Witch Hunter by Virginia Boecker

Monday 20 February 2017

Witch Hunter
Virginia Boecker
Genre(s): Fantasy, Supernatural, Young Adult
Published: September 1st 2015
Pages: 409
Rating: 2 stars

Sixteen-year-old Elizabeth Grey doesn't look dangerous. A tiny, blonde, wisp of a girl shouldn't know how to poison a wizard and make it look like an accident. Or take out ten necromancers with a single sword and a bag of salt. Or kill a man using only her thumb. But things are not always as they appear. Elizabeth is one of the best witch hunters in Anglia and a member of the king's elite guard, devoted to rooting out witchcraft and bringing those who practice it to justice. And in Anglia, the price of justice is high: death by burning.

When Elizabeth is accused of being a witch herself, she's arrested and thrown in prison. The king declares her a traitor and her life is all but forfeit. With just hours before she's to die at the stake, Elizabeth gets a visitor - Nicholas Perevil, the most powerful wizard in Anglia. He offers her a deal: he will free her from prison and save her from execution if she will track down the wizard who laid a deadly curse on him.

As Elizabeth uncovers the horrifying facts about Nicholas's curse and the unwitting role she played in its creation, she is forced to redefine the differences between right and wrong, friends and enemies, love and hate... and life and death.

The blurb for Witch Hunter makes it out to be a thrilling fantasy book, filled with magic and witches, suitable ‘for fans of Sarah J. Maas and Holly Black’. In reality, it’s a mishmash of historical fiction based around witch trials, fantasy but with a ban on magic, and – of course – a traditional young adult romance with plenty of butterflies and longing.

Our main character, Elizabeth Grey, is supposedly the best witch hunter in Anglia. I say supposedly because within the first few pages she makes a mistake in arresting a group of necromancers, and it’s revealed that she’s made several more before. Nobody is perfect, but if you’re going to call yourself the best then at least be the best. To me, she felt like a Celaena Sardothien wannabe. And not a good quality one, either.

After her mistake she’s soon found with some witch’s herbs and arrested, her punishment being death. Ironic, huh, that the girl who hates magic so much would turn to it in her time of need. It seemed very convenient to me, as it resulted in her being rescued by – yeah, you guessed it – witches in order to get the plot rolling. The aftermath of her arrest also seemed far too contrived, and much too over the top for what she was convicted of, making things hard to take seriously.

However, even though the plot was reached fairly quickly (which in itself was an issue for me, I wanted more background into Anglia and its laws and how magic worked) it didn’t really seem to do anything. I wasn’t gripped. Elizabeth was annoying – constantly whining about Caleb and how magic is such a terrible thing. Which I can sort of see, seeing as magic was responsible for a plague throughout the kingdom. What I find hard to see, though, is why so many people were keen for the bans on it to be lifted.

All the way through Witch Hunter I was left wanting to know more backstory, get more character development, and just be immersed fully into the world. It all fell very flat, focusing more on the love triangle and Elizabeth’s thoughts. The writing wasn’t thrilling enough to pull this off successfully, so reading felt like more of a chore to me.

I didn’t hate this, but I also didn’t like it.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Got a thought or an opinion? I'd love to hear it.

design by amanda inez