By Victoria Lamb, published by Corgi.
Goodreads synopsis: Meg Lytton has always known of her dark and powerful gift. Raised a student of the old magick by her Aunt Jane, casting the circle to see visions of the future and concocting spells from herbs and bones has always been as natural to Meg as breathing. But there has never been a more dangerous time to practice the craft, for it is 1554, and the sentence for any woman branded a witch is hanging, or burning at the stake.
Sent to the ruined, isolated palace of Woodstock to serve the disgraced Elizabeth, daughter of Henry VIII and half-sister of Queen Mary, Meg discovers her skills are of interest to the outcast princess, who is desperate to know if she will ever claim the throne. But Meg’s existence becomes more dangerous every day, with the constant threat of exposure by the ruthless witch-finder Marcus Dent, and the arrival of a young Spanish priest, Alejandro de Castillo, to whom Meg is irresistibly drawn – despite their very different attitudes to her secret.
My Review: Witchstruck was an extremely enjoyable book! I wasn’t entirely sure it would work at first, quite honestly- a paranormal romance? In the Tudor era?- but I still was really curious to see what the book would be like. On reading it, I was totally sucked into Meg’s world full of witchcraft, secrets, and lies. The concept definitely worked, and it’s so original. From the first page I was really interested in Meg’s story, as she assists with her aunts’ illegal magick with Elizabeth in a dark cell in the middle of the night. Very rebellious with a paranormal twist, so I instantly fell in love with this idea. Who wouldn’t? I also loved the setting. As already said, Witchstruck is set in the Tudor era. The author has captured this medieval world immaculately, and I found myself not wanting to leave it once the book ended! More specifically, the book is set in an isolated-to-the-world area, called Woodstock, where Meg Lytton waits on Elizabeth, after she was banished by her sister. It was all so realistic, because it is actually true that Elizabeth was under house arrest in Woodstock. I found it very clever how Victoria Lamb has entwined the fantasy with the facts, keeping everything accurate but adding a fantastical element that makes the story so exciting!
The plot was really great. There was a great build up to the story, with the beginning pages showing Meg, her aunt, and Elizabeth committing treason of Witchcraft. That set the tone for the rest of the story very well. It was so predictable that Meg was going to fall head over heels for Alejandro, a Spanish priest sent to keep Elizabeth true to Catholic faith, practically as soon as she saw him, but it was pretty enjoyable to read their journey, as they meet and get closer. The synopsis of this story, and the blurb of the book makes the book seem ridiculously romantic, but I didn’t really see it like that. It was more of rebellion, in my opinion, as I think the most romantic pages of the book were the last few: where a really happy ending (or beginning, as it is for book two!)take place, that I won’t tell you, so you’ll have to read this to find out, takes place!
Meg was a really great character. I understood her straight away; realised she was so scared of being caught but so eager to practice her paranormal gift. I really admired that determination with her- as that seemed to make her such a realistic, three-dimensional character. I really enjoyed watching her become close to Alejandro, and her emotions were just so real… and very well shown through the writers words. As well as Meg, I also quite liked Alejandro. He was a little mysterious: not much was revealed about him. However, he was made to be such a likeable character. He seemed to me like the Jace Wayland (heartthrob of City Of Bones, by Cassandra Clare) or the Tudor era!
As for the writing, Victoria Lamb obviously has some real talent. She’s made a subject, the Tudor era- a topic I’ve been over so many times in school, seem fresh and new, and much more fun to read about. I love her style of writing so much. I got a detailed, brilliant understanding of Meg and her struggles through a flawless narration!
Overall, Witchstruck was a really great piece of historical fiction. I’m really starting to get into the genre, though I’ve only ever read as historical as the Victorian Era. However, Witchstruck has given me a great introduction to Tudor stories, and ‘m really looking forward to reading more books like this! The plot was really great, and the author’s idea just genius. She’s combined interesting, intriguing facts with imaginative magick that spices up the story. I really loved it! Thanks to the amazingly awesome Harriet, I have a copy of Witchfall, the sequel, too. I really can’t wait to begin it; the effective ending to this book was a really shocking cliffhanger, in a way!
I received a copy of Witchstruck from the publisher, in exchange for a review. In no way at all did this affect my thoughts.