Monday, March 25, 2013

Review: Born Wicked

Born Wicked
Author: Jessica Spotswood
Published: February 7, 2012
330 pages
5 Gold Stars

(summary from Goodreads)

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'll be honest, I haven't read too many books about witches. Not that I'm not interested in them, as I throughly enjoyed Hex Hall and I've always had a fascination with them, but to me, there isn't much you can do when witches are involed. People constantly try to revamp the vampire, but nothing will be as good as Interview with the Vampire. Thing is, I haven't found that perfect witch book yet, that is, until I read Born Wicked.

Spotswood captured the essence of witchery the way it should be. 1800s, witches are found and punished and no one is safe. She's taken the real past, a horrible time where witches were burned at the stake in Salem, and made it her own. She's taken the facts but gave the world an alternate history. The witches actually used to be in charge until the church, or the Brotherhood, intervened and got rid of them all. Now the Brotherhood makes the rules and if they accuse someone of witchery, either way they disappear. Cate Cahill and her sisters are hiding their true nature, all three of them witches, while trying to come out in society like proper girls. Cate has reached the age where she either needs to marry or devote herself to the Sisterhood and pledge allegiance to the Brotherhood. Thankfully, her childhood friend is interested in her, but she may have her eyes set on Finn, the gardener, a lower class boy whose family is frowned upon by the Brotherhood. 

I immediately fell in love with Cate and her sisters. All three of them are fierce, powerful, and eager to make their own choices. With their mother dead, there is no one to teach them about their magic so Cate makes sure they all keep it under wraps. Cate has many decisions to make in a short amount of time and she keeps it together perfectly. If I were her, I'd be ripping at the seams. To make matters worse, she finds her mother's old diary and it tells of a prophecy that could put her and her sisters in terrible danger. While trying to balance her family life, coming out, tea parties, and her future, she finds her drawn towards everything she's forbidden herself to have.

The tension between Finn and Cate is perfect. The moment he enters the book, I know she'll fall in love with him, and the anticipation of them getting together is overwhelming. The fantastic thing about this book is that is isn't your typical love story. Yes there are two men, but there is no obviously love triangle, and there is a lot more at stake than which boy she chooses to be with. Cate cares more about keeping her family safe than anything else and that's a great trait to have in a protagonist. And all her choices are perfect, even if they kill me to watch.

The language is key for this period piece. Everything is old fashioned and the fashion itself is epic! I love Spotswood's descriptions of the dresses and manners. It creates a scene straight out of the 1800s and kept me there the entire time. I closed this book wishing I could be wearing a corset and drinking tea in a pretty dress. A girl can dream right? 

There's no doubt that I loved this book and I can't wait to pick up Star Cursed when it comes out in June. After the ending, I need to know what will happen next!

“No matter how safe and beautiful it is, a cage is still a cage."

“From my vantage point I can see the back of his neck flush pink beneath his collar. He's got freckles there, too. I wonder how many more freckle's he's got. Are they all over, or just where the sun's touched?
Good Lord, why am I thinking of Finn Belastra without his clothes on?”

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