Witchstruck [NOOK Book]

Overview

If she sink, she be no witch and shall be drowned.

If she float, she be a witch and must be hanged.

Meg Lytton has always known she is different?that she bears a dark and powerful gift. But in 1554 England, in service at Woodstock Palace to the banished Tudor princess Elizabeth, it has never been more dangerous to practise witchcraft. Meg knows she must guard her secret carefully from the many suspicious eyes watching over the princess and her ...

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Witchstruck

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Overview

If she sink, she be no witch and shall be drowned.

If she float, she be a witch and must be hanged.

Meg Lytton has always known she is different—that she bears a dark and powerful gift. But in 1554 England, in service at Woodstock Palace to the banished Tudor princess Elizabeth, it has never been more dangerous to practise witchcraft. Meg knows she must guard her secret carefully from the many suspicious eyes watching over the princess and her companions. One wrong move could mean her life, and the life of Elizabeth, rightful heir to the English throne.

With witchfinder Marcus Dent determined to have Meg's hand in marriage, and Meg's own family conspiring against the English queen, there isn't a single person Meg can trust. Certainly not the enigmatic young Spanish priest Alejandro de Castillo, despite her undeniable feelings. But when all the world turns against her, Meg must open her heart to a dangerous choice.

The Secret Circle meets The Other Boleyn Girl in Witchstruck, the first book of the magical Tudor Witch trilogy.

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Editorial Reviews

VOYA - Laura Woodruff
In 1554 Tudor England, fifteen-year-old Meg Lytton, servant of Princess Elizabeth I, is a novice witch. They live in exile at Woodstock Palace, banished from court by Catholic Queen Mary and her husband, Philip of Spain, and imprisoned under the watchful eye of Sir Bedingfield, his household, and two Spanish priests sent to teach Princess Elizabeth and her ladies the true faith. While Meg has thus far escaped marriage to suitor and famous witchfinder Marcus Dent, she knows her struggle is not over, even though she has the protection of her royal assignment. Meg is learning her craft from her beloved foster mother and accomplished witch Aunt Jane; together, they practice in secret to protect the princess and learn the future. As the novel opens, the three women are holding a magic circle in an abandoned part of the estate to determine if Elizabeth shall become queen when Aunt Jane has a powerful vision. Many intrigues and dangerous encounters follow, testing Meg and strengthening her powers. Enhancing the plot line, a fiery but unfulfilled romance between Meg and young novitiate priest Alejandro de Castillo keeps the reader on edge. Meg, a heroine for our times, challenges the superstitions and persecutions of her age to remain true to her gift. This first novel of the trilogy does not disappoint. Historically interesting with the added excitement of the supernatural, Witchstruck is made compelling by its strong main character. Accomplished British novelist Lamb, who has broad appeal, has a winner here. Reviewer: Laura Woodruff
School Library Journal
12/01/2013
Gr 8 Up—In 1554 England, Meg Lytton, 15, demonstrates an uncanny power for witchcraft that strengthens her relationship with the banished Tudor princess Elizabeth, yet also threatens their lives. Elizabeth yearns to discover whether she will ultimately become Queen in place of her half-sister, Mary. Will the current Queen die so that she can be crowned, or will Elizabeth be convicted for treason and hanged for abandoning the Catholic faith? Only Meg and her Aunt Jane can conjure a spell to reveal the answers Elizabeth craves. A well-balanced blend of magic and historical facts about 16th-century England will lure readers into an exotic and grim world. Witchfinders, men who mercilessly condemned innocent people, add danger to the plot while the arrival of a handsome stranger from Spain contributes romantic intrigue. Stark descriptions (e.g., "the lamb's entrails began to spill bloodily onto the floor") deliver images that are not easily forgotten. The most complex character in the book is the proud Elizabeth, who emerges as surprisingly vulnerable as she is valiant. Fans of all things "magick" will find themselves both enriched and bewitched by this first installment in a planned series. This commendable book should be a first purchase for most libraries; it will leave readers anticipating the sequel.—Etta Anton, Yeshiva of Central Queens, NY
Kirkus Reviews
Witchcraft and intrigue dominate the life of a 16th-century girl serving the Lady Elizabeth Tudor, imprisoned in Oxfordshire by her sister Queen Mary in this series opener. Fifteen-year-old Meg is a witch--a real one. She and her aunt Jane try to see the future at Elizabeth's request, but in 1554, witchcraft is a hanging offense. Looming over all Meg's activities are Marcus Dent, the area's professional witchfinder, who wants to marry her, and Alejandro de Castillo, a priest-in-training sent by Queen Mary to watch over Elizabeth's Catholicism. Complicating matters further, Meg's family wants to foment rebellion against the crown by dragging Elizabeth into their plans, an action that could get Elizabeth killed. An established romance novelist, Lamb sticks closely to the genre conventions for this book. Meg's volatile emotions command her actions entirely, usually leading her into serious mistakes that provide much of the novel's tension. Meg's hang-fire romance is with the character most impossible for her, and the book's villain is over-the-top evil. Full of cliffhanger moments, impossible escapes, dastardly villainy and even a few chase scenes, the story has enough suspense and unrestrained emotion to satisfy romance fans and enough witchy activity for paranormal fans. The mostly accurate history is something of a lagniappe. Great for romance fans, probably too shallow for history fans. (Paranormal historical romance. 12 & up)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781460319680
  • Publisher: Harlequin
  • Publication date: 9/24/2013
  • Series: Tudor Witch Trilogy
  • Sold by: HARLEQUIN
  • Format: eBook
  • Edition description: Original
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 162,339
  • Age range: 13 - 17 Years
  • File size: 333 KB

