Book Review: The Witch Hunter by Virginia Boecker

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Publisher: Hachette Children’s Books

Release Date: June 4th 2015

Genre: Fantasy, Paranormal, YA

Rating: 4 stars

Goodreads Blurb:

The magic and suspense of Graceling meet the political intrigue and unrest of Game of Thrones in this riveting fantasy debut.

Your greatest enemy isn’t what you fight, but what you fear.

Elizabeth Grey is one of the king’s best witch hunters, devoted to rooting out witchcraft and doling out justice. But when she’s accused of being a witch herself, Elizabeth is arrested and sentenced to burn at the stake.

Salvation comes from a man she thought was her enemy. Nicholas Perevil, the most powerful and dangerous wizard in the kingdom, offers her a deal: he will save her from execution if she can break the deadly curse that’s been laid upon him.

But Nicholas and his followers know nothing of Elizabeth’s witch hunting past–if they find out, the stake will be the least of her worries. And as she’s thrust into the magical world of witches, ghosts, pirates, and one all-too-handsome healer, Elizabeth is forced to redefine her ideas of right and wrong, of friends and enemies, and of love and hate.

Virginia Boecker weaves a riveting tale of magic, betrayal, and sacrifice in this unforgettable fantasy debut.

My Review

Disclaimer: This book was provided by Hachette Children’s Books via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. 

After requesting this book on netgalley, I couldn’t resist doing a little “research” and I noticed a lot of negative reviews from my fellow bloggers. But, nonetheless, I’m glad I requested this book because I did enjoy it.

moriarty___surprise_face___gif_by_talichibi-d4rwq08For one thing, the book is both historical fiction and fantasy! The main character is a witch hunter, so of-course it makes sense to set it in a earlier time period. But since I haven’t fallen in love with that many Historical YA books so far so I was pleased to see that this book had elements of that genre.

The main character, Elizabeth, demonstrates character growth but is kind-of dull. Her obsession with Caleb, child-hood friend and fellow witch hunter, was annoying to say the least. Even when she’s dying of jail fever, she still thinks he’ll come and rescue her even though it’s clear he won’t. Caleb, himself, proved to be a bit of a disappointment. Considering how he’s her first crush and all, I expected a little more from him but he turned out to be self-centred and ambitious. 

The rest of the minor characters, are totally unlike him and bursting with personality. Fifer, especially, is rather fiesty and the love interest, John, is really sweet (he blushes okay?). Elizabeth’s interactions with these characters is what made her interesting at all. And I wanted to see more of that and the romance between her and John. The development of her relationship with John is slow but realistic and I suppose the book didn’t have to focus more on it..but it is my favorite part of the story (so you know, a girl can hope).

The plot isn’t as engaging as it could have been and a bit too predictable at times. Some of the “shocking revelations” weren’t really all that shocking. Everything was set up to go in a certain direction and I would have given this book a higher rating if it deviated from the road well traveled a bit more. Also, there isn’t as much action as I expected. It’s limited to a couple of scenes even though the synopsis makes it seem like there’s a lot going on.

Despite it’s flaws, The Witch Hunter was an addictive read that didn’t disappoint me too much. I’m looking forward to reading the next book and I definitely recommend trying this if you’re into books about witches (hunters) and magic.