Born Wicked (The Cahill Witch Chronicles Series #1)

Born Wicked (The Cahill Witch Chronicles Series #1)

4.4 73
by Jessica Spotswood
     
 

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A gorgeous, witchy, romantic fantasy by a debut author! Perfect for fans of Kristin Cashore and the Beautiful Creatures series!

Everybody thinks 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… See more details below

Overview

A gorgeous, witchy, romantic fantasy by a debut author! Perfect for fans of Kristin Cashore and the Beautiful Creatures series!

Everybody thinks 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. Then Cate finds her mother's diary, and uncovers 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. But if what her mother wrote is true, the Cahill girls aren't safe--not even from each other.

Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
Gr 7 Up—New England in the 1890s is a perilous place to be female in this tale of witchcraft and romance. The three Cahill sisters-Cate, Maura, and Tess—have inherited their powers from their deceased mother, but if their abilities are discovered, the girls will be in deadly danger from the ruling Brotherhood. A trio of sisters is key to a prophecy predicting the downfall of the Brotherhood, and the crushing misogyny of the Brothers is terrifying. Cate, the eldest, is desperate to protect her siblings, but the Sisterhood (a female community subsumed under the Brotherhood) has its own agenda, and the Cahill girls are trapped within it. Spotswood is spot-on not only in her vision of this nightmarish alternate society, but also in her smooth melding of historical and (slightly) gothic romance with the strong spice of suspense. Natural dialogue, perceptive primary and secondary characterizations, and a palpable sense of place contribute to an involving plot and move the action rapidly forward. Whiffs of humor and a sly wit reminiscent of the best Regency romances accompany a potent love triangle that will charm readers. When handsome Finn Belastra reveals his heroic side, Cate thinks: "If he was handsome before, now he's doubly so. Still, I can't go falling in love with the gardener." While three witch sisters and a prophecy may echo television's Charmed Ones, there the similarity ends in this original, smoothly written adventure. This first title in the series is more than promising; readers will be swooning for the next one.—Janice M. Del Negro, GSLIS Dominican University, River Forest, IL
Publishers Weekly
Spotswood’s debut, first in the Cahill Witch Chronicles, is set in an alternate New England circa 1896. The Brotherhood has established a Christian dictatorship by overthrowing a governing caste of witches, and any hint of the arcane is now reason enough to sentence a woman to an asylum or hard labor. Girls must marry or go into the convent by their 17th birthday, and Cate Cahill’s moment of truth is fast approaching. Cate, like her two sisters, is a secret witch, the legacy of a mother who died young trying to produce a male heir. Cate is responsible for protecting her family, a responsibility that does not square with marrying the tempting and handsome Paul McLeod. Her dilemma worsens when an eagle-eyed governess takes up residence, and a mysterious note arrives, urging Cate to seek her mother’s diary. Spotswood falls prey to occasional pedantic exposition, and casting Christians as fascistic chauvinists is nothing new. The pace doesn’t lag, however, and the fate of the Cahill sisters inspires genuine dread by the time the cliffhanger ending arrives. Ages 12–up. Agent: Jim McCarthy, Dystel & Goderich Literary Management. (Feb.)
Booklist
"An intriguing story of witchcraft, family responsibility, and unrequited love."
Andrea Cremer
"A tale so captivating you don't want it to end."
From the Publisher
"A tale so captivating you don't want it to end." — Andrea Cremer, New York Times bestselling author of the Nightshade series

"An intriguing story of witchcraft, family responsibility, and unrequited love." — Booklist

"...the fate of the Cahill sisters inspires genuine dread by the time the cliffhanger ending arrives." — Publishers Weekly

VOYA - Lindsey Weaver
In New England during the late 1890s, at a place and time where witches are condemned, Cate Cahill and her two younger sisters must hide their true identity. Being discovered by the Brotherhood could bring about an early end to their young lives. Before the death of their mother, Cate made a promise to protect her sisters. With only six months before having to choose between marriage and the Sisterhood, keeping her word proves harder than she has imagined. To make matters worse, she discovers her mother's diary, which reveals a devastating secret that could potentially destroy her family. Desperate to find another way, Cate seeks help from old acquaintances and new friends. At the same time, she manages to balance social gatherings, marriage proposals, and a forbidden romance. Spotwood's debut novel is enchanting and addicting. Born Wicked is a beautiful beginning to The Cahill Witch Chronicles. The author's elegant writing supports a well-constructed plot and realistic characters. The story provides an alternative history that draws from the Salem witch trials and Puritanism. The Brotherhood upholds the laws by keeping a watchful eye on the members of society. The dynamic characters bring the suspenseful story to life. The Cahill sisters are a feisty, rebellious trio that readers will not forget. This paranormal romance will capture any reader's imagination, even if he or she is not interested in witchcraft and magic. It is a must-have for any library. Reviewer: Lindsey Weaver
Children's Literature - Miranda McClain
For most young girls day dreaming about their future is a pleasurable pastime but for Cate Cahill it is a source of major anxiety and dread. Cate is the oldest of three sisters and when her mother died she promised to care for her two younger siblings but she had no idea how difficult that would be, especially now that not one but both sisters has, like herself, developed the ability to do magic. A talent apparently passed on from their mother but forbidden by the evil Brotherhood that rules their land. Now Cate must find a way to protect her sisters before she is forced to decide to marry or join the Sisterhood, neither of which seem very appealing to her currently, until she begins to fall in love with the charming, yet utterly unsuitable Finn Belastra. But marriage to Finn does not seem possible as she nears the deadline for making her decision if she is to keep her sisters safe, because many believe that the three sisters are the daughters of an ancient prophecy that will bring down the brotherhood and bring the witches back into power. Whatever her decision this romantic, historical fantasy will have the reader eagerly awaiting the next installment of "The Cahill Witch Chronicles." Reviewer: Miranda McClain
Kirkus Reviews
Ever since their mother died, Cate has been responsible not just for raising her sisters, but for making sure that they stay safe and undiscovered by the Brotherhood priests as witches. Protecting her sisters, who chafe under her too-watchful eye, was the last request that Cate's mother, a fellow witch, asked of her before dying. Unfortunately, her mother neglected to leave much guidance. A discovered witch is subject to terrifying penalties, and the Brotherhood has been intensifying its witch-finding efforts. Cate is pulled between family obligations and societal pressures—she has only a few short months to find a husband lest the Brotherhood assign one, but marriage will take her away from her sisters. The lukewarm love triangle between her and two generic suitors is just formulaic, especially when compared to the more compelling relationship with society. By keeping the sisters away from their town's social scene, Cate meant to keep their secrets safe, but their absence has attracted attention. The two plots tie together through the arrival of governess Sister Elena, tasked with smoothing the girls' rough edges and matchmaking. Searching for answers while hiding under everyone's noses, Cate discovers pieces of a prophecy revealing an immediate danger and that she isn't the only one keeping secrets. An imperfect heroine, strong female supporting cast and measured tension counter underdeveloped male characters. (Fantasy. 12-17)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781101559925
Publisher:
Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date:
02/07/2012
Series:
Cahill Witch Chronicles Series , #1
Sold by:
Penguin Group
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
352
Sales rank:
86,130
File size:
0 MB
Age Range:
13 - 17 Years

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From the Publisher
“…the fate of the Cahill sisters inspires genuine dread by the time the cliffhanger ending arrives.”
Andrea Cremer
"A tale so captivating you don't want it to end.

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