Published by Bloomsbury Children’s
4.5 out of 5 Stars
Format: Kindle (also available in paperback here)
Following my success with witches in the Winter Trilogy, I braved another witch based book. I’m so glad I did.
Burn Mark is set in modern day London, with one big exception. Witches are very real, and live among us. They have been instrumental in every major even as far back as history records go, from the wars to the plague, sometimes not on the side of ‘good’. There are a multitude of organisations set to control the witches and where those gifted with the ‘fae’ (powers) can work, or if they so choose they can be brindled/bound with iron cuffs which stops their powers working. But witches slip through the net, a terrorist group, Endor have been all but eliminated now, but for year causes panic in London streets. Witch Burning is a punishment saved for the worst of the worst, child murderers and the like, but they still happen and when they do, they are public events.
The book revolves around two teens who come in to their fae on the same day (although they don’t know it) and who are both incredibly powerful. First is Glory, or Gloriana, who, quite brilliantly, is a complete chav (for those US readers who don’t know what a chav is – think white trash with gold hoop earrings and foul mouths!), she’s a coven witch, and her covens one of the worst, think mob or cray brothers. Glory’s illegal and hidden from the inquisition, and from her fellow coven members, for fear that if they find out how strong she is, they’ll use her for their bidding. Then their’s Lucas, son of the very top inquisitor, from a long line of pure bloods, no witch or fae traces as far back as they can see, yet his powers appear. He struggles with who he is, what this means for his future, his fathers future (he can’t keep working at the inquisition now, none with witch family members can) and controlling his fae.
Lucas and Glory and slung together in a tale of undercover mastery, deception and a few near misses.
I loved the book. Glory was a brilliant lead character, her chavtastic essence was pure brilliance, and such a lovely balance to Lucas’ stuffiness. Lucas was good to read too, its nice to read a book where the teens trust their parents enough to tell them whats going on, rather than trying to hide or handle it themselves. Lucas and Glory’s relationship was a refreshing change. Powell hasn’t tried to push them together and build a love triangle or forbidden relationship around them, she’s kept the story about friendship and looking past the exterior to learn to trust someone completely different (yet strangely similar at the core) to you.
There were few faults with the book, the story rocked on quickly, was suitably dark and twisted in places, but fun and light in others, the characters were well written and even the supporting cast were deep and powerful. The only one I disliked was Glory’s father, who one minute is saving her from bad dreams and the next is a complete waste of space who plays computer games all day, whilst this is explained a little, its still a bit of a contrast. The only real gripe I had was some of the scene setting, it felt a little like ‘oh I’d better explain this here’ and then we’d get a completely unrelated paragraph about a building before we could get back to the story, which made it seem a little disjointed. However this scene building was really contained in the first half and didn’t affect the overall experience too much.
In summary, a good fun read with a new take on witches and a world where they are part of the scenery was brilliant to break into. I’ve already started on book 2!