Tensions between the Brotherhood and the Sisterhood, complicated by a prophecy, come to a head in the Cahill Witch Chronicles trilogy’s conclusion.
Immediately following the events of Star Cursed (2013), Cate Cahill’s devastated. While she was liberating Harwood Asylum’s prisoners, the more aggressive Sisterhood faction succeeded in their devastating mind-magic attacks on the Brotherhood’s leadership. Worse, Cate’s own sister, in the name of protecting the Sisterhood, erased Finn’s memories of Cate. Additionally, Cate’s revealed to Maura that Tess is the prophesied oracle, a betrayal of her own. The sisters are just as fractured as the Sisterhood, now led by the Machiavellian Sister Inez, a compellingly rational villain. The Brotherhood’s in flux too, and the power vacuum produces a leader as ruthless as Inez. Inez is willing to sacrifice pawns (especially non-Sisterhood and nonwitch ones) to protect the Sisterhood (and her rule)—and the Brotherhood’s only too happy to help. Meanwhile, Cate makes contact with members of the actual Resistance—including a fugitive journalist—who are chiefly interested in promoting the common man, also oppressed by the Brotherhood. The alliance is timely; a terrible plague starts slipping through the city, and class distinctions greatly affect treatment. The tinderbox of oppression and power struggles create sparks enough for an explosive ending. Actions have real consequences, and the sisters’ believable dynamic leading up to the fulfillment of the prophecy is dead-on.
The riveting, ambitious plot and strong, moral-yet-fallible heroine are a winning combination. (Fantasy. 12 & up)