Virginia Boecker’s The Witch Hunter should definitely be on your YA wish list

Virginia Boecker’s The Witch Hunter should definitely be on your YA wish list

I haven’t seen much publicity for The Witch Hunter, but this is certainly one book that should be on your radar.  It is probably going to be overwhelmed by the biggest book publishing on the same day, Daughter of Deep Silence by veteran zombie queen, Carrie Ryan.  I got a chance to read both of them early, and I honestly believe that The Witch Hunter will be more of a crowd pleaser (at least among my crowd of people).  Elizabeth Grey is a strong female protagonist who enjoys her role as a witch hunter for the King until the tables are turned and she must seek the protection of those she once helped capture.  Readers who like to root for the underdog will enjoy this adventure, and the universal conflicts at the core of Elizabeth’s character add a nice depth.   *apparently Daughter of Deep Silence published a week earlier than expected, so no conflict (May 26).

Goodreads Summary

Your greatest enemy isn’t what you fight, but what you fear.

Elizabeth Grey is one of the king’s best witch hunters, devoted to rooting out witchcraft and doling out justice. But when she’s accused of being a witch herself, Elizabeth is arrested and sentenced to burn at the stake.

Salvation comes from a man she thought was her enemy. Nicholas Perevil, the most powerful and dangerous wizard in the kingdom, offers her a deal: he will save her from execution if she can break the deadly curse that’s been laid upon him.

But Nicholas and his followers know nothing of Elizabeth’s witch hunting past–if they find out, the stake will be the least of her worries. And as she’s thrust into the magical world of witches, ghosts, pirates, and one all-too-handsome healer, Elizabeth is forced to redefine her ideas of right and wrong, of friends and enemies, and of love and hate.

Virginia Boecker weaves a riveting tale of magic, betrayal, and sacrifice in this unforgettable fantasy debut.

My Thoughts

Elizabeth may be one of my favorite female characters ever.  Initially I thought her belief system ruled her actions, but as the story progressed, it became clear that her loyalty and inner conflict are truly ruled by the universal desire to belong.  This made her vulnerable in ways she never could have predicted, and that is what made her feel so real.  The cast of secondary characters was just as carefully crafted, and they were a delightful mix of good and bad, you know, like real people who are driven by both desire and fear.  The plot was just as well done as the characters.  It moved along at a fairly consistent clip and, when things did slow down to develop characters, those moments still felt essential to the overall story instead of feeling like embellishment.  There was a little romance with a nice conflict built into it, but it wasn’t the focus on the story. Overall, this is a carefully crafted and well edited book that I didn’t want to put down.  I gave it a solid four stars, but many readers will consider this a solid five star read.

This book is available in the MHS library.

I received an ARC from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.


About queenbook

When the final bell rings, I stash those messy piles of essays and analysis assignments in a desk drawer and I head home to a pile of good books. My kids and dog eat too many chicken nuggets and the house could be neater, but as long as I get my daily read, I guess we are doing all right. When I was twelve and fifteen and eighteen and twenty, I believed I needed to get out there and do those things I had just been reading about, which ended in disaster, tears, a tattoo that scares me every time I catch a glimpse of it in the mirror, and the realization that some of us are meant for action, and some of us are meant to critique the pace of action in a book. I read primarily YA fiction as I have a rather hulking classroom library and a hundred high school readers to engage daily. Nothing makes me happier than coming to school and finding an impatient teenager waiting by my door to turn in a book and get another one just like it. I adore a good zombie, a medieval princess, or girl assassin (I would like them all in one book if you are a writer looking for some inspiration). I add historical mystery to my wish list a year in advance, and you should get out of my way when the next Outlander book comes out. I have an embarrassing fondness for rock star books, but only if they don’t get too trashy and embarrass me. My favorite book of all time is The Blue Castle by L.M. Montgomery. My book boyfriends include Gilbert Blythe, Alonzo Wilder, and Jamie Fraser. They are mine and you can’t have them.

One response »

  1. Pingback: If you enjoyed Virginia Boecker’s The Witch Hunter, definitely check out the sequel, The King Slayer  | Handheld Dream

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