Friday, December 2, 2011

Review: A Witch In Winter

Author: Ruth Warburton
Release Date: January 5th 2012, preorder a copy!
Publisher: Hachette Children's
Add it: Goodreads
Anna Winterson doesn't know she's a witch and would probably mock you for believing in magic, but after moving to the small town of Winter with her father, she learns more than she ever wanted to about power. When Anna meets Seth, she is smitten, but when she enchants him to love her, she unwittingly amplifies a deadly conflict between two witch clans and splits her own heart in two. She wants to love Seth, to let him love her – but if it is her magic that's controlling his passion, then she is as monstrous as the witch clan who are trying to use her amazing powers for their own gain.

Although a perfect fit for the paranormal romance genre, A WITCH IN WINTER avoids fangs, excessive body hair and submissive female leads, and tells the heart-wrenching story of a couple meant to be together, but being forced apart. Seth is utterly irresistible and Anna is an empowered, proactive young woman with unimaginable magic inside her. This is fast-paced, sensuous writing with believable incantations inspired by Warburton's research into witchcraft legend and old English.
Could a harmless, fleeting thought of that cute guy at school spark a chain of events that will forever change your life and every single person you're connected to? You think not? Anna Winterson would strongly disagree. Shortly after she and her father move to the small coastal town of Winter, Anna finds an old, hidden grimoire in their house. During a sleepover with her new friends, they each use it to perform a love spell... just for fun, right? For everyone else it is, but when Seth Waters dumps his girlfriend and suddenly declares his undying love for Anna, she begins to suspect that perhaps witchcraft is real after all. Desperate to fix her mistake, Anna tries counter spells, but she's uncertain whether they actually work because Seth is still hanging around her. Still claiming he has feelings. As the novel progresses, there is that seed of doubt as to whether or not it's the love spell or if he genuinely cares about her, because Anna can't just snap her fingers and conjure up the truth. And as much as she'd like to, she can't deny her own growing feelings for Seth.

Anna is the kind of protagonist that you can easily relate to. She has a down-to earth sort of feel, but she's not meek nor does she need a guy to survive. She stands up for herself, she takes action and despite the conflict that rages in her heart, she's prepared to make the tough decisions. I loved seeing how she began to grow more sure of her powers, particularly toward the end where she needs to be sure, because she's pretty much in the centre of a war where there is no room for uncertainty. That's not to say she's a totally capable and seasoned witch by the end, but she develops in a believable way.

This was such an engaging novel, the kind that you think you've been reading for only ten minutes but find an hour has passed because you've been so caught up in the story. I especially loved the ending, where everything drew to a climax and erupted into an epic showdown. It went out on a bang, everything that happened throughout the book mounting into one huge battle between two powerful forces. There are casualties, there are sacrifices and choices must be made that are none too easy, but that's what makes it such a compelling read. The magic is laced with reality. It's not just about frilly love spells, there is heavy witchcraft abound and nothing is swept under the rug, every action has a reaction and not all reactions will be for the best.

The town of Winter was just as much a character as those who reside within it. Ruth does a fantastic job of luring you right into the heart of this small town, where you can taste the salt of the sea, feel a tickle on your spine as you enter the haunting Wicker House and have your heart pound in tune with the thrashing waves and hammering rain from the violent storms that rage the town.  The action scenes at the end of the book are fantastically written. You can't draw away from the pages until you know how it will all end, who will make it out alive and whether the fight is worth the risk after all.

Unlike the love spell Anna unintentionally created, it's clear Ruth has taken the time and care to carefully measure each of her ingredients to brew this spell-binding novel. A heady blend of magic, forbidden romance, action, high-stakes and consequence,  A Witch in Winter will satisfy all lovers of witchcraft and juicy, complicated romances!
 4/5 Golden Apples!


  1. Glad you liked this - I am SO excited for it! Anna sounds exactly like a character I'd enjoy :)

  2. While I'm a little tired of witch stories, but this sounds like a good read. Great review.

  3. This sounds really good! Above anything else, Anna seems like a magnificent protagonist, which is always at the top of my list. The story seems interesting too and I'm unbelievably curious to find out who the whole love spell thing plays out. Great review! :)


  4. Wow! This is the first time that I read a review about this one. And I'm liking the sound of this novel! :) I love how you presented the plot in a single line at the beginning of your review and Anna's personality. :) Great review!

  5. Ahh, this book sounds incredibly interesting!! I'm liking the sound of Anna and the love in the book! Ohh. Great Review Brodie!

  6. Brodie, I'm loving this review. This is the kind you want to reread because it does such an excellent job at ensnaring your interest for the book at heart. I want A Witch in Winter now! I looove witches!

    - Asher (from Paranormal Indulgence)

  7. I can't wait to get a copy after reading your review! I have a few postcards of this lying around somewhere I believe... - ComaCalm's Corner

  8. I hadn't even heard of this book and now I am dying to read it.

    As soon as you mentioned the love spell I was a little iffy about it, but it appears that this book is so much more than that.

    The characters sound great, and it seems like the ending packs a powerful punch.

    Great review Brodie!

  9. Yay so glad you enjoyed this one! I can't wait to read it now! I love those books that get you so absorbed that they make you forget how long you've been reading :P. Great review, thanks! :)

  10. Yay so glad you loved this! I adored the ending too, so climatic and like you said, pretty epic!

    Great review Brodie

    The Cait Files

  11. I love the sound of both Anna and the town of Winter as characters. This sounds like a book I might be totally lost in for a few hours. Wonderful review, Brodie.

  12. I'm still not completely sure about this book, but because you loved it so much, I just might try it out!

    <--doesn't read a lot of witch novels. They all feel...the same after a while

  13. Not sure I've heard of this one. But it sounds SO good! <33 thanks for the awesome review Brodie! :)

  14. Ah! This sounds great - I can't wait to read it <3 Still waiting for my copy to arrive! *stalks Hachette* I've got a bunch of books waiting there haha.


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