Meet the Author

Victoria Lamb lives in a farmhouse on the wild fringes of Bodmin Moor in Cornwall, England, with her husband, five children and an energetic Irish Red Setter. She writes poetry and fiction as her day job, and is addicted to social media. On dark nights she has been known to sneak out onto the moors and howl at the moon . Visit her website www.victorialambbooks.com or chat with her on Twitter, where she answers to @VictoriaLamb1.
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Read an Excerpt

When the power falls on me, it buzzes in the warm, dark spaces of my skull. It stings like nettles at the tips of my fingers. The power is a fever I have felt since early childhood, a heat in the blood that leaves me flushed and unsteady, dreaming in daylight. My aunt once told me the power came from being born on the spring equinox under the martial sign of the Ram, with baleful Saturn rising. And truly my power is often strongest when Mars and Saturn clash in the heavens, as they did the day I was sent to serve the imprisoned Princess Elizabeth. Yet on that occasion I was unable to influence my own fate.

I felt the power that evening of the full moon in June though, sitting cross-legged in the ruins of the old palace at Woodstock. I stared across the candlelit circle at my aunt's narrow, slant-eyed face and hungered to be a witch, just like her.

Aunt Jane leaned forward, her fair hair wild and unbound about her shoulders. With her witch's dagger, a black-handled athame, she cut a jagged gash across a dead lamb's belly.

"By Hecate," she chanted under her breath, widening the gash with her fingers until the lamb's entrails began to spill bloodily onto the floor, "by our Lady of the Forest, strengthen our spell tonight. Let this dumb creature answer the question: Shall the Princess Elizabeth be Queen?"

Beside me, Elizabeth shuddered. The lamb had been dead three days and the smell from its innards was disgusting. Her pale, bejewelled hand gripped mine compulsively.

Though the princess was five years my senior, tonight I knew more than her, for this was her first attendance at a moon ritual. Elizabeth looked younger than her twenty years, even if the dark shadows under her eyes suggested otherwise. Yet she held herself very regally considering her recent stay in the grim Tower of London, accused of conspiring with the rebels against Queen Mary. Half-sister to the Queen, Elizabeth always looked as though she were holding court in one of her own great houses, when in truth she was little better than a prisoner in this ruined old palace in the middle of nowhere. Her gown of black velvet, no doubt splendid when new, looked worn and dowdy as she kneeled in the dust beside me. Yet the princess did draw the eye with the elegant length of her neck, and her hair—fair, though with a strong reddish glint—which peeped out from under her hood.

Her small dark eyes, hooded like a hawk's, were staring fixedly at my aunt through the smoke. Her mouth was also small, pinched at the corners, and her high forehead spoke of tremendous learning, though she knew little of the witch's craft her own mother had been accused of practising.

"Is the magick not working?" the princess demanded, her voice sharp with frustration.

