*** Disclaimer: I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own. ***
“Fordham was all ash and smoke. It had started raining an hour ago, but the remains of the bonfire still smoldered…” – Nicholas Bowling, Witchborn
Witch Born Review
Let me introduce the beautiful oddity that is Witch Born…
*** Note: May contain spoilers! ***
Meet Alyce, a young teen who has escaped the clutches of the witchhunters. Her mother is dead burned at the stake, leaving the instructions of “Make for Bankside. Find the hangman John Dee. Give him this letter.” Half dead from exposure on her way to London Alyce ends up in a Bedlam asylum after being discovered by one of the governors of the hospital. Weeks have passed and Alyce is desperate to escape and find the hangman. Haunted by the burning and memories of her home, as well as the deed she had done to manage her escape from the witchhunters, Alyce’s opportunity to run comes and she seizes it. Enter Solomon, Mrs. Thompson, a bedraggled Raven, two warring queens, and other odd creatures as Alyce’s story unfolds. Will Alyce find the hangman John Dee? What is this growing power Alyce has? Did witches really in the 16th century exist?
My general consensus upon finishing Witch Born was the overall oddity of the tale. I was mystified by a warring London setting in the 16th century where religion, magic, and creatures ran amuck underneath the ruralness of a city that was falling apart at the seams. Every character had an individual identity that somehow connected not only to the story, but a bit of history too. Could Queen Elizabeth and Bloody Mary Queen of the Scots had been witches? Could John Dee really have performed magic for his experiments. The lines are drawn, no one can fully be trusted, the secrets are many, and… I adored it! Bowling did a wonderful job with the prose of the story and writing descriptions that put me in this past world. I felt the heaviness of the air, the cold, the hunger, and the emotions of the story as I traveled back in time. While it wasn’t ‘spooky’ the darker themes of the supernatural pulled at a play on the mind at points and suggested at heavier issues of humanity and history to deal with.
Rich with setting and characters I am keeping my review of Witch Born shorter to not reveal further key plot moves – *cough* Alyce’s hair color *cough*
My Rating: 4/5
Check this story out for yourself and enjoy the oddity of 16th century London – who knows what you’ll find!
Witch Born is out tomorrow! *cheers*
My rating: 4/5