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Monday, January 20, 2014

Review: Witch Finder

Posted by Charlene // Tags: ,
Witch Finder (Witch Finder #1)
by Ruth Warburton

Plot Summary:

London. 1880. In the slums of Spitalfields apprentice blacksmith Luke is facing initiation into the Malleus Maleficorum, the fearsome brotherhood dedicated to hunting and killing witches.

Luke’s final test is to pick a name at random from the Book of Witches, a name he must track down and kill within a month, or face death himself. Luke knows that tonight will change his life forever. But when he picks out sixteen-year-old Rosa Greenwood, Luke has no idea that his task will be harder than he could ever imagine.


This book was very easy to immerse oneself into.  The descriptions of London, the characters, and the way witchcraft is depicted made for an interesting blend of historical drama, fantasy and suspense.  The dilemma Luke finds himself in - with his mission to kill a witch who is definitely not as evil as the Malleus think all witches are - was so gripping, and I couldn't wait to find out how he would find a way out of it.  It was difficult at times to read though because since I know Luke is a good person his attempts to fulfill his mission were really disturbing to me.  Especially when in one instance there is a very sad consequence.  I wanted to keep liking him and fortunately the author was able to bring his character around.

Rosa Greenwood was another great character to get to know.  I feel like she has a lot of potential because while she is very kind and sadly beset by her family's expectations, that spark in her gradually came out and I am sure she will continue to grow into a stronger character in the next book.  I was looking forward to seeing her take more of an active role in freeing herself from her situation in this book, but her growth is slow and it is important that Luke is the one who helps her the most.  Their romance was very sweet though building in a way that does play more on mutual attraction than an intellectual connection but it is understandable that since Rosa is unused to kindness she would form a strong attachment to Luke.

The main villains in this book were really striking I thought - especially because I was not quite sure about one character and what part they had to play in the story.  The mystery of what that character was up to was gradually worked in and it was surprising and fantastic the twists and turns the story took near the end.  There are many aspects of this story that are intriguing and will be great to learn more about (Luke and Sebastian's backstory for instance) and although I found the ending of this book pretty satisfactory, I look forward to more exploration of the world and characters when book 2 comes out later this year.

(I received this book from the publisher or author for a fair and honest review.  I was not compensated for this review.)



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  1. I found this book very immersive too, but shared your problems with Luke. I honestly didn't find the bad guy very interesting. I hated the animal cruelty that was depicted just to make the point that he was evil and often felt like he was evil just for evil's sake. I would have liked to see him given a bit more motivation.

    1. Yes the scene with the dog was pretty disturbing and I thought it was interesting the author would follow it up with a scene where the guy was surprisingly likable -which is what made him interesting to me, trying to figure out what his deal was. But I do agree it would have been nice to learn more of his backstory which the author is probably saving for the next book!

  2. I've read a lot of mixed reviews about this book and so I am thinking not only twice but thrice whether to pick it up or not. Is this the book where the mother was just cruel and that there's some sort of animal cruelty?

    Though already overused, I still love reading witch books because I am always interested on how the author will whip the magical system of the story. Perhaps, I will try this some day when I am feeling it. I love romances that are developed nicely and of course, who could resist interesting villains? :D

    Lovely review, Charlene!

    1. The mother and the brother were not very nice, and there is that incidence of animal cruelty with another character. I think the magical system in this book is pretty interesting - especially because Luke can do something apparently no one else is able to. I think the historical setting is captured very nicely too so if you do check it out, I hope you enjoy it!