[Click the cover below to check it out! If you don’t see a book cover below it’s probably ad-blocker settings]
[While this cover is also pretty, the original from a different production company is incredible. I’ll show it down below.]
“Alyce’s mother has just been burnt at the stake for practicing witchcraft. With only a thin set of instructions and a witch’s mommet for guidance, Alyce must face the world that she’s been sealed off from — a world of fear and superstition. With a witch hunter fast on her trail, she’ll need the help of an innkeeper and a boy looking to discover the truth behind his own mother’s past.
But as her journey continues, another war rages: a hidden war of the supernatural, of the living and the dead. Good and evil are blurred, and nobody’s motives can be trusted. And Alyce finds herself thrown unwillingly into the conflict. Struggling to understand her own powers, she is quickly drawn into a web of secret, lies, and dark magic that could change the fate of the world she is just coming to know.”
So first and foremost, I will admit – I bought the book for the cover. The subject matter being of interest was definitely an afterthought.
Here’s the cover I have that I bought it for:
Kinda hard to see the detail here, but the whole reason that I got it was because the cover is done by one of my favorite artists [that I’ve met in person multiple times!] – Erica Williams, These are the closeups to the art for the cover: WitchBorn. Please go and give her lots of money for her glorious talent.
Anyway, beautiful cover[s] aside, the bonus is that the content of said book is pretty neat. Essentially, the main character Alyce [what is it with me and reading books about girls named with interesting spelling interpretations of ‘Alice?’] who is orphaned after having to watch her mother be captured by witch hunters, and burned at the stake.
The witch hunters also don’t stop there, and continue to try and hunt her down no matter where she goes. All she has to go on is that she needs to meet up with the famous alchemist/occultist/Hermetic philosopher, John Dee. All the while we find out that Queen Elizabeth I and Queen Mary Stuart are both witch queens, at opposing sides, who also both know of, and want to capture, Alyce. She has no idea why so many [very important] people are after her, or why her mother insisted that she also go to very important people. All Alyce knows is survival, and unfortunately her age has left her inexperienced in how to use her powers and knowledge.
She ends up being captured and almost dying a lot, including being shoved into a mental asylum for awhile. However, along the way she does meet many people who are kind/willing to help her, including a boy named Solomon, who is the son of a witch himself.
The premise and concepts going on in the book were all pretty cool. A lot of them are based on real historical rumors of witchcraft and the occult surrounding the monarchies at the time [and there’s still rumors like that even today~] and what was used for royalty to stay in power, especially powerful queen in a time when a lone queen had to overcompensate to get anyone to take them seriously.
That being said, the execution, at least to me, falls a wee bit flat. It may be because it’s YA, and is fairly simply written and goes by quickly. After I finished the book, I was left kind of wanting the same concept of the story to be written in more of an ‘adult’ formatting with more detail and ‘meat’ on the skeleton of the story.
Despite it is a fairly simple read, it personally took me awhile to get through, however, because I got my wisdom teeth removed through my read time of it, and I was wayyy too high on pain meds for weeks to process what I was reading and had to stop to come back to it lol.
The book is fine, it’s definitely entertaining and kept my attention, I just definitely wish there was more to it.
I give Witch Born 4/5 white-eyed ravens
“Witches.” She muttered again under her breath. “It’s all just a lot of folk with no manners, poking their noses into women’s business. They don’t understand what we do, or they think we’re different, and they don’t like it, so they call us ‘Witches.’ They don’t like that I know something that they don’t. So it must be black magic, and I must be learning from Satan Himself.” She spat. “Witches. And all over England women getting killed. Just cos they know things.”