"Hush, my lady, give it time." I looked back at my aunt, the fine hairs on my neck rising in horror. My head was spinning in the fragrant smoke from the candles, my mouth uncomfortably dry. Already I could see the blank stare of my aunt's eyes as the spell worked its magick on her. Soon Aunt Jane would fall into a trance and there would be no chance of questioning her after that. The princess squeezed my hand again and I spoke, catching her urgency. "What do you see in the lamb's innards, Aunt Jane?"

"I see a coronation," my aunt replied in her hoarse voice. Slowly, with delicate, bloodied fingers, she probed the slimy coiled intestines of the lamb. Its liver glistened in her hand and she bent over it, staring. "I see good fortune following bad, and a reward for long years of patience. I see the Lady Elizabeth walking through a great doorway with a crown on her head, and all the people on their knees."

"But what of my sister?" Elizabeth demanded. The exiled princess sat back on her heels, her face pale and tense, her usual caution abandoned. "Is the Queen going to die? When will my coronation come to pass?"

My aunt did not reply. She trembled, swaying where she sat, lost in the grip of prophecy.

"There is danger for all of us," she managed at last. Her voice grated in the silence. "No one is to be trusted. Beware a traveller who comes over water, over land."

Elizabeth and I both stared at her in horror, unable to move. Danger for us all? Then something tugged at the far edges of my hearing and I stiffened.

Turning my head, I caught the echo and scrape of booted footsteps downstairs in the old palace. Then the sound of a man whistling to keep away the spirits of the dead.

The Lady Elizabeth had heard him too. She looked round at me apprehensively, her eyes darker than ever. "It must be one of Bedingfield's guards, making his patrol. We must leave at once. I can't be seen here."

"Better to wait until he's gone, my lady."

"The fire!" My aunt suddenly gasped, terrifying me. "The fire…it burns me!"

The vision in her head must have changed, for her thin face had contorted with horror. My aunt's watery blue eyes were no longer staring at the bloody coiled innards, but over my head. She lifted her shaking finger to point, as though someone was standing behind me in the shadows. I glanced back over my shoulder, unnerved. But the three of us were alone in the dusty room.

Then my aunt gave a sudden, high-pitched cry and fell backwards on the soiled floorboards. She began flailing about and shaking as violently as the village idiot in one of his fits.

I gawped at her like an idiot myself, momentarily lost for what should be done.

"Keep her quiet!" the Lady Elizabeth urged me, her eyes wide with panic. "The guard will hear us!"

Tripping on the hem of my gown, I scrabbled round to where my aunt still lay thrashing, spittle on her lips, her eyes almost white in the shadows.

"Hush, Aunt Jane, for pity's sake," I told her urgently, my heart thundering at the possibility that we might be discovered. I stroked the hair back from her face, hoping to comfort her, and leaned close to her ear. "One of the princess's guards is downstairs. He may hear you."

For a moment I despaired of silencing her. But some grain of sense must have filtered through, for Aunt Jane's wild tossing gradually slowed and then ceased altogether. Her body lapsed into a kind of restless unconsciousness in my arms.

Shivering now, I stared about the old palace chamber. If we were caught here tonight, with these unholy instruments strewn about, we would be accused of witchcraft. And rightly so, for we were far from innocent. Even the princess would face execution if discovered like this, as her poor mother had gone to the block when Elizabeth was but a small child. Being the Queen had not saved Anne Boleyn from an accusation of witchcraft, any more than being of royal blood would save her daughter now.

I looked at the Lady Elizabeth. She was still on her knees, frozen in shock.

"My lady," I said softly, "these candles must be put out and all traces of the circle rubbed away before we leave. Will you help me?"

Elizabeth nodded, though I could see she was badly frightened. She leaned forward and began frantically rubbing at the circle my aunt had drawn in the dust, her hands soon filthy.

Ignoring the foul stench, I dragged the bloodied lamb back to the sack and pushed it inside, along with its entrails. My aunt's soiled knife lay on the floorboards beside her. The cup of ceremonial wine we had shared was empty now but its dregs were still potent if anyone should think to taste them.

Downstairs, the whistling had stopped. I listened intently for a while, but could hear nothing.

"Meg?" my aunt moaned, stirring as she came back slowly to herself.

