“The first thing that hit me was the smell – damp and bitter. It was the smell of a place long shut up, of mice, bird-droppings, and rot.
‘Welcome to Wicker House,’ Dad said, and flicked a switch. Nothing happened, and groaned.
‘Probably been disconnected. I’ll go and investigate. Here, have this.’ He pushed the torch at me. ‘ I’ll get another one from the car.’
Anna is used to living a privileged life. Her last school in London had 40 girls in lower sixth. Now she’s been forced to move to Winter following her dad’s redundancy. The school there is huge and mixed sex. Its a change all right, but Anna can deal with it to help her dad out of his depression, can’t she? Things are going well until Anna and her new friends decide to try one of the spells from the book her dad finds trapped in the bread oven. The next time Anna sees Seth his world has turned upside down and he tells her he loves her – but how does she know if his feelings are real or just magic? And thats not all; Anna is in more danger than she thought in the sleepy town of Winter.
I was recommended this one by the lovely friend Cait, who even has a quote on the back cover! I thought it would be good but what I wasn’t prepared for was it to be absolutely amazing!
The story may sound like a love story but it’s so much more and it keeps you engaged the entire way through. Towards the end – I wont say what happens don’t worry – the pace picks up so much that I just had to keep reading, I had to find out what happened next! As I say, it’s not just a love story, theres aspects of Anna finding out who she is, snippets of where she’s come from and she finds out that nothings very simple. There’s politics – not boring ones though – between the witch clans and there’s love and friendship, and how much family can mean to someone. It’s quite a deep story in places and I have to say, I’m glad its a series (and that I’ve got the second sat waiting for me!) because there are a lot of unanswered questions. There’s something going on about Anna’s mum that her dad’s keeping to himself and I thought it was a little selfish of him but I guess he doesn’t know about Anna’s abilities so he’s not to know why she needs to know. There’s also something very intriguing about Seth and his Granddad, I’m not sure what it is, it’s just mentioned a couple of times, but I NEED to know… it’s niggling away at me!!
The characters in this book are really awesome. I love witches and I love the idea of practicing witchcraft, so I knew that I’d enjoy this book, but the witches we meet are so awesome and so lovely that I loved them even more than I thought I would. But there were also other witches who weren’t so nice. I mean seriously, I don’t want to spoil anything but THAT one guy… I hated him as much as I hated Umbridge from Harry Potter!! He made my skin crawl! Emmaline and her family were incredible though. I kinda guessed straight away that she was a witch but I didn’t mind that and you are told soon after that anyway so don’t worry, I don’t think that’s a spoiler. I also have to say that if I have children and I have two girls, I’m so stealing Emmaline, its a beautiful name!
Anna herself was a really good character, she slipped up a few times but all in all she was selfless, (with the exception of the spell thing but she didn’t know that it would work!) and I felt so sorry for her, having to learn what she was all alone. I wished she could talk to her dad more than she could but I can see why she couldn’t. Anna’s dad was really cool too, I felt sorry for him because he knew that Anna didn’t want to be there but he had no other choice. He was depressed but still cared about his daughter through and through and I loved him for that.
Then we have Seth, ooohhhh Seth. At first I was a bit meh about you. I thought you were going to turn out to be a bit of a prick but boy, oh boy, you turned out so nice and sexy and wow! I loved you towards the end, you brave, caring, adorable guy, you! haha
I loved every second of A Witch In Winter. It’s only not a five star book for me because I think it leaves a little too much out, but I think I should probably forgive it for that as it is the first in the series… However it’s a series I know I’m going to love and I can’t wait to carry on. I have to agree with Cait and recommended this book to everyone! Its amazing!
A Witch in Winter was published in January 2012 by Hodder Children’s books. The second in the Winter trilogy will be available in July. My copy was purchased.