Witchborn by Nicholas Bowling

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Witchborn by Nicholas Bowling

Category: Teens
Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: Olivia Tierney
Reviewed by Olivia Tierney
Summary: A gripping debut, lacing magic and history together with an unexpected but wicked undercurrent of darkness. Witchborn is a story of powerful witches as well as deadly magic and is without a doubt a really highly entertaining fun read.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 368 Date: November 2017
Publisher: Chicken House
ISBN: 978-1911077251

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There are yet more unholy discoveries within, too foul for your eyes to look upon

Enter the Elizabethan world of 1577. A world of intrigue, terror and suspicion. A world of witchcraft and witch-hunting.

Alyce is a young girl forced to flee from her home after the devastating death of her Mother, the only person she had ever loved. Tried and deemed a witch, her Mother was sentenced to being burnt at the stake by the notorious witchfinder John Hopkins who seems hell-bent on finding Alyce.

Haunted by the past she can't leave behind, Alyce escapes to London but she's not alone. Endangered and being followed, Alyce is determined to keep her freedom, but as Alyce discovers her own dark magic she will find that she is more dangerous than she ever thought possible.

And Alyce, although she doesn't yet realise it, is caught between two strong and powerful Queens, one desperate to steal the throne and the other determined to keep it…

Witchborn surprised me. I knew I was going to enjoy it; I was really excited to read a book with elements of sorcery and witchcraft neatly blended into Elizabethan history. But I didn't think I'd enjoy it quite as much as I did. It caught me off guard in the best way possible.

The narrator, Alyce, is brilliant and I couldn't help but love her more as the book went on. She was a great role model: witty, intelligent, determined and brave but not perfect. Both her character and that of Solomon was very impressive and they were really well developed. Solomon was her sort of but not always her partner in crime and he was exceptionally funny as well as endearing; he's constantly saving Alyce's life and for that I like him even more. Bowling's writing is bewitching. His focus on the characters is refreshing and their introduction and subsequent nestling in readers' hearts is masterful. The plot was great too and the pacing was just right. There are tons of suspicion and intrigue throughout the story, and readers will find themselves waiting impatiently for Bowling to reveal the book's secrets and connect the mysteries together.

I would have loved a bit more world building and at times the story was quite predictable but that didn't stop me really enjoyed Bowling's debut novel.

Wonderfully character driven and entertaining, Witchborn is a fantastic debut that will surprise and delightful. With a haunting spookiness, Bowling's debut is one of THE books to curl up with, this coming season!

Many thanks to the publishers for providing a copy for review!

In terms of further reading, The Red Necklace by Sally Gardner is superb (it's one of my all time favourites and I never get tired of reading it). It is the perfect read after Witchborn; it's a story full of dark sorcery and wickedness set against the backdrop of the French Revolution. It is really is a beautiful book and definitely the book to read next.

Buy Witchborn by Nicholas Bowling at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Witchborn by Nicholas Bowling at Amazon.co.uk.


Buy Witchborn by Nicholas Bowling at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Witchborn by Nicholas Bowling at Amazon.com.


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