Born Wicked

Born Wicked by Jessica Spotswood

Scheduled Release: Feb. 2012

Growing up female in a patriarchal society that views women as little more than decorative objects is never easy, especially for a trio of smart, intrepid sisters. Growing up a witch in a society governed by religious zealots that view magical ability as an evil sign of female wickedness can prove even harder. Left in the care of their distant father after their mother’s untimely death, Cate, Maura, and Tess bear the truth of their magical heritage, keeping it secret for fear of retribution from the Brotherhood that rules the country. Unsure where to seek advice, the Cahill sisters fight to stay strong as they learn to wield their powers without guidance, but these girls are part of a greater truth that threatens to destroy them all…

Born Wicked was not at all what I expected after reading the blurb on the back cover… it was so much better! Cate, Maura, and Tess are distinctive, well-developed characters that I instantly wanted to know more about. Cate narrates the trial of being an older sister to a pair of girls growing to fast and powerful for their own good. Always the voice of reason, Cate is a classic older sister as she tries to make the best of a complicated situation while keeping her sisters safe and deflecting the attention of their neighbors and the Brothers.

The plot is tightly woven and suspenseful. This was definitely one of those books I couldn’t put down! I just wanted to know what would happen… Would the girls be discovered? Would they suffer the fate of the other girls branded as witches by the Brotherhood? So many twists to keep me guessing. The history of the Daughters of Persephone–the matriarchal order of witches that ended when the Brothers waged war against witchery–was equally fascinating and lent the story a sense of time and place. I really look forward to following this series.

A great read for anyone interested in mystery, alternate history, and realistic magic (think Charmed).

I received my copy of Born Wicked through the LibraryThing Early Reviewers program.

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