The Witch Hunter by Virginia Boecker

The Witch HunterLittle, Brown Books for Young Readers, 2015

Elizabeth Grey was orphaned by plague and works in the castle kitchens, but she’s no pity case. Elizabeth’s scullery maid exterior is simply a cover for her real job as one of the country’s elite force of witch hunters. Things are not easy or even right in Elizabeth’s world, soon fate turns against her and Elizabeth is forced to reevaluate everything she thought she knew about her life and her world.

Set in an alternative sixteenth-century England, The Witch Hunter explores the place of magic in the world as a teenaged witch hunter becomes entangled in a struggle for power and control. Elizabeth is an appealing main character, strong and capable and yet vulnerable in many ways. The action and high stakes keep this story moving right along. It’s a great debut and it looks the door’s open for at least one sequel to follow.

I love books about magic—especially witches—and those about English history. This alternative history did not include any real historic figures and yet the setting and world view felt deliciously familiar. I’ll be watching eagerly for the next installment.

I read this book courtesy of Little, Brown Books for Young Readers and NetGalley. The release date is June 2, 2015.

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