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Friday, August 23, 2013

Witchstruck by Victoria Lamb

Witchstruck is a YA novel that combines historical fiction with the supernatural.  The setting is Woodstock where Elizabeth I was imprisoned after being released from the Tower of London.  At this time, Catholicism was the only acceptable religion and Protestants converted (with or without sincerity) or faced charges of heresy which equated with treason.  Some 300 protestants were burned at the stake, and Bloody Mary became even more unpopular when she married King Philip of Spain. 

Elizabeth and her supporters were a threat to Mary who greatly resented Elizabeth because of her mother Ann Boleyn.  Elizabeth remained under suspicion of treason even at Woodstock, and everything about her life was closely monitored.

Elizabeth, denied her ladies-in-waiting, is attended by the fictional Meg Lytton, a young witch being trained by her Aunt Jane.  Elizabeth hopes that Jane will be able to give her some clue to her future.  Will she ever be queen?  Will the charge of treason result in her beheading?  Elizabeth needs all the help she can muster.

Finding Meg a trustworthy retainer, Elizabeth gives Meg some personal tasks involving messages to the local inn where some of Elizabeth's supporters gathered.  Meg's powers begin to increase, but she is in a precarious position herself, especially since the local and very powerful witch hunter Marcus Dent wants to marry her.  Not the safest situation for a young witch.

Loyalty and betrayals.  Some excellent historical facts and a fast-paced story that involves both the danger to Elizabeth and to Meg.  Oh, and a handsome young Spaniard who will soon become a priest....

NetGalley/Harlequin Teen

Historical fiction/Supernatural.  Sept. 24, 2013.  Print version:  363 pages.

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