From Harlequin TEEN: Meg Lytton has always known she is different—that she bears a dark and powerful gift. But in 1554 England, in service at Woodstock Palace to the banished Tudor princess Elizabeth, it has never been more dangerous to practise witchcraft. Meg knows she must guard her secret carefully from the many suspicious eyes watching over the princess and her companions. One wrong move could mean her life, and the life of Elizabeth, rightful heir to the English throne.
With witchfinder Marcus Dent determined to have Meg’s hand in marriage, and Meg’s own family conspiring against the English queen, there isn’t a single person Meg can trust. Certainly not the enigmatic young Spanish priest Alejandro de Castillo, despite her undeniable feelings. But when all the world turns against her, Meg must open her heart to a dangerous choice.
Meg Lytton is lady-in-waiting to the imprisoned Lady Elizabeth Tudor at Woodstock Palace. She is also a witch. A witch whom the local witchfinder, Marcus Dent, has in his sights to marry. To make matter’s more complicated, Meg’s position in Elizabeth’s house is threatened by the arrival of Spanish priests, including the handsome novice priest Alejandro de Castillo, intent on reforming the young English heir. With her ladyship under the suspicion of treason, awaiting either release or death, Meg must tread a careful line between keeping her mistress safe and staying true to who (and what) she is.
I’ve always been fascinated/horrified by the history of witch hunts. There was so much needless death! It really gets my back up. I mean logic just went completely out the window! As much as this black mark in history infuriates me, it really does make a fascinating setting for a story. And when handled with the knowledge and imagination that Victoria Lamb displays in Witchstruck, it makes for one really engrossing read.
Lamb flawlessly blends the paranormal into real history, building on the superstitions of the time. I loved the “what if” quality to it; What if a real witches existed during the witch trials? How would they have navigated their way through a world hunting them? And that is exactly what Meg has to deal with.
Meg is an interesting heroine. She makes stupid mistakes, she’s naïve and proud… But she also takes chances, trusts and stays true to herself regardless of consequences. I loved being able to see Lady Elizabeth through her eyes. She provides a glimpse of what Elizabeth might have been like in her youth and shows her as an incredibly strong and persevering young woman.
Then there is the love interest, Alejandro. I can’t say I’ve ever read a book with a priest (excuse me, priest-in-training) as the love interest, and understandably so. But it works! He’s noble (in every sense of the word), mysterious, conflicted and, most of all, open-minded in a very closed-minded time.
Reading Witchstruck I learned a lot about the political and religious conflicts of the time, and a lot about the divided mindset of the English people.
I feel that this book provides quite a bit of opportunity for growth in the following sequels and I look forward to the direction the series is going to take. I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys historical YA, especially Tudor period novels and those with fantastical elements. Witchstruck is dark and delightfully bewitching.
♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ (4/5 hearts)
And because I couldn’t resist… Please enjoy:
Disclaimer: This book was provided by the publisher in exchange for my honest review. The opinions expressed in this review are my own.