Born Wicked by Jessica Spotswood
I cannot express how much I adored reading this book. I want to glue Cate and Finn’s hands together so they can never be apart. I want to tear the Brotherhood apart and save all the girls they’ve hurt.
And I want the sequel NOW.
Jessica Spotswood written The Book–as in The Book I Didn’t Know I’d Been Waiting to Read. The one I stayed up all night to finish and the one that made me want to start back on page one the moment I hit the end. It was that good.
The world she’s but diverges from our own only a little. Witches used to exist freely in society, in fact they basically had control over everything. People loved the witches, respected the Daughters of Persephone–until they found out about mind magic. That’s when the burnings and witch hunts started. But 120 years later, the hunts still haven’t stopped. Girls are being sent to labor ships and the Harwood mental asylum without a trial–though having one wouldn’t help them.
The Brotherhood lives in fear of witches rising up and overthrowing them. Brainwashed by the Brothers’ prurient preaching, society lives in fear too–both of the Brothers and of witches.
The Cahill girls are hiding in plain sight. Cate, Maura, and Tess are all witches. Their father’s taken a back seat in the parenting department, spending more and more time traveling for business and heaping more responsibility on Cate. The problem is Cate’s turning seventeen soon. And at seventeen you either get married or join the Sisterhood–the female annex of the Brothers.
Hiding her magic in the Sisterhood is not an option for Cate. She has to stay to protect her sisters from the Brother’s spying. But she’s running out of time to find a husband, and the fact the Cahill girls have lived reclusively since their mother’s death isn’t helping.
The cast of characters Spotswood created would be enough to carry the story even if the plot was horrible. But the fact is, the plot is fantastic. It’s gripping, with really great plot twists, and it helps develop not only the world but the characters in the book. Spotswood uses the conventions of a Regency style world to build a deceptive and dangerous society.
Cate is used to shouldering all the responsibility, and she resents anyone who tries to take over running their lives. She’s used to taking things at face value, but as Cate and her sisters begin to see things for what they really are, the girls realize danger comes in many forms.
The romance is definitely one of my favorite parts, but even more because it shows the characters at their worst and their best. It helps move the plot along and encourages Cate to develop into a woman independent of her sisters. Finn is basically a super attractive nerd who both runs a bookshop and gardens–in my opinion it doesn’t get sexier than that!
Go get your hands on a copy of Born Wicked, the first in the Cahill Chronicles by Jessica Spotswood. I can’t wait to get my hands on book two. (An excitement I promise you will share once you’ve devoured it yourself!)
Have you read it? Want to? We’d love for you to leave a comment!