THE WITCH HUNTER by Virginia Boecker


Age Range: 12 - 16
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What does a dedicated witch hunter do when her magic-hating mentor turns on her?

Since her parents' deaths in the plague that killed so many, 16-year-old Elizabeth has dedicated most of her short life to fighting witches, necromancers, and revenants for the Inquisitor. In Anglia (a mildly anachronistic analogue of 16th-century England), the teen king Malcolm defers to his uncle, Lord Blackwell, leader of the witch hunters. Though she's been distracted lately, Elizabeth is a stellar witch hunter, amazing at retrieving villains for public burning. She has a secret, though: Elizabeth has been victimized by a sexual crime, and her attempts to prevent pregnancy with herbal birth control are tantamount to witchcraft. Her only salvation lies with the very witches she's been hunting. The country's most wanted criminal, Reformist leader Nicholas Perevil, wants Elizabeth as his ally. Perevil and his circle of appealing adolescent cronies don't trust Elizabeth, but they need her. The repeated rapes that Elizabeth endures occur before the book begins and amount to little more than a plot device. The story would make a perfect teen drama on the CW; it’s chock-full of teenagers who practice magic, wield knives, wear vaguely period dress, engage in bantering conversation, and don't develop much more deeply than that. Perhaps the sequel will prove to be more nuanced.

Shallow but serviceable fantasy. (Fantasy. 12-16)

Pub Date: June 2nd, 2015
ISBN: 978-0-316-32700-8
Page count: 368pp
Publisher: Little, Brown
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1st, 2015


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