Author: Ruth Warburton
Title: A Witch in Winter
Series: This is the first in a trilogy.
Genre: Romance/Supernatural (YA)
Publisher: Hodder Childrens
Published: 5 Jan 2012
Source: purchased on my Kindle
Find it at Amazon UK or Goodreads
The blurb says...
Anna Winterson doesn't know she's a witch and would probably mock you for believing in magic, but after moving to the small town of Winter with her father, she learns more than she ever wanted to about power. When Anna meets Seth, she is smitten, but when she enchants him to love her, she unwittingly amplifies a deadly conflict between two witch clans and splits her own heart in two. She wants to love Seth, to let him love her - but if it is her magic that's controlling his passion, then she is as monstrous as the witch clan who are trying to use her amazing powers for their own gain.
When love is tangled up in magic, how can you be sure what's real?
Seth is an interesting character, and the reasons for him and Anna to be drawn to one another (aside from physical attraction) are established, alongside some funny-but-disturbing scenes of spell-induced stalkerishness. I felt that (witchcraft aside) their relationship was a believable construction, and that the central barrier (can she ever be sure he isn't just bewitched?) was a really good one to unsettle the relationship.
The plot moves along effectively, and (other than questions of history/background) everything is resolved in this volume. The tension creeps up steadily before the spell is cast, as Anna is simply trying to settle into a new place and there is no explicit suggestion of witchcraft - but of course we know that this is where the story is going to go. The stakes are raised rapidly after this, and we're quickly into much bigger conflicts.
Overall, this was a book that I really enjoyed and would definitely recommend. The second in the series came out this month, and the third will be out early next year.