Cate and her two younger sisters have grown up having to hide the fact that they can do magic. Living in New England, where women suspected of being witches are arrested and sent away on a constant basis, their livelihood and safety depend on them keeping what they are a secret.
I need the next book. Now. The way this one ended leaves the story at such a pivotal moment that I’m glad it took me this long to get to it so that the second book, Star Cursed, is already released and the third one is about to be later this month. I loved Spotswood’s take on a historical fiction with witches set in the same region as Salem, although the book never mentions it specifically.
The sisterly dynamics between Cate, Maura and Tess felt very real and organic. The characteristics and motivations with the sisters seemed to fit their birth order appropriately, and it worked really well with the story. It wasn’t overly stereotypical of what the “youngest one” or the “middle child” would be like, but there were aspects to the girls that really worked to highlight them as strong individuals. While the book did have a love triangle, a trope that’s often seen in young adult novels, I was still completely pulled into it and rooting for one guy over the other. I think with some other certain well-known novels of recent past, it’s given love triangles a bad rap and a lot of readers might dismiss any story with that. I’m of the opinion that if it’s well written and works with the story, then why not.
I also liked Spotswood’s exploration into the role and expectation of women, especially in that time period. Cate is forced to come face to face with some difficult choices, very quickly, that will affect not only her own life but also of those all around her. She finds herself assessing her life’s decisions about what she feels is her duty versus what she actually wants. I did find Cate, for a protagonist, to be not as strong as the other characters at times. I found her sisters and even supporting cast to be stronger and thought Cate a bit flaky sometimes. That being said, Born Wicked is a great set-up to a larger story and series. This book is perfect for fans of historical fiction and stories about witches and magic.
As a side note, while I pictured the most current cover of the book in this review, I have to say, I’m partial to the original cover more!
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ (4 /5 stars)
Available: February 7, 2012
Goodreads | Book Depository | Chapters Indigo
Read as part of Brunch Book Club with Lost in a Great Book.
Wrap up discussion to follow in the coming week.