Book Review: The Witch Hunter by Virginia Boecker, by teen reviewer Lexi
The magic and suspense of Graceling meet the political intrigue and unrest of Game of Thrones in this riveting fantasy debut.
Your greatest enemy isn’t what you fight, but what you fear.
Elizabeth Grey is one of the king’s best witch hunters, devoted to rooting out witchcraft and doling out justice. But when she’s accused of being a witch herself, Elizabeth is arrested and sentenced to burn at the stake.
Salvation comes from a man she thought was her enemy. Nicholas Perevil, the most powerful and dangerous wizard in the kingdom, offers her a deal: he will save her from execution if she can break the deadly curse that’s been laid upon him.
But Nicholas and his followers know nothing of Elizabeth’s witch hunting past–if they find out, the stake will be the least of her worries. And as she’s thrust into the magical world of witches, ghosts, pirates, and one all-too-handsome healer, Elizabeth is forced to redefine her ideas of right and wrong, of friends and enemies, and of love and hate.
This is one of those types of books that you wish you could reread for the first time again so that you could experience the way you did when you read it the first go round.
This book was absolutely brilliant. The plot was spectacularly planned and executed. The characters had so much life in them that I felt like I knew exactly who they were. The imagery is also phenomenal, it was all so vivid in detail. Every part of this book had me mentally and emotionally attached. I couldn’t put it down once I picked it up, it was that good.
At first, I expected it to be that cliché love triangle where the main girl is so pretty but doesn’t think so and she gets the love interest of not only one boy but TWO!!! and she spends the whole book flipping back and forth between the boys trying decide which one she loves the most. HOWEVER!!, this was not the case. Elizabeth is quite ordinary and plain in the looks department. She at points compare herself to other girls but what girl doesn’t? It was her bravery, her strength, and her love that won her the boy. (Shout out to every girl who doesn’t meet the norm idea of what they should look like.) Elizabeth is a strong character with a flawless character development that blew me away when revealed in the end and in my opinion, we need more characters written like this. She goes through hell and back for the ones she cares about. She let’s go of the one person she had left because she knew she couldn’t hold on forever, that he was no longer good for her. To this I raise my tea cup to her. It is hard to let people go but this display of bravery teaches any person reading the book a valuable lesson about people who hold you back, the people whom assist you in advancing forward in life and what needs to be done to rid your life of the people who will only bring you down.
The last thing I want to touch on is the very first quote that caught my eye in this book: “But then he leaves. I watch him go, wishing more than anything I was the kind of girl who could make him stay.”
Every single friend i showed this to all had the same reaction: ‘Same’ *sad face*. This quote had everyone of us instantly relating to Elizabeth. That’s what the author needs to do in order to make their book a success with the reader. We need to connect to it somehow, relate to the characters, associate with it’s meaning. If we can’t do that then we lose interest. Virginia Boecker managed to get 5 teenage girls to relate and automatically love Elizabeth by one quote. That is amazing.
To end my review I must say that I could have easily wrote one word to sum up every emotion this book evoked. That word would have been WOW. It has been a very long time since I’ve read a fantasy novel this good. After a while it seems like every vampire book is the same and every witch book is the same but this one, this one was like drinking a cold glass of ice tea after going weeks suffering in the sweltering heat.
I hope there’s a sequel!!!
Published June 2, 2015 from Little, Brown Books for Young Readers. ISBN: 9780316327008
About Karen Jensen, MLS
Karen Jensen has been a Teen Services Librarian for almost 30 years. She created TLT in 2011 and is the co-editor of The Whole Library Handbook: Teen Services with Heather Booth (ALA Editions, 2014).
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