Finders, keepers; losers, dead ~ ‘Witch Finder’ by Ruth Warburton #Review #COYER

Witch Finder by Ruth WarburtonLuke Lexton is almost in the Brotherhood. He’s survived the trial by knife and the trial by fire; now he has a month to complete the trial by hammer. Once he’s in, he can’t leave the Malleus Maleficorum except by his death. He’s blindfolded, and with a pin, he points at the name in the Brotherhood’s book of witches. He prays with all of his heart that it is the Black Witch, the one who, for some inexplicable reason, killed his own parents when he was a child as he lay hiding beneath his bed. He never saw the witch’s face, but he will never forget the snake on the head of the cane that rolled into his hiding place. But, unfortunately, the pin sticks in the name of Rosamund Greenwood. Just a girl; it will be easy.
The Brotherhood secures Luke a position in the stables with the Greenwood family. In dire straits ever since Mr. Greenwood passed away, Rosa’s mother and brother are determined to use Rosa to return to the rich life they once knew. Alexis’ great friend, Sebastian Knyvet, is such a catch. And he seems very taken with Rosa. Not only is he wealthy and handsome, but he has a lot of power in the Ealdwitan, the ruling council of witches in England. Rosa, though, can’t decide if the tingles she’s feeling around Sebastian are love – or fear. Sebastian seems to be hiding something, but what?
Luke has discovered that he is in love with Rosa, and no longer cares that she is a witch or that he has signed his own death warrant. As for Rosa, she learns some horrible things the hard way, and realizes that she can’t allow Luke to forget all about her. But is it too late? And how can she get away from Sebastian and expose him and what he is doing?

The cover of this series is absolutely beautiful. It can be so disappointing when an author or publisher makes zero effort into how it looks on the shelf. The cover should echo the feeling of the story, not just be a generic photo of two people kissing or a boring photo that barely gives you any feel for the type of book you are about to jump into. So bravo/brava to the people who made this cover and allowed it to be used.

I enjoyed this story well enough, but either there was not enough tension in the plot or things between Luke and Rosa were resolved too easily. I am on the fence, so maybe it was a little of both. Here’s this guy, whose parents were killed by a most powerful witch, who waltzes in a nest of witches and can’t do his assigned job. Oh he tries, but he’s just so smitten with this person he doesn’t even know that he can’t end it. While he (thankfully) doesn’t immediately start professing his love for her verbatim, it’s there (mostly because he doesn’t like these feelings). And Rosa appears to be attracted to Luke as well, even though she has no idea that he’s tried to kill her. Twice. Once he confesses, it doesn’t matter to her. Again, without much (or any) convincing. Love conquers all, right?

This is the time period where girls were no better than collateral, and the cruelty shown by Rosa’s mother and Rosa’s brother, Alexis, is disturbing. Add into that their magical abilities, and thing quickly pass cruel to frightening. As for Sebastian, let’s just say that Rosa definitely should go with the bad thing she’s feeling. I am not totally sure what the aim of the Ealdwitan is or what these witches hope to do with all of their amassed power, but I hope they keep it in the UK.

The Witch Finder by Ruth Warburton was published January 2, 2014 by Hodder Children’s Books. A free copy of this book was given to Ink and Page in return for an honest review. Big thanks to the Publisher, the Author and NetGalley.

Rating: 3

Genre: Young Adult Fiction Historical Fantasy Paranormal Romance Series
Ages: 13 and up

COYER Scavenger Hunt #72: Read a book that features witches only (no other supernatural characters). (5 points)

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