Author: Ruth Warburton
Series: Stand Alone
Published By: Hodder Children's Books (January 2, 2014)
Source: ARC Copy Provided by the Publisher (in exchange for an honest review)
Genre: YA Fantasy/Paranormal
My Rating: 3.5 Stars!
London. 1880. In the slums of Spitalfields apprentice blacksmith Luke is facing initiation into the Malleus Maleficorum, the fearsome brotherhood dedicated to hunting and killing witches.
Luke’s final test is to pick a name at random from the Book of Witches, a name he must track down and kill within a month, or face death himself. Luke knows that tonight will change his life forever. But when he picks out sixteen-year-old Rosa Greenwood, Luke has no idea that his task will be harder than he could ever imagine.
Stories about witches have always been my most favorite. My first foray into the world of paranormal and will always hold a special place in my heart. Who wouldn't want to be magical? To conjure something up with the snap of a finger or in the blink of an eye or the wave of a wand?
It just so happens, a good rich historical setting is also one of my most favorite things to read but also sadly one that is seriously neglected. It is so hard to find a good young adult read set in historical times, let alone a paranormal one. To find one that combines the two, is always a treat and one I will undoubtedly pick up. One set in London? Even better.
Despite all my knowledge of how women were treated and how hard life was for anyone without money or means, I still find this era in our history one that is fascinating and somewhat magical. With all the glorious dresses and balls, tea times and strolls through the gardens, it is hard not to fall in love with it all.
I loved that not only did this have that historic detail that I really do crave from time to time but it also had that paranormal aspect to keep it interesting and exciting too.
While this read didn't completely blow me away it did hold my attention and left me wanting to turn the pages to the very end. Luke and Rosa couldn't be more different or more the same if they tried. Two people from entirely different backgrounds, upbringing and social class, not to mention the element of magic they each possess. Yet these two people are both alone, both afraid and come together to save one another when they should be sworn enemies, I couldn't help but like them both.
My only regret with the story was the ending. I just wish it would have had a little more umph, a little more story to tell. I have no idea if there will be a sequel, I looked but didn't see anything about one but I can only hope that there will be. I think there is more story to tell, more struggles to overcome and more romance that can blossom.
Overall this was a fun read that truly helped get me out of a reading funk and leave me wanting to read more historic paranormal in the future because I really do enjoy them. I do have to warm you though, there are some harder to read moments in this that involve cruelty of animals and while not too graphic were still very difficult for someone like me that loves animals.
*All thoughts and opinions are my own and were not influenced by the author or publisher. I was not compensated for this review.*