Saturday, June 6, 2015

The Witch Hunter by Virginia Boecker (and Giveaway)

Title: The Witch Hunter
Author: Virginia Boecker
Format I Read: ARC
Pages: 368
Genres: Fiction, Fantasy, Historical Fiction
Release Date: June 2, 2015
Stars: 5
Goodreads Link

Virginia Boecker makes a stunning debut with her new novel, The Witch Hunter. She expertly creates her 15th century world and effortlessly develops her characters. I truly couldn't put this book down.

I'll be completely honest: I picked this book up on a whim at BEA. I didn't expect to love it. I didn't expect to become completely entranced by Boecker's storytelling. I didn't expect to become completely invested in the political intrigue. But I did.

For those who are unaware of the pure gem that is The Witch Hunter, I've included the synopsis:

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.

From the start, the reader is sucked into the entangled web of magic and betrayal. Though I felt that the first few chapters were a little slow, I was soon sucked right in. Elizabeth starts off as a bit of a lovestruck teenage girl who is merely pretending to be a big bad witch hunter. She grew up around Caleb, a fellow witch hunter, and has followed him around ever since. She acts strong, but she's really just a lovesick puppy. However, her arrest is the catalyst that forces her to grow up and be more independent.  Despite her original loyalties and her history, Elizabeth becomes someone who does what is right. She bypasses the opportunities to protect herself at the expense of others and begins to see the meaning of family. The character development was honestly astounding. I loved everyone and the way that they changed. Even the minor characters were fantastic: Nicholas, John, Fifer, George, Peter, Humbert, Blackwell, Caleb, and so many more. Everyone had depth (which is a huge point for me).

And the world--wow! Boecker honestly captivates with her interpretation of 15th century politics. I loved the interaction between magic and politics. From the Thirteenth Tablet (which made magic illegal) to their young king (whose parents died of a plague started by magic), magic was deeply rooted in the entire story. Even where the reader thought magic wasn't involved, it ended up being intertwined--completely fascinating! I also loved Boecker's descriptions of the different magical creatures and the different wizards/witches. It was absolutely amazing.

Not to mention the crazy ending (and the big reveal that actually occurred in the middle of the book)! The story was like a piece of art. Everything fit together in a huge puzzle at the end. I adored this book. It's such a fantastic read--which is why I want to share the love!


I have an extra ARC of The Witch Hunter. I know it's already been released, so you can get a shiny hardcover (which you should totally do), but I figured I'd spread the love anyway!

Important information
  • This giveaway is US only
  • Must be 18+ or have parental consent to enter
  • This is a giveaway for an Advanced Reader Copy (ARC), which is not for sale. Please don't sell it after you've read it. Pass it on, like I'm doing!

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