I looked down into that white, drawn face. What had caused Aunt Jane to lose control like that? I had never seen her so wild. Perhaps she was growing too old to control the spirits we had invoked. I rubbed her hands gently between my own to warm them, as though she were the child and I her guardian.

"Better now?" I asked my aunt softly. "Are you able to walk? We must get out of the palace."

"No," she groaned, pushing me away. "Not yet. The spell was not finished in proper fashion."

Struggling weakly to her knees, my aunt cast about for her instruments. Then she saw the circle erased and the candles extinguished.

"Why have the candles been put out?" she demanded. "Where is my sacred knife? Help me. We must appease the spirits."

"Aunt, there is no time to relight the candles. We must return to the lodge before they discover that the Lady Elizabeth is missing. If anyone should find us with these"—and I indicated the remains of our magickal work—"it will be we who burn. Don't forget the Lady Elizabeth is a prisoner under threat of death. If her sister the Queen should ever hear of this…"

Aunt Jane seemed to grasp the truth in what I said, the crazed light slowly fading from her face.

"Yes, you are right," my aunt agreed reluctantly, and began to gather up her various tools instead. "But the spirits will not be happy."

I helped her tidy the last objects away, cleaning her ceremonial knife before wrapping it in its stained leather sheath.

Flashing me a weary smile, my aunt tucked the knife inside the bodice of her gown. "You are a good girl, Meg," she whispered. "If only my sister could have been more like you. But she had no time for the power once she met your father, only for marriage. And look where that brought her. To an early grave, never to see her daughter grow up so gifted and fair."

"I'm hardly fair, aunt."

She laughed then. "Fair to me, Meg. And you do have beauty of a sort—"

I shushed her, holding up a hand. I shot a warning look at the Lady Elizabeth too, who had stood up now and was shaking the dust from her skirts. I had heard a faint sound from the other side of the thin wall. No whistling this time, but the quiet protesting creak of a floorboard.

My skin crept in warning. I felt certain that someone was outside the chamber, listening to our conversation. Yet when I crept to the door on tiptoe and looked out through a crack in the wood, there was nobody there. All I could see was the dark, empty corridor and the stairs down to the ruined great hall, lit with pale patches of moonlight.

Elizabeth came silently to my shoulder. "What is it?"

"I thought I heard…" I shook my head. "Nothing. It was just my imagination. We must return to the lodge without being seen. My aunt will walk home across the fields. Are you ready, my lady?"

Elizabeth nodded, but looked petulant. "I wish we had not been interrupted tonight. I want to hear more of this vision of my coronation."

"Perhaps we should wait a few months before meeting again, my lady, just to be sure we are not being watched. Sir Henry Bedingfield will be suspicious if we are caught out of bed at the full moon."

"Bedingfield may be my gaoler," Elizabeth snapped, "but he's a round-faced fool and can prove nothing. Besides, why should I not seek knowledge through magick? To know the future is a mighty weapon for a princess." She gave me a sharp stare. "Your aunt will visit us again at the next full moon. I wish to hear more of her vision. Though we can meet in the forest behind Woodstock if you find the old palace too dangerous."

I curtseyed, recognizing the determined note in the Lady Elizabeth's voice. "Yes, my lady."

Cautiously, I opened the door a few inches and peered out, listening for any signs that we were not alone.

The ruined palace was an eerie place to walk at night, room after empty room draped in deep shadows. My aunt carried her instruments and the blood-stained sack containing the dead lamb. I knew she would have to bury it in the forest before making her way home. We descended the staircase, the only sounds the swish of our skirts against the crumbling walls and the faint cooing of a wood pigeon in the rafters above us.

I thought of what my aunt had said about my mother. Catherine Canley had been a beautiful lady of the court, my aunt had always told me, who had given up her power as a witch to marry my father and bury herself alive in this remote corner of Oxfordshire. My unmarried aunt had come to live with her and my father as a companion, and had stayed on after her death to care for me. I could not remember much about my mother, for Catherine Canley had died of pneumonia when I was only five years old. Whenever I thought of her, I had a vision of laughing blue eyes and a rustle of silk as a woman bent to pick me up. But I could not even be sure that was a true memory of her.

