Born Wicked - Jessica Spotswood

Release Date: Released in Australia on 25th January 2012. Goodreads states the release date is February 7th 2012 however.

Synopsis: Everybody knows Cate Cahill and her sisters are eccentric. Too pretty, too reclusive, and far too educated for their own good. But the truth is even worse: they’re witches. And if their secret is discovered by the priests of the Brotherhood, it would mean an asylum, a prison ship—or an early grave.

Before her mother died, Cate promised to protect her sisters. But with only six months left to choose between marriage and the Sisterhood, she might not be able to keep her word . . . especially after she finds her mother’s diary, uncovering a secret that could spell her family’s destruction. Desperate to find alternatives to their fate, Cate starts scouring banned books and questioning rebellious new friends, all while juggling tea parties, shocking marriage proposals, and a forbidden romance with the completely unsuitable Finn Belastra.

If what her mother wrote is true, the Cahill girls aren’t safe. Not from the Brotherhood, the Sisterhood—not even from each other.

Review: This book took me about 50 or so pages to really get into it, but once I did, this was a complete page turner of a book. I am not one that usually gets into historical fiction, however I am completely sold on this book!

Set somewhere around the 1890’s, in an alternate history in New England. Cate Cahill and her sisters Maura and Tess are witches living in a strict society run by “The Brotherhood”. The Brotherhood conduct themselves in a way similarly to how the Salem Witch Trials were conducted - innocent girls were accused of witchery over the smallest of things. Which makes it really all the harder for Cate and her sisters to blend in… because they really ARE witches.

By day, they do their best to fit in to society. Their mother (also a witch) died when the girls were younger, before the girls really had too much of an understanding about who they were or their family history. There is also a prophecy that will potentially change the sisters lives. Their father has no idea. Conflicted between wanting to develop their skills and the need to keep their gift a secret from everyone else, the girls spend most of their time secluded at their home.

The characters are so in depth and the sisters have completely different personalities. Cate is the sensible one. She stepped up when her mother died and really tries to protect her sisters at all costs. Maura is the bratty sister who by all accounts will go out of her way to cause trouble and rebel against everything Cate asks of her and Tess… Tess is adorable. The youngest sister who I think might be spotlighted in one of the upcoming books. She is a powerful witch but too young to realise her potential.

Under pressure from The Brotherhood, Cate has only a few months to make her intentions clear. Will she get married or will she join The Sisterhood?

Part of what makes this book so readable is the boys! What story isn’t complete without a love triangle? I completely loved that Jessica Spotswood put so much thought and detail into the relationships, because as a reader you can truly appreciate how conflicted Cate is. Should she just accept Paul’s marriage proposal and live the live of a proper wife? It would certainly keep the suspicions of the Brotherhood at bay. But does she really love him? She’s not sure. And then, there is Finn Belastra, the Cahill’s gardener… and proof that boys that read are sexy! Finn doesn’t have the money or the social status to be in a position to marry Cate, but their forbidden romance is what makes Cate undertsand what love really is about. She is officially torn.

The end of this book. OMG. Jessica Spotswood, that is completely unfair! The end.. I can’t spoil, but my jaw dropped. It was so sudden. It certainly has set the next book up to answer a lot of questions!

Rating: 5 out of 5


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