Synopsis: 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. (From Goodreads)
I used to be obsessed with the Salem Witch Trials. Obsessed. Or at least as obsessed as a middle schooler can be about something that isn't a boy or a pair of red checkered flares (YES, I had a pair of those that I LOVED - and no, they did not look good). My first speech in school was about the Salem Witch Trials and I devoured every novel about Salem that I could - I especially remember Witch Child by Celia Rees - and I think Ann Rinaldi, wrote a Salem book - and of course, one of my favorites was Beyond the Burning Time by Kathryn Lasky. Anyways, I'm giving you this little history of Hannah lesson because it seems I've been drawn back into this fascination lately - first with Chime and now with Born Wicked.
While Born Wicked doesn't take place in Salem, it has all the elements of witch hysteria and religious persecution that Salem has. I wasn't expecting this book to be historical, but I was pleasantly surprised by that aspect. It fits the Salem Witch Trials, but Jessica put a bit of her own twist on it, adding the Sisterhood, which holds a certain fascination. I'm interested to learn more about what they are about, something I'm hoping will be fleshed out more in the future novels in this series.
I should have probably mentioned this BEFORE my rambling - but I loved, loved this book. It reminded me about everything that fascinated me about Puritans and witch hunting when I was younger. It's quiet and magical, with growing tension through the whole book. I swear, the tension builds so slow, you don't even know it's happening - until you reach the end and you realize you'd quit breathing and then suddenly your tension releases and - oops, you just threw your book on the floor. I was shocked at my reaction to this whole book. I didn't realize it was affecting me so much, but it did.
I also want to talk about the characters in this novel. They're all incredible. Cate was a great heroine and Finn is my new book crush. He's the gardener, who has a secret longing for adventure, and is a little bookish. I fell in immediate love with him. And Cate's sisters were so fascinating. Their family dynamic was interesting to read - and I just got the impression that this would be a great story no matter which sister was the protagonist.
Born Wicked is the first in the Cahill Witch Chronicles. And it's amazing. I'm dying to know what happens next -because that ending...
Definitely pick this one up.