Review: Born Wicked by Jessica Spotswood
“Blessed with a gift…”cursed” with a secret.”
Everybody knows Cate Cahill and her sisters are eccentric. Too pretty, too reclusive, and far too educated for their own good. But the truth is even worse: they’re witches. And if their secret is discovered by the priests of the Brotherhood, it would mean an asylum, a prison ship – or an early grave.
Before her mother died, Cate promised to protect her sisters. But with only six months left to choose between marriage and the Sisterhood, she might not be able to keep her word . . . especially after she finds her mother’s diary, uncovering a secret that could spell her family’s destruction. Desperate to find alternatives to their fate, Cate starts scouring banned books and questioning rebellious new friends, all while juggling tea parties, shocking marriage proposals, and a forbidden romance with the completely unsuitable Finn Belastra.
If what her mother wrote is true, the Cahill girls aren’t safe. Not from the Brotherhood, the Sisterhood – not even from each other.
I’m not usually a big fan of historical novels, but BORN WICKED is an exceptionally told story that captured me from the moment I laid eyes on the cover and synopsis. Witches have always held a special place in my heart, and Spotswood finds a way to make them especially real to the reader. The plot is fast paced and while it lulls in some places, I never could pull my eyes away from the book. After the ending that Spotswood pulled out, I will be waiting on pins and needles for the sequel in this compelling and imaginative story.
Cate is a strong-willed and protective older sister who I admired from page one. She is willing to do whatever it takes to take care of her sisters, no matter what they think of her interference. She constantly lives in fear of her and her sisters being discovered as witches. Though she is always cautious, Cate sticks to her beliefs and never backs down from what she believes in. I love Cate!
Cate’s sisters have just as much a part in the story as she does. Tess is her adorable little sister whose magic may be even more powerful than her sisters. Cate is lucky to have such a sweet and lovely sister who never lets her down. Her other sister, Maura, on the other hand is not nearly as likable as Cate and Tess. She came across as whiny and unappreciative and I wasn’t a fan of her tantrums. I do understand why Spotswood made her character that way, though, so she didn’t detract from my enjoyment of the novel.
The lore and time that BORN WICKED is told in adds to the novel. While Spotswood doesn’t stray too far from the witch lore that we are told today, she does spice them up a bit! The time period even added to my enjoyment, and I don’t usually like these types of historical novels! The best part is that Spotswood’s writing is gorgeous and entrancing. I wish I could find more novels with writing like hers.
BORN WICKED is already up there as one of my favorite reads of 2012 and the year has barely started! I cannot wait for more from Spotswood, especially considering that cliffhanger ending! WOW!