“Luke lifted his head and sniffed the dusk. The risk smell of roast chestnut pierced the cold foggy air, above the more familiar Spitalfields stink: horse manure, coal smoke, rubbish. Another day he might have searched his pockets for a farthing, bought a paper cone of hot, burst chestnuts and burnt his fingers as he ate. Not today. Not with his stomach churning like a wash tub and a fluttering sickness in his gut.”
When Witches killed his parents, Luke swore he would do anything to avenge their deaths. He has a gift and he plans to use it. His gift is that he can see magic, and the witches that hold it can not hid from him. He needs to find the witch who killed his father and kill him, but he cannot do it alone; he needs the brotherhood behind him. Joining the brotherhood however is not an easy task. He has to prove his worth by picking a name from the Book of Witches and killing that witch, Luke is determined to do this but when he meets Rosa, the girl he is meant to murder, it would appear it is going to be harder than he thought.
I loved Ruth Warburton’s first series; the Winter Trilogy, so when I found out there would be a new one made up of two books set in Victorian London set within the same literary world but many years previous I was ecstatic. Thankfully the first in this new series, Witch Finder, did not disappoint and I fell in love with the world Ruth has created all over again.
What I really loved about the book was the characters and how much they really jumped out at you. It was easy to like Rosa because she was quite literally a rose between the thorns. Her family, or what was left of them were horrible and as for Sebastian, well I knew there was something wrong about him. I loved the emotions that the characters brought out in me and I could picture them all, from Luke and Rosa to the prostitutes who hang around outside the pub in Spitalfields to the old Groom at Sebastian’s country home. I think Sebastian’s sister was an incredible character and I would have loved to know more about her, and his mother was intriguing too… I hope that we haven’t seen the last of them and they return in the next book.
The story was god and I liked the relevant details about the time it was set in, the way it was very much true to history in the way women were treated and just how much Rosa hated that, and how the industrial elements were there with the factories and things. I hate to say it but the romance was predictable and it was a bit too insta-lovey for me but that is just my personal preference and I think most readers will enjoy it. I’m too cynical for this kinda stuff! I am dying to know what happens next because of where the story took us and I have to say that the last couple of chapters really had me on the edge of my seat so its worth a read for them!
The writing is brilliant and its very easy to get hooked into it all, I loved the dialogue between characters and how effortlessly the switches between Luke’s perspective and Rosa’s were carried out. I really liked that we kinda get both sides even though its all told in third person narration and it really added a lot to the story.
There were links to the previous books with the Malleus Maleficorum and Ealdwitan being mentioned along with family names which have been carried over. I probably didn’t pick up on all of them because it has been so long since I read the Winter books and by no means do you have to have read the previous series to enjoy this one, but I liked the nod to them all the same.
Witch Finder is a brilliant read which will have you hooked. I laughed, I cried but most of all I enjoyed every page and now I am dying to know where the story takes us next. So if you enjoy romance, and witches, and Victorian London, get this book read because I am certain you will not be disappointed.
Witch Finder was published on January 2nd by Hodder Children’s books. My copy was sent to me from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
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