Book Review: Born Wicked

You know that feeling like you’re missing something but you can’t quite figure out what it is? Welcome to how Cate Cahill feels and when her life really begins to be turned upside down.

Hiding magic in a society where magic users are hunted isn’t exactly easy but Cate Cahill and her sisters have been doing itborn wicked for years. Witches used to be in power until a group known as the Brotherhood determined that they were all wicked and deserved to die. Now, New England is bereft of almost all magic and slowly turning into a submissive cult where women are the lesser beings…which is pretty much spot on with history.

This book, Born Wicked, follows the extraordinary life of Cate Cahill as she attempts to be a normal girl with ordinary problems and strives to do little more than effectively protect her sisters, from others and even themselves. The setting is a little archaic (in a good way) and it takes you back to a time when the Salem witch trials had just died down but the fear and persecution were still happening, especially the inconvenient women who crossed powerful men.

Cate tries to protect her sisters and prevent them from heavily practicing magic, but one event after another begins to topple her world view and her perspective on the whole scenario, beginning when the motherless household gains a governess. It slowly comes to light that magic is much more pervasive than Cate realized and everyone is keeping a secret (or three), including her deceased mother, some of them deadly.

Not to mention that time is running out for Cate to make a decision about the next step in her life. She has six months to take a husband, or take the vows of the Sisterhood; neither seems like a good option. Especially after she begins to fall for a man of a lower social class and continues to make other gaffes which do little for her reputation.

There is a marriage proposal (or two), a love story (or two), emotional backlash between siblings, interference from the Brothers, and more women who practice the arts than you would think. The plot builds and builds until you can no longer look away, although it isn’t quite clear from the beginning where it is going. I like a good intrigue and surprise, although some of it became predictable, that didn’t detract from my enjoyment.

The book is well written, the characters are engaging, and the love story wasn’t sappy or overwhelming. It was a little old world and history with curves thrown in; what the past of New England may have been like if witches had ruled for awhile, and we never moved past the 18th century. The relationships between the sisters and the fears described are quite real and relatable, making this story worth reading.

Goodreads rating: 5 stars

My personal rating: 92

  • Writing style – 10
  • Plot – 8
  • Dialogue – 10
  • Personality of Main Character(s) – 9
  • Love story – 8
  • Invokes emotion – 8
  • Synopsis accuracy – 9
  • Consistent level of interest – 10
  • Stays on topic – 10
  • Accuracy of genre/genre blending – 10
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