Review: Born Wicked by Jessica Spotswood

The Cahill Witch Chronicles: Book 1

Born Wicked by Jessica Spotswood

Title: Born Wicked (The Cahill Witch Chronicles: Book 1)
Author: Jessica Spotswood
Genre:  Paranormal Romance, Young Adult
Publisher:  Putnam (7th February 2012)

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 could mean an asylum, a prison ship – or an early grave.

Before her mother died, Cate promised to protect her sisters. But with six months 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.

Rating: ****
(4 stars)

Born Wicked is the first book in Jessica Spotswood’s The Cahill Witch Chronicles. In this book we get to meet Cate and her sisters Maura and Tess, and watch their struggle to fit in.

First I just wanted to say that I really love the cover of this book. It is, in part, why I decided to give this series a go. The blurb cemented my desire, but the cover definitely helped.

Cate is a really interesting main character. She desperately wants to protect her sisters, as she promised her mother. It isn’t an easy role for her, and it is clear that she has sacrificed a lot to protect them – she is not the same Cate she was before her mother died. Yet, despite Cate’s best efforts things are changing in the Cahill household.

The world of The Cahill Witch Chronicles is an interesting one. The book is set in an alternative history, where an organization called The Brotherhood – made up entirely of men – rules. Any woman who is different is considered dangerous by them. Being different can cost a woman her life. There is a definite vibe of witch-hunting and puritanical Christianity to this world. It is very difficult to tell who to trust.

The plot of the novel seems pretty simple to begin with, but there are a lot of twists and turns on the way: the story turns out to be very complicated. Cate doesn’t know who to trust, who she can turn to. She is alone in a shark infested ocean, and her sisters are drifting further away from her and she can do nothing about it.

This is definitely a book to give a try if you like paranormal romances and alternative histories. It tweaked at my emotions and I found myself desperately wishing for Cate to find a way through the maze, so she could protect herself and her sisters. I am really looking forward to reading the next book in this series, which I don’t think is published until 2013.

2 thoughts on “Review: Born Wicked by Jessica Spotswood

  1. I had dismissed this book when it was released because it had witches in it and I don’t usually read books about witches. But you actually make it sound very interesting ! I’ll have to check it out.


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