Book Review: Witch Finder (Witch Finder #1) by Ruth Warburton

18039069Title: Witch Finder (Witch Finder #1)

Author: Ruth Warburton

Genre: Romance, Fantasy, Historical Fiction

Age Group: Young Adult

Rating: 4 stars

Purchase: Amazon

Review copy provided by the publisher through Netgalley.

London. 1880. In the slums of Spitalfields apprentice blacksmith Luke is facing initiation into the Malleus Maleficorum, the fearsome brotherhood dedicated to hunting and killing witches.

Luke’s final test is to pick a name at random from the Book of Witches, a name he must track down and kill within a month, or face death himself. Luke knows that tonight will change his life forever. But when he picks out sixteen-year-old Rosa Greenwood, Luke has no idea that his task will be harder than he could ever imagine.

Witch Finder wasn’t at all what I’d expected. From the description, I imagined magic battles, spell-wielding, evil sorcerers, and the likes. What I got instead was calmer, but nevertheless interesting.

Luke is a Witch Finder, which means he can spot witches right away – he sees their magic sparkling and cracking all around them. This gift may be the consequence of one fateful night, when his parents were murdered at the hands of a witch. Ever since, Luke has hated them, and he’ll do whatever he can to stop them, including joining a mysterious brotherhood intend on destroying all witches.

As his final task to be accepted into the brotherhood, he must slay a witch. The witch he picks, is Rosa Greenwood, whose family has strong connections to the Knyvets, one of the most powerful witch families. It’s a suicide mission, according to his uncle. But fate has chosen, and Luke must go.

But he never expected Rosa to be so kind-hearted, with so much love for everyone, he never expected her life in danger by anyone but himself. He thought he hated all witches, but he was wrong…

I liked Rosa. She had a charming personality, the kind of good-natured person who people can’t help but love. I wish she’d used her powers a bit more though, especially when she really needed them. It’s like she’s convinced she’s weak, while in reality she isn’t, but nothing that happens can change her mind about it. I loved how much she cared for animals, and other people.

Luke was a bit meh. He didn’t have a lot of personality, and in all honesty, Sebastian seemed more like the main character than Luke. Luke was passive, going through things without actually changing them, except every now and then. Yet I felt I didn’t really know him, besides that he wanted vengeance on all witches.

My favorite character was, hands down, Sebastian. But at the same time, he frustrated me. What was real about him, and what wasn’t? Did he really care for Rosa? If not, then why chase her, why try to persuade her? What are his eventual motives? He changed emotions in the blink of an eye, which was intriguing, but at the same time, needed a reason, when no real reason was given. Was he mad, like his father? Does he have an evil plan? I still don’t know, and I wanted to know. I like dark characters, and Sebastian had enough darkness to really intrigue me, but it seemed like he was a shadow of a person, and needed to be fleshed out more. There needed to be reasons behind his behavior, no matter how conflicting they were. I wanted to look into his head and find out, and I hope in the sequel we find out more about him and why he did the things he did.

The writing was great. The story jumped right into the action at the beginning, and while it was calmer at times, the pacing didn’t slow down.

A great read for fans of witches and young adult in particular. Very imaginative, with memorable characters and setting.


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