To Read or Not to Read?

Witch Finder by Ruth Warburton

Note: I received a free copy of “Witch Finder” by Ruth Warburton from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

I loved the idea of “Witch Finder” the instant I read the description for it. I think my top two favorite genres are fantasy and historical so a story about witches and witch hunters in 1880 sounded perfect for me. The premise is that in London 1880 there is a brotherhood who dedicates themselves to hunting and killing witches, thinking they are all evil.

Luke is on his way to joining the brotherhood but has to complete one final task: killing his first witch, a witch whose name he picked from a random list the men had compiled. His victim is sixteen year old Rosa Greenwood who is not only a powerful witch in her own right but her family is linked to an even more powerful witch named Sebastian.

Even from that brief description it’s kind of easy to imagine where this story is going to go (a strong young man is assigned to kill an even younger girl so of course something romantic is bound to happen) but what’s interesting is to see how the romance unfolds. Especially when Luke, within the first few pages, is given the ultimatum that he either has to kill Rosa or be killed himself. The reader (at least I did!) really wanted to know if and how the characters survived.

The book switched back and forth between Luke and Rosa’s point of view and I’m glad that it did. What with everything going on around both characters, both are kind of being forced into doing things they don’t want to do in order to honor their families wishes or memories, it was nice to actually get into their heads to see what they are thinking. That made it a little bit easier to handle the bad things the characters did because the reader knew how horrible and human their musings were before they did them.

I really don’t think this is much of a spoiler to say because I think the book description made the romance inevitable but don’t read farther if you don’t want to know. My biggest gripe with this story is that Luke’s change of heart seems to happen pretty fast. I know he only spent time around Rosa for a month but it seemed like one day he was flinching away when she got near and the next day he was hoping he’d get just another chance to touch her skin. My only guess is that he saw how she was treated by her family and that humanized her but I don’t recall him thinking much about how and why those feelings changed beyond him wondering if it was just because she was a pretty girl.

But other than that I thought the characters were very well done, the plot was very interesting and I can’t wait to find out what happens in the next installment!

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