Cate Cahill is torn between competing factions of the Sisterhood, as the witches disguised as nuns prepare to fight the Brothers’ theocracy.
After being manipulated into joining the Sisterhood in Born Wicked (2012), Cate has abandoned love and her sisters for the city and a convent filled with witches who think she is the prophesied witch who will lead the resurgence of magic and overthrow of the Brothers. However, the Sisters disagree on revolutionary methods: Ailing headmistress Sister Cora supports a cautious, conservative approach, while second-in-command Sister Inez favors pre-emptive, aggressive strikes. But the evil Brotherhood has an imprisoned oracle whose prophecies add detail about magic’s resurgence. In response to it, the Brothers step up their campaign against it, arresting and torturing girls to find the prophesied witch as well as passing new laws so restrictive that the general population begins to turn against them. The Sisterhood responds to the Brothers’ literal witch hunt by summoning Cate’s sisters, Maura and Tess, to protect them—and ambitious Maura, the least sympathetic non-Brother character, latches onto the new prophecy, which reopens speculation on which Cahill sister will lead the witches. Cate’s forbidden romance with Finn, now a Brother, is better integrated with the plot than in the opener and makes Finn more interesting by association. There’s a genuinely surprising twist at the end.
Page-turning intrigues make this a strong sequel. (Fantasy. 12 & up)