Witchstruck by Victoria Lamb

18159518Title: Witchstruck (The Tudor Witch Trilogy #1)
Author: Victoria Lamb
Publisher: Harlequin TEEN
Format: Electronic ARC
Source: From Publisher, For Review (via NetGalley)
Overall: 3.5/5

Meg Lytton has always known of her dark and powerful gift. Raised a student of the old magick by her Aunt Jane, casting the circle to see visions of the future and concocting spells from herbs and bones has always been as natural to Meg as breathing. But there has never been a more dangerous time to practise the craft, for it is 1554, and the sentence for any woman branded a witch is hanging, or burning at the stake.

Sent to the ruined, isolated palace of Woodstock to serve the disgraced Elizabeth, daughter of Henry VIII and half-sister of Queen Mary, Meg discovers her skills are of interest to the outcast princess, who is desperate to know if she will ever claim the throne. But Meg’s existence becomes more dangerous every day, with the constant threat of exposure by the ruthless witchfinder Marcus Dent, and the arrival of a young Spanish priest, Alejandro de Castillo, to whom Meg is irresistibly drawn – despite their very different attitudes to her secret.

Thrilling and fast-paced, this is the first unputdownable story in a bewitching new series.

My Review:

1554 is not a good time to be a witch, to believe in witchcraft, or to participate in any for of witchcraft or heretics. Not if you want to stay away from the Trials that follow the discovery of a woman participating in magic. Just ask Meg Lytton, the maid and companion of the disgraced Princess Elizabeth, half-sister to the current Queen of England. Meg is a novice witch, having been instructed and taught by her Aunt Jane, a powerful Tudor witch, during her years with her family in Lyntton Park. Elizabeth shows strong interest in Meg and her Aunt, for she concerns herself greatly with the opportunity of one day becoming Queen of England and the upcoming nuptials of her half-sister to the Prince of Spain, which would make England wholely Catholic.

The Queen’s inability to trust her sister brings the arrival of a group of Spanish priests, who are to ensure that Elizabeth does not stray from the Catholic religion that her older sister has already accepted. Alejandro de Castillo is a soon-to-be priest, to be ordained as they return to Spain the year after. One irresponsible decision casts doubts on Meg and lists her as a possible witch. To top that off, she is seen as a possible aid to a developing rebellion due to Elizabeth’s attachment to her. With both witchfinders and rebels surrounding her, Meg will have to somehow protect not only her own life and her magic, but the lives of those close to her heart as well.

Witchstruck begins right away with a witchcraft scene. And it was really cool to be able to imagine the dangers of witchcraft and heretics in the 1500s. I fell in love with Lamb’s characters almost as soon as they were introduced. Meg is a strong heroine. She is brave and loyal, though a bit overly-trusting considering her being a novice witch. That being said, she is still a teenager, and it shows. Meg is often unsure of herself and her capabilities, unable to believe just how powerful she is able to become. She is undecided on the nature of her skills, should they be a gift from God or from the devil himself. I really enjoyed Alejandro’s character. A young Spanish priest (well, soon-to-be), he should be the one leading the trials on his own. But he sees the good in Meg, sees the good in what she uses her capabilities for and makes it his own personal mission to protect her in as many ways as possible. I even enjoyed Elizabeth’s character. While she does seem power-hungry and bitter, it is definitely understandable why she is that way. She is still willing to protect Meg in whatever ways she can, and for that I can’t really fault her. The minor characters are great. I really enjoyed their contributions to Meg’s story.

Meg’s story is very fast-paced, and it gives its readers a very realistic glance as to what life would have been like during the Tudor times for any women accused of witchcraft. I really enjoyed reading about her perspective, and for once I’m glad that the romance didn’t take away or overpower the real story. Alejandro and Meg’s story is slow but clear, and I’m quite excited to see how it continues after. My only complaint is that I would have liked to see more witchcraft, rather than just the many consequences of it. I would also have liked for Lamb to put more information into the growing rebellion and Meg’s family members.

Victoria Lamb has created a good story in Witchstruck. Her characters are extremely likable and her writing style is really good considering that this story is set in the 1500s. It was easy for me as a reader to really dive into the times and the characteristics of the Tudor times, and it was really interesting to see the outlook that everyday people during the 1500s had in regards to politics, religion, and witchcraft. I will definitely be checking out the following book in this series. For readers of YA paranormal and historical fiction, Witchstruck is definitely a worthy read.

moonlight3.5

An Enjoyable Read, Well Written!

**Please Note: This review is my honest opinion and I received no monetary compensation from it.**

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