Burn Mark – Laura Powell

“The walls of the Burning Court were high and white-tiled, its ceiling one great chimney. It the young witch at the stake had been able to look up at the funnel, she might have glimpsed a distant pane of sky.”

Burning witches at the stake is a thing of the past, now they are drugged to become immobile, put into a glass box, doused in flammable liquid and a switch is tripped to light the fuse. This is only when a witch is accused of the most heinous crimes though, most witches are safe, so long as they give themselves up and are watched by the inquisition. Glory is a member of an East End coven, a group who are determined to be free of the restraints of legal witches. However there’s more to the coven life that meets the eye and Glory is soon mixed up in conspiracy and betrayal. When Lucas turned up Glory is immediately suspicious, with every right as he turns out to be a potential Witchfinder extraordinaire. But Lucas isn’t the one Glory has to be watchful of and the two of them must become allies to fight the wrong which has gathered in their worlds. 

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I love a good witch book and Burn Mark was that, it had witchcraft in the medieval sense, with potions and amulets and all that jazz, but it also had inquisitors and Witchfinders, and burnings. There was a great mix of human and witch personalities within the book and it made it hard to put down, I must admit! 
The story was great, I was really interested in the idea that there was a coven hiding out in the East End of London. The coven was kind of like a modern day gang, those types that the police all know about but haven’t got any hard evidence of, I think thats the reason it seemed to work quite well. The idea that the government were happy with witches as long as they were legal was interesting and I liked the build up of the world with how the witches were dealt with, even i I didnt agree with it. There were a few bits that weren’t too well explained, especially to do with the coven and something at the end that I completely cant talk about but that kinda bugged me because it was completely not explained, but that might be me being picky! 
The characters were interesting and though Glory was pretty much a chav, I did enjoy her attitude and her distrust of people. It felt that her attitude was really well developed and made a lot of sense from her background. I really wasn’t impressed with her dad and the relationship the two of them shared, he seemed as if he couldn’t care less and didn’t want to see his daughter grow up to be anything. I much preferred Auntie A and Glory’s relationship with her, but even that was mixed up at times. I loved Lucas and his mixed up feelings about what was happening to him, his whole world had turned upside down and I was really in admiration of how he dealt with it. The way he and Glory dealt with a lot of the stuff that happened was really well done. The Morgans side of the book was interesting and I liekd the background but I didnt care much for the characters. Troy was easily the best out of the lot but until close the end I didn’t care much for him. 
The writing put me off a little at the beginning but I got used to it a bit more towards the end. I think it started off a little slow too and there were too many characters mentioned at the start that didn’t really come into play at all throughout the book, that made it a little harder to follow than I would have liked too. I think once you get half way through though you have invested enough time into the characters to enjoy their company and then the action starts, which is where it gets awesome. I can’t talk about it too much but the book got a faster pace to it after the halfway point and it got really good, there was more mystery, more crime, more violence and it really got my opinion of the book to grow rapidly. 
I really did enjoy Burn Mark and I think a lot of other readers will too, if witches are our thing do not let this one fall through the net, its well worth a read. If you are wanting romance though, don’t bother, I am quite happy to say that this is not a paranormal romance and the relationships built in it make a better book because of that in my opinion! 
Burn Mark was published on June 7th by Bloomsbury. My copy was received in exchange for an honest review from the publisher. 
  • Great review Raimy, I completely agree with everything you’d said, glad you enjoyed it 🙂