Thursday, February 2, 2012

Born Wicked by Jessica Spotswood

Born Wicked by Jessica Spotswood
Release Date –  Feb 7, 2012
Publisher Website –  Penguin/Putnam Juvenile
Publisher Social Media - Twitter
Pages -  326 pages
My Rating- 10/10
**Obtained from publisher for an honest review**

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
"Blessed with a gift..."cursed" with a secret."  
Everybody knows Cate Cahill and her sisters are eccentric. Too pretty, too reclusive, and far too educated for their own good. But the truth is even worse: they're witches. And if their secret is discovered by the priests of the Brotherhood, it would mean an asylum, a prison ship - or an early grave. 
Before her mother died, Cate promised to protect her sisters. But with only six months left to choose between marriage and the Sisterhood, she might not be able to keep her word . . . especially after she finds her mother's diary, uncovering a secret that could spell her family's destruction. Desperate to find alternatives to their fate, Cate starts scouring banned books and questioning rebellious new friends, all while juggling tea parties, shocking marriage proposals, and a forbidden romance with the completely unsuitable Finn Belastra. 
If what her mother wrote is true, the Cahill girls aren't safe. Not from the Brotherhood, the Sisterhood - not even from each other.
Cate and her two sisters are not what you would consider proper ladies. Cate likes to garden, Maura likes to read books that are considered unsuitable and Tess is too perceptive. Never mind the fact that they are in fact witches.

I was drawn into this world Jessica Spotswood has created. It’s engrossing and she captures the time period wonderfully.  It is a novel that I consider historical with a delicious witch twist. The class system, the place of a women in society and what was expected of her, and even the writing all seem very fitting of the era. It would appeal to fans of historical fiction as well as those looking for a good paranormal tale.

The characters are wonderful. I love Cate! She isn’t afraid to go against what is expected of her. She’s loyal, and would do anything for her sisters. I do like that she was determined to do what she felt was best, regardless of what others thought. She isn’t afraid to stand up for what she believes in. She also is quite willing to sacrifice what she wants in order to protect her sisters. Her sisters Maura, and Tess are equally likable and complex. All three girls are wise beyond their years, have been schooled so they are quite smart, and I really liked all of them.

One of the things I enjoyed about this novel was that the consequences for Cate, Maura and Tess are real. Girls are being taken away, and I was holding my breath waiting to see if The Cahill sisters would be found out. I like that the stakes are high, and that the punishment is real and tangible to the characters. The Brotherhood is scary in it’s single mindedness. They are not above using people to get what they want, and I relished disliking them.

The romance in the novel is quite steamy. Cate has two suitors interested in her - Paul, a young gentleman who is completely suitable and Finn who is the opposite. I liked both Paul and Finn, but it is quite apparent whom holds Cate’s heart. I will say that feathers have never been hotter! Cate literally makes feathers appear during a particularly steamy make out.

The secret that Cate reads in her mothers diary could change everything for the sisters. I love the direction the story is going in with this “secret” and how it will directly impact the girls; if indeed it is about them. I was shocked by part of the secret, and I am excited to see where it is going to lead. Sadly, I cant give anything else away about the secret because it’s a pretty big spoiler, but it was one of the most intriguing parts of the story for me.

After a slower start the novel starts to pick up the pace while barrelling towards the ending. The spells we see cast aren’t plentiful, however, we do get some impressive showcases of power near the end.  I am curious which Cahill sister is the strongest witch as each of them is shown to be quite capable.

Family secrets, forbidden romances, steamy scenes, and an fantastic main character all make Born Wicked a refreshing, addicting read. I am already practicing spells to make book two magically appear…just don’t tell the Brotherhood on me.


  1. I absolutely loved this book! Her writing really does match the time period so well, and everything did feel so real. I was so mad at the ending, and I am so excited to find out what happens next (I hope your magic works to make book two appear soon!) ;) Great review

  2. Oh, I cannot wait for this book. I love witch stories and the cover alone earns it a place on my shelf. I'm so glad you liked it! Great review!

    Karis @YA Litwit

  3. Eeeee 10/10?! And an amazing review to accompany such a high rating? I AM LUSTING!! I should be getting a copy next week and I am so excited to dive in. I mean witches and magic is an instant hook for me (plus the historical setting) but add a steamy romance, hot feathers (SO curious!), strong family bonds and an amazing protagonist. Damn, Kathy. I want to read this right NOW.

  4. The more I hear of this book, the better it sounds. :) Great review, Kathy! I can't wait to check it out.


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