Monday, October 28, 2013
Book Review: Born Wicked
Author: Jessica Spotswood
Everybody knows Cate Cahill and her sisters are eccentric. Too pretty, too reclusive, and far too educated for their own good. But the truth is even worse: they’re witches. And if their secret is discovered by the priests of the Brotherhood, it would mean an asylum, a prison ship—or an early grave.
Before her mother died, Cate promised to protect her sisters. But with only six months left to choose between marriage and the Sisterhood, she might not be able to keep her word... especially after she finds her mother’s diary, uncovering a secret that could spell her family’s destruction. Desperate to find alternatives to their fate, Cate starts scouring banned books and questioning rebellious new friends, all while juggling tea parties, shocking marriage proposals, and a forbidden romance with the completely unsuitable Finn Belastra.
If what her mother wrote is true, the Cahill girls aren’t safe. Not from the Brotherhood, the Sisterhood—not even from each other.
I kept seeing this book around all over last year, and I always wanted to read it but then would forget about it. This year, when I was looking through my journal of books I want to read, I saw this one again and it reminded me. I am so happy to have rescued this from my TBR list! I really enjoyed it, so much more than I had imagined I would.
In this world that Spotswood has created, all women are suspect. They are watched closely for signs of witchery, and taught about the evils of witchcraft. In this world, women can easily be witches, and witches need to be dealt with. Or so the Brotherhood wants everyone to believe. The prejudice of this world that Spotswood has imagined is very frightening, and makes the reader think, could this have become our reality, if history had been different?
Unfortunately for Cate, she and her two sisters really are witches, and their mother is dead. Cate is the oldest, and takes her job as protector of her two younger sisters extremely seriously. Her biggest fear is that they will be discovered as witches, and sent to the asylum, a prison ship, or even be killed. She feels that the best way to keep them all safe is to keep her sisters and herself home as much as possible, without too much outside interference. But the rules of her time dictate certain proprieties be observed. Their father hires a woman from the Sisterhood to become their governess - and Cate also has just a few weeks until she must declare whom she is marrying, or if she is joining the Sisterhood as well. Cate feels that this would be a disaster, for how would she hide her magic, especially as her powers are growing? Cate also has the ability most feared by the Brotherhood and the world, and this must be hidden from society at all costs.
Lucky for Cate, she has a very interested suitor for her hand in marriage. But is she having second thoughts about him? Has another caught her eye? And what is this about a prophecy? You will have to read to find out!