Friday, September 20, 2013

Friday Reads: ARC Review of Witchstruck by Victoria Lamb!

For the next Friday Reads, a surprise approval from Harper Collins on NetGalley that through my reading & reviewing schedule off and a welcome change of pace, back to one of my fave genres, historical fiction.


WitchstruckWitchstruck by Victoria Lamb

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


I got an ARC of Witchstruck on NetGalley via the publisher but that did not influence my opinion or review of this book at all.

Witchstruck is the first book in The Tudor Witch Trilogy, I was so drawn to this book because it combines historical fiction with the paranormal world of witches.

It is the story of Meg, a young woman with the gift of magick that has been thought how to control her gift and the secrets of white magick by her aunt. She has been brought by her father to the service of Lady Elizabeth, the banned Tudor princess sent into exile and reclusion by her half sister and queen, Mary. Meg didn't want to leave her aunt but was glad to get away from a suitor intent on marrying her, the county's official witchfinder, Marcus Dent.

Being a woman in the 16th century was not easy but being a witch even less, having to hide your gift for fear of being hanged or burnt just on the mere baseless accusation. And being a witch on the circle of the lady Elizabeth, who is always watched waiting for a mistake, could be the most dangerous position of them all. Even more since England is getting a wave of Catholicism washing over it with the marriage & alliance of queen Mary with Philip, the future king of Spain. And to make sure the lady Elizabeth is being catholic and properly pios, she get sent a priest and a future knight of the order of the Compostela Knights to watch over her.

I really liked the way both the paranormal aspect and the historical period mixed in this book, never once I felt it didn't work together. Elizabeth was known to have a certain fascination with horoscopes and seeing the future, proven by her long association with John Dee (alchemist, astrologer and all around mystic) so for me it was no stretch of the imagination to think that she'd want to have & use a young witch as her companion.

I really liked both Meg's and Elizabeth's characters, both are young and are facing not the best of odds, but they both try to do what's right and stay strong and true to themselves despite the pressures from outside. I loved how close Meg's relationship with her aunt was and how she was ready to face danger for her and others she cared for.

Our Spanish Compostelan knight, Alejandro, was a character not difficult to love, showing kindness and not being a horrible fanatic and clearly from the beginning you see something will happen between him and Meg, but I liked that it progressed slowly, with loads of stops and starts because you don't expect things between a witch and a Catholic night to be all passion from day one!

The plot was engaging but without too many surprises, no big twist and turns but still enough intrigue and strife to make you want to keep on turning pages to see if Elizabeth will come back to court, to see if Meg will not be discovered and hanged as a witch...

The only thing that didn't all the time sound right to me where the uses of Spanish words from the Spanish characters, cause some times they weren't actual Spanish words, as when Alejandro's servant kept on calling Meg "signorina", cause that's Italian.

All in all a very engaging read in a genre that I really like and haven't been reading much as of late (historical fiction) and one that leaves you wanting to read more of the story in the next book without a terrible cliffhanger in the end.

Very well deserved 3 and a half stars.



View all my reviews

12 comments:

  1. I saw this on NetGalley, but I didn't get it. It looks good, though. I like witch books!

    Kate @ Ex Libris


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    1. Thanks Kate! I got it more for the Historical Fiction than the Witchy bit, but it was perfectly balanced!

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  2. I'm glad the paranormal and historical mix was done well. The historical factor is what's making me hesitate to read this one. I love books about witches but very rarely will I enjoy a historical >.< It sounds like it was a good read but nothing especially mind blowing. Lolz at Italian/Spanish that's a fail!

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    1. Thanks Giselle! I talked to the author via Twitter and she said the issues had been corrected in the Kindle finished version of the book.

      The mix of paranormal and history was done very well and if some political conspiracies don't bother you much, you should give this one a try!

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  3. I had similar feelings! It was good, but not great; I still might continue the series!
    -Scott Reads It

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    1. Yeah, I think I liked it enough to continue the series myself, even if it wasn't mindblowing!

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  4. I haven't read any historical in ages, but since I usually go for the overly romantic and cheesy ones (no complaining here, I love them!), I'm not sure if I would enjoy this. But I do love the witch storyline, especially the era it's set in. And I do love the name, Alejandro, so we'll see. Great review, Pili! :) Sorry that I was so late in commenting. Thanks for visiting regularly!

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    1. Thanks a lot for droping by Aman!

      The historical setting and some politics happenings might not be exactly your thing, but there's a bit of romantic tension all over the book and the witch angle is quite prominent! Let me know if you decide to check it out!

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  5. I probably wouldn't notice that mistakes in the language, but it is annoying when it sticks out to you. I'm glad that you enjoyed this book overall, though. I haven't heard much about it, but I love the premise for it. Great review! :)

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    1. Thank you, Sam!

      Yeah, the author read my review and let me know via the twitter the mistakes had been corrected for the Kindle book, so that's cool!

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  6. I like the cover :) Glad you enjoyed the book, though you didn't love it. Thank you for sharing. <3

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    1. Yeah, I adore the cover! I requested it most cause of cover lust! ;)

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¡Muchas gracias por vuestros comentarios, leerlos me alegra el día!/ Thanks a lot for all your comments, reading them brightens my day!!