Sentence: I sentence Jessica Spotswood to continue with her wickedly well-written words and to also continue weaving what could be a beautiful and tragic story. Review:
Another book I picked up for the cover and thought "fuck it, I better love this". After my last failed attempt at enjoying historically-reminiscent fiction (Dearly, Departed
; set in the future, but it reverts back to Victorian conservatism), I thought there really was no hope left for historical teen fiction-fantasy specifically. After Libba Bray's A Great and Terrible Beauty
, I figured this sort of teen fic was over and done with. I was terribly mistaken.
Spotswood has really committed to her research, I must admit, by including not only the persecution of "witches", but also queer members of the community. The language suits the time, but is not so unclear or difficult to understand that I had to take a break.
I admit at first it took me about three chapters to really get into the story, but I instantly connected with Cate (being the eldest sibling). Not to mention the many plot twists. If you thought the prophecy was pretty freaky stuff, wait until you get to the incident with Brother Ishida. Seriously, I thought only one of them had mind-magic!
The story is very balanced and, while not uplifting and all peachy, it is refreshingly pleasant to view the world from Cate's stubborn, honest and blunt point of view. From her love for her sisters to her love of Finn; she is every bit as average as you would expect, but exceedingly special because of the lengths she's willing to go to protect her friends and family.
That isn't to say she's without her faults. There really is no need to hide things from her sisters in the first place. The only reason Elena is able to split her and Maura is because she is cleverer in how she deals with the most troublesome sister.
I also believe it's fairly improbable for so many witches to be in one little town outside of New London. But it sort of reminds me of Buffy
in that it's like the prophecies attract the trouble and the magic. I think it's the same with these three Cahill sisters.
It's also great to see characters, in a teen novel, that are not "white", but regarded fairly normally, like the Ishidas.
I hope to read the other girls' perspectives in the rest of the series. :D