Review: Witch Finder

Witch Finder
Witch Finder by Ruth Warburton
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

London. 1880. In the slums of Spitalfields apprentice blacksmith Luke is facing initiation into the Malleus Maleficorum, the fearsome brotherhood dedicated to hunting and killing witches.

Luke’s final test is to pick a name at random from the Book of Witches, a name he must track down and kill within a month, or face death himself. Luke knows that tonight will change his life forever. But when he picks out sixteen-year-old Rosa Greenwood, Luke has no idea that his task will be harder than he could ever imagine.London. 1880. In the slums of Spitalfields apprentice blacksmith Luke is facing initiation into the Malleus Maleficorum, the fearsome brotherhood dedicated to hunting and killing witches.

Luke’s final test is to pick a name at random from the Book of Witches, a name he must track down and kill within a month, or face death himself. Luke knows that tonight will change his life forever. But when he picks out sixteen-year-old Rosa Greenwood, Luke has no idea that his task will be harder than he could ever imagine.

Witch finder is a historical fantasy, set against the backdrop of witch craft in London. In dual perspective, it tells the story of Rosa, a young witch and Luke, an initiate for a witch-hunting organization. Luke has been sent to kill her to complete his initiation. In a world ignorant of the witches surrounding them, Luke has the unique ability to see witchcraft. Rosa is dealing with the loss of her father and the horrid treatment of her brother and mother. She is being forced to pursue Sebastian, a powerful and wealthy witch who is psychopathic.

The story though well written, progresses slowly, allowing good character development but resulting in a bit of monotony creeping in. Also, I really didn’t get why her family was so cruel to her when she is like the poster child for miss goody two shoes. However, more than Luke’s, her story has more depth. Dealing with an abusive brother, a mother who only cares about power and money, she is torn between duty and her heart. However, the good thing is that the romance is not the focal point of the story – it is Rosa learning to stand up for herself. For this reason, I felt the Like POV was unnecessary in this story. Besides trying to repeatedly kill her and save her, he isn’t central to the story. Sure their love develops but towards the end and by that time, Rosa has already made her decision. As a chaster, I didn’t really get Sebastian – he switches between wife beater mode and concerned fiancé, which makes him a confusing villain.

Now the ending, well, was very unexpected and disappointing as it was very open ended, with no conclusion. Overall, I would say it was pretty good. Three was good historical detail and the feel of the book was quite authentic. 3.5 stars.

Received a copy via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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