN: 0373211007 (ISBN13: 9780373211005)
Pages:  336 pages
How I Read It: ARC NetGalley ebook
Genre: historical fiction, young adult, fantasy, magic, and witches, paranormal
My Rating: 1 crown


Her darkest dreams are coming true.

In Tudor England, 1555, Meg Lytton has learned how powerful her magick gift can be. But danger surrounds her and her mistress, the outcast Princess Elizabeth. Nowhere is safe in the court of Elizabeth's fanatical sister, Queen Mary. And as the Spanish Inquisition's merciless priests slowly tighten their grip on the court, Meg's very dreams are disturbed by the ever-vengeful witchfinder Marcus Dent. 

Even as Meg tries to use her powers to find guidance, something evil arises, impervious to Meg's spells and hungry to control England's fate. As Meg desperately tries to keep her secret betrothed, the Spanish priest Alejandro de Castillo, out of harm's way, caution wars with their forbidden desire. And with her most powerful enemy poised to strike, Meg's only chance is a heartbreaking sacrifice.

This is the second book in the Tudor Witch Trilogy and picks up not long after the end of the first book. I believe reading the first book is important if you wish to gain a better understanding of the characters and their motivations. This series is a historical-fantasy-romance and very much for the young adult audience given at times, the comic and simplistic storylines. It focuses on the time period when the reign of Queen Mary was drawing to a close and when conflicts between Catholic and Protestant factions were at their worst. Because of this it appears to be relatively detailed in its research of the turbulent Tudor period and the various ‘magick’ spells and rituals associated with this time. If you love to read about witches, casting spells and magic rituals then you will find this book interesting as detailed accounts are given on a number of occasions. In fact the book provides a clever mix of the events and politics especially in relation to the world of magic.

On occasions, this book seems to be somewhat darker than the previous book, however, it suits the plot and focus of the story. The first book revolved around witch finders and the punishments dealt out. Eg. witches being burnt or trial by drowning.  In Witchfall, this is taken that step further in detailing how dangerous times affected the lives of people whether they are royal or ordinary.  The Spanish Inquisition makes an appearance and that therefore lends itself to the increase in violence in this book in comparison to the first, including a torture scene.

Overall, this is quite an eclectic mix of genres and to my mind fails in not staying the path on one set genre.  The mish mash of serious to comic paranormal experiences and character flaws make it difficult to take this book seriously but maybe that was the author’s intention – to lighten the mood? In conclusion if you enjoyed the first book, this second instalment will not fail to deliver. The battle is clearly not over even though a sense of closure is provided – it’s all up to the last book which is due out in eformat at the end of this month.

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