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English teacher interested in language and culture, and also in fiction using magic, myth, folklore and the supernatural. Now teaching part-time in a Leicester Upper School (ages 14-19) and also writing for children, teens and teachers.

Monday, 13 August 2012

Magical Monday Review: A Witch in Love

Fabulous blend of witchcraft, romance and intrigue.

Author: Ruth Warburton 
Title: A Witch in Love
Series: This is book 2 (review of book 1, A Witch in Winter)
Genre: Romance/Supernatural (YA)
Publisher: Hodder Children's
Published: 5 July 2012

Source: review copy kindly sent by the publisher

Find it at Goodreads or Amazon UK

The blurb says...
Anna still finds it hard to believe that Seth loves her and has vowed to suppress her powers, no matter what. But magic - like love - is uncontrollable and soon, Anna is being hunted. Abe wants Anna to embrace her power, while Seth is pushing Anna to accept that his feelings are real. She finally does ... a moment too late. Suddenly, it's like the Salem witch trials all over again: burnings, torture and faceless judgements. In the face of the ultimate betrayal, who will save her?

The second novel in the Winter trilogy, this follows the critically acclaimed debut A WITCH IN WINTER.

My verdict: Fabulous development from the wonderful A Witch in Winter
This is a short review as I don't want to discuss the plot in anything other than the broadest terms to avoid spoilers. Quite simply - this is an excellent series with epic battles, romance and witchcraft in a contemporary UK setting, and if any of that appeals: read it!

I really enjoyed the first novel in this series for its voice, its realistic setting and the intrigue created by the way magic was overlaid onto our world. This second instalment doesn't disappoint, and ups the ante considerably. The plot is tight and twisty and moves quickly, putting the well-drawn characters into increasingly difficult situations.

This novel expands out in many ways from the first, opening out the action as Anna's world also expands. I hoped to learn more about the magical world that Ruth Warburton has created and I certainly got my wish, although not in the ways I expected. There are revelations in this book that I didn't see coming at all, and which move the plot forward by adding new conflicts and tension for Anna to deal with, while also not forgetting those set up in the first novel.

I enjoyed seeing Anna's development as a character, and the progression in her relationships with Seth and with witchcraft. These developments feel realistic and plausible to me as a reader, so the novel has the emotional realism which is vital to keep fantasy grounded enough to get lost in. Again, the narration in Anna's voice helps us to appreciate her point of view and to see her thought processes.

Overall, I strongly recommend this series as a strong urban fantasy for teens and up.

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