J for Jessica Spotswood – Born Wicked (book review) – eccentric sisters, witches in hiding

hardback book cover of Born WIcked by Jessica Spotswood published by PutnamDon’t talk about the girls who disappeared,
Pray that the Brotherhood will approve your choice of husband,
Hide any hint of difference or intuition or possible magic skill,
Witches persecuted in New England… how 19th century?

A new alternate history, where New England is the ultra-religious patriarchy and the Middle East is the home of freedom.

The next book in the Cahill Witch Chronicles, Star Cursed,  will be published in June 2013, so grab Born Wicked  now at your  local library  or independent bookstore – and if you buy your copy from Jessica’s favorite indie bookstore, One More Page Books,  she’ll autograph it, too!

Oh, In case you wondered, clicking any link in BooksYALove posts won’t benefit me in any way, shape, or form, just like my Policies page states.

Is Cate right to keep secrets if the truth will put her family in grave danger?

Book info: Born Wicked (Cahill Witch Chronicles, Book 1) / Jessica Spotswood. Putnam, hardcover 2012; Speak, paperback 2013.  [author site]  [publisher site]  [book trailer]

My recommendation: Magic only in the rose garden, avoid attracting the Brotherhood’s attention, watch over one another – that’s what Mother told Cate before she died. How can a sixteen-year-old keep her younger sisters from spellcasting in this land where suspected witches are sent to Harwood Prison?

Oh, to live in Dubai where women have freedom, can learn more than reading and simple sums, where they can use their magic gifts if they choose! Here in New England, the Brothers preach that magic is “devil-sent” and the Brotherhood Council runs absolutely everything.

Keeping to themselves except to attend Services and piano lessons hasn’t stopped gossip about the Cahill sisters, as Cate had hoped. Now Father has hired a governess for them! Worse yet, she’s from the Sisterhood, where women must go if they do not marry by 18. She will polish their manners and perhaps help them repair their social standing in their small town.

Cate’s own intention ceremony is in just six months, when she’ll announce who she intends to marry – probably Paul, her lifelong friend who’ll return from university soon. But she’s becoming fond of Finn, the bookstore owner’s son who’s had to take on other work as the Brotherhood drives off their customers.

Social calls among Brotherhood wives bring out new information about old situations, and the most influential daughters decide that Cate is worth spending time with after all, to her chagrin. A letter from “Z.R.” tells Cate to search for her mother’s diary and find answers there.

Who is Z.R. and why did she wait so long to contact them?
Is there truly a prophecy about three sisters like Cate, Maura, and Tess?
Will Cate’s intention ceremony begin a life of contentment or close the door on happiness?

This first book in the Cahill Witch Chronicles introduces an alternate world where New England is a place of religious oppression, where truth can be more dangerous than lies, and where Cate must decide how much she’ll sacrifice to protect her sisters from the Brotherhood’s menace.  (One of 6,000 books recommended on www.abookandahug.com) Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.

2 thoughts on “J for Jessica Spotswood – Born Wicked (book review) – eccentric sisters, witches in hiding

    • Thanks for visiting, Stephanie! A-to-Z can be challenging, but certainly clears out my To-Be-Reviewed shelves.
      I really love alternate history, and this one has a nifty twist.
      Don’t you love hearing authors in person?

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