A Witch in Love (Winter Trilogy) by Ruth Warburton
Published by Hodder Children’s Books
4 out of 5 Stars
Format: Kindle (also available in print here)
If any of you’ve read my review of A Witch in winter you’ll know I loved it, despite disliking witchy stories, AWIW really gripped me and I couldn’t sing its praises enough. A Witch in Love is the sequel and has a lot to live up to!
***A Witch in Love is book 2 in the sequence – don’t read on if you’ve not read book 1 – you may find spoilers***
AWIL picks up 6 months after the showdown at the end of AWIW, it’s been quiet since the fight and things have settled into a rhythm, Seth and Anna are still together and about to celebrate Christmas. Although Anna loves Seth she still wonders if her spell makes him love her, or if he really does. But she’s burying those feelings and trying to keep moving on, but to do so she is fulfilling the promise she’s made to herself, not to use magic AT ALL. This of course is not working and to quote Emmaline ‘she incontinent’ – she holds it in so much her magic bursts out when she’s not concentrating, resulting in girls hair catching fire, snow in restaurants and two would-be muggers being blasted and knocked out.
But it’s not until a trip to London that things start to change, Anna starts to follow her questions about her mother and finds some surprising information that shatters everything. But along side this hunt for the truth, there are darker forces at work, strange graffiti starts appearing and the logo belongs to an ancient anti-witch organisation, and they know what Anna did to Seth and what else she’s been up to, and they want to stop her.
The magic (no pun intended) from the first book is a little slower to appear here, it does arrive and with a bang, but really the book is ALL about the last quarter. I understand that Warburton needed to build the suspect up, but whereas the showdown in book 1 was the let down of the book, the finale is the best bit of book 2, its hard hitting, horrifying and in all honesty probably a little brutal to be in a teen book, but that’s what makes it good. Having said that I read the full book in one sitting (my new years day gone!) and I was thoroughly engrossed, it’s nice to have a bit more information on Anna’s mother, and to understand her Dad better (he’s an awesome dad btw – we all should have one like that!), and Emmaline and her family feature less, which isn’t a bad thing, they are just not pivotal to the plot this time – which makes room for more Anna and Seth and the endless confusion that is their relationship. Their dynamic is what makes the series, and it shows no signs of letting up any time soon, how can Anna trust Seth’s feelings when she created them in the first place? The resulting emotions and events are great to read, if not great for the characters, and add depth to an already complicated relationship. But that’s also where I found a negative for this book, and the 4 stars not 5, there is a big push on the whole sex issue. Seth wants it, Anna doesn’t because she’s still caught up in the does-he-doesn’t-he thing (understandably) but it’s brought up, alot. I get the feeling that Warburton is pushing no-sex-before-marriage theme (ala twilight) , but what I loved about book 1 was the fact that she talked about all things teen, and this time the book seems a little more cautionary. It’s not enough to make me dislike the book, and A Witch Alone is most defiantly on my soon-to-read list but I hope that the moral lessons are a little less at the forefront.
Overall a stonking good read, with much of the greatness from book one, yet taking its own path (I love that Warburton brought in a different bad guy, rather than a running theme) there is a great scene set for book 3, and still so many questions…..
just got a nice tweet back from Ruth re:sex and marriage. I can presume that it’s just my interpretation then, and not her intention! Still a damn good book.