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Wednesday, December 04, 2013

Witchfinder by Ruth Warburton

Witchfinder  is a captivating YA novel set in Victorian London.   

Luke's parents were murdered by a witch, and when he reaches eighteen, he is ready for his initiation into the Malleus Maleficarum,  a secret organization whose goal is the elimination of witches.

Luke passes his first two tests, but his third test will give him problems he never expected.    

Rosa Greenwood, daughter of a witch family that has suffered financial hardship, is being strongly "encouraged" to marry for money that would help restore the family fortune.

Simon Knyvet, handsome, rich and powerful, and interested in Rosa.  

The characters have personality and the plot moves quickly, yet does not feel rushed.  The budding romance has an innocence at odds with the danger and cruelty of parts of the story.  The mystery aspect of who killed Luke's parents and why is an underlying current that is occasionally hinted at, but not given prominence is this book.  

Since this is meant to be a trilogy, the idea that, among the many problems the young people will face in the next novel, the mystery of Luke's parents will be developed.
Title page of the Malleus Maleficarum, a 15th century guide to witch hunting and detection. This book was a major influence on A Witch in Love
Found on the author's Pinterest page.
Via Wikipedia

The Malleus Maleficarum was written in 1486 and was a treatise on the identification and prosecution of witches.  It provides Warburton with a perfect title for the secret society whose goal is to kill witches. 

I liked the pace of the novel; it kept me involved and interested, but still managed to give a good deal of information that helped establish the locations and societal customs.

NetGalley/Hatchette Children's Books

Fantasy.  Jan. 2, 2014.  Print Length:  384 pages.


  1. I like the sound of this one! Of course, I like stories involving witches. :-)

  2. This sounds interesting. I will have to keep the trilogy in mind!

  3. Wendy - I enjoyed it. Definitely YA fiction, but I'm eager for the next one!

    Kelly - I think you would like it.