Review: The Witch Hunter by Virginia Boecker

Review: The Witch Hunter by Virginia BoeckerThe Witch Hunter by Virginia Boecker
Series: The Witch Hunter #1
Published by Little Brown Books for Young Readers on June 2, 2015
Pages: 368
Format: Hardcover
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The magic and suspense of Graceling meet the political intrigue and unrest of Game of Thrones in this riveting fantasy debut.

Your greatest enemy isn't what you fight, but what you fear.

Elizabeth Grey is one of the king's best witch hunters, devoted to rooting out witchcraft and doling out justice. But when she's accused of being a witch herself, Elizabeth is arrested and sentenced to burn at the stake.

Salvation comes from a man she thought was her enemy. Nicholas Perevil, the most powerful and dangerous wizard in the kingdom, offers her a deal: he will save her from execution if she can break the deadly curse that's been laid upon him.

But Nicholas and his followers know nothing of Elizabeth's witch hunting past--if they find out, the stake will be the least of her worries. And as she's thrust into the magical world of witches, ghosts, pirates, and one all-too-handsome healer, Elizabeth is forced to redefine her ideas of right and wrong, of friends and enemies, and of love and hate.

Virginia Boecker weaves a riveting tale of magic, betrayal, and sacrifice in this unforgettable fantasy debut.

I’ve been a fan of stories about witches ever since I started watching Charmed in 1998 and I love that witches have been making a strong comeback – both in YA books and on TV – in the last few years! So, as I’m sure you can imagine, when I first heard about this book, I was beyond excited to read it! The cover and title alone had me drooling! As awesome as the synopsis made the book sound, it ended up being even more awesome than I expected!

It’s a bit hard to like Elizabeth in the beginning, because of who she is and what she does. But despite that – and knowing, from the synopsis, what was going to happen to her – I tried to look past the whole witch hunter thing and I really liked her character, overall. She fights hard to survive and stay under the radar of those who wish her harm. She believes fiercely in Caleb and his ability to protect her – until he can’t. Or doesn’t. I’m still not convinced of which it is.

I really liked Elizabeth’s character development, too. It was a bit obvious/predictable that she would end up caring for the witches and wizards she was supposed to hunt. But I still liked what it meant for her and the way she grew from her experiences with Nicholas and his group. I loved their interactions and the slow build-up to them all trusting each other.

I was never a fan of Caleb. I don’t know if that puts me in the minority or majority with this book. But honestly, I had a horrible feeling about him right from the start. Elizabeth’s feelings for him really clouded her judgement and I think the times she worshipped Caleb were the only times I really wanted to smack her.

I really liked George, even though I didn’t trust him at all when we first met him. I loved the banter between him and Elizabeth and I’m still not sure if he’s the third part of the love triangle or not. But as much as I loved him and his banter with Elizabeth, I loved the connection Elizabeth had with John even more. There was just something about them.. Whenever they got together, it just felt right.

Fifer was an epic character, definitely one of my favorites. She’s horrible and nasty in the beginning, but her character growth rivals Elizabeth’s. She’s smart and sassy and completely owns her attitude. She’s loyal to her group and Nicholas and incredibly, incredibly protective of those she loves.

There are so many more amazing secondary characters, but to try and mention them all would make this review thousands of words long! Virginia Boecker is such an amazing writer. I felt so immersed in this story and I felt so much for the characters. I loved them all, even the ones I was supposed to hate! They were so real and amazing.

There were a ton of “OMFG!!!!” moments in this book, most of which completely caught me off guard. I had a few suspicions, but for the most part, the twists and turns were completely unexpected. There was one moment, near the end of the book, where a huge twist was revealed and I was completely thrown and speechless!! Seriously, this book looked amazing and then it ended up being even better than I imagined! It kept me guessing. I was completely invested in this story and these characters. There were a few moments where the pacing slowed down, but it always sped right back up.

Overall, if you couldn’t tell, I absolutely adored this book. It was everything I hoped it would be and then some! I’m beyond excited for the sequel, even though it’s going to be an agonizing wait!!! I highly recommend this book for fans of epic plots, killer writing and kick-ass characters! Also, if you loved Charmed and/or Buffy the Vampire Slayer, I think you’ll love this book!