There were no portraits of my mother in our house, or none that I had seen. It hurt me to think I could not even remember her face. However, I have never been a girl to cry, but rather to nurse hurts deep inside in silence. Besides, I had my dear Aunt Jane to love and hold, and thought of her as my mother instead, the woman who had cared for me and secretly taught me her craft once I was old enough to cast a spell.

I parted with my aunt at the side entrance, kissing her fondly, and we met no more guards on our way back to our dilapidated rooms in the old palace lodge. The lodge was where the princess had been installed on her arrival at Woodstock, for the palace itself was deemed too ramshackle to be inhabited, with part of the roof missing in places and the whole building unsafe. The lodge itself was little better though, a damp heap of stones barely warmed by the fireplaces which smoked incessantly, bats living in the eaves, the rooms dark and cramped with most of the narrow windows open to the wind and rain. Though at least the weather had been good to us this past month. The summer night was still and warm now, a fleeting hint of lavender on the air from the kitchen courtyard.

At the back door to the lodge, I caught Elizabeth glancing back at the ruined palace, her face pale and wide-eyed. Yet despite her fear, there was always a calmness about Elizabeth, as though she stood constantly at the centre of a storm.

I was a little scared myself, truth be told. But I was accustomed to fear. Ever since I had first discovered my power, I had wanted to be a witch—just as other girls my age wanted to be wives and mothers—and not even the threat of death could deter me from that path, now that I was finally beginning to test the extent of my powers.

When I was seven years old, out on a walk with my older brother, our nurse had given us a scolding for hiding among the bushes. Suddenly, a rook had swooped down, screaming and flapping great black wings, and begun to peck at her eyes. We all ran back to the house, pursued by the furious bird, and no one was hurt. But my nurse avoided scolding me after that, even crossing herself whenever I looked at her sideways.

That was when I first knew that I was different from other girls, and over the years I grew determined to discover just how much power I possessed. I could never forget that the punishment for witchcraft was the most painful of deaths. Yet it seemed like death to me to own a gift and never use it out of fear.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 7 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 7 Customer Reviews
  • Posted April 16, 2014

    I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest re

    I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

    Add the Tudors and witchcraft, and I’m hooked. Seriously, from the moment I read the blurb, especially the part about how this book is The Secret Circle meets The Other Boleyn Girl, I had to read it. Witchstruck is set slightly after The Other Boleyn Girl. Elizabeth, and her half-sister Queen Mary, are some of the main characters. Elizabeth is imprisoned, by command of Queen Mary. Meg, the main character, and narrator of the book, has been sent out to help Elizabeth while she’s imprisoned.

    But Meg hides a secret – she’s a witch. Tudor England is terrified of witches, and any witch caught will be burned at the stake. Meg’s secret doesn’t only endanger her, but Elizabeth as well.

    Things get evne more complicated when witchfinder Marcus Dent wants to win Meg’s hand in marriage, and her own family starts conspiring against the English queen. To make things even worse, Meg starts falling for charismatic, handsome, young Spanish priest. Then Marcus decides that if he can’t have Meg, no one can, and he’s willing to execute her to prove his point.

    A lot of things happen at once, and Witchstruck is definitely never boring. With so many things going on, there’s suspense creeping around every corner. The setting is amazing – Tudor court is always intriguing, but Victoria Lamb really makes England of the sixteenth century come to life. Meg, our main character, is a strong protagonist, who definitely has spine and courage. She’s very loyal to her friend, Elizabeth, and willing to do whatever it takes to get Elizabeth on the throne.

    Alejandro is a good love interest. He’s charming and romantic, in his own way. Especially interesting was the whole part about how their relationship was forbidden – forbidden romance are a lot more intriguing, if you ask me. There’s tension from start to end, and the pacing is incredibly fast.

    This book was a great read, and definitely recommended to anyone who loves historical fiction, witchcraft and young adult books.

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  • Posted February 26, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    **My rating of this book is 3.5 stars** I am a huge fan of hist

    **My rating of this book is 3.5 stars**

    I am a huge fan of historical fiction so I was drawn to this book when I saw it on Netgalley. I’m not a history buff but I am fascinated with the historical setting and I feel it adds charm and excitement to a story. I am also a fan of paranormal stories, so this combination for Witchstruck sounded exciting. I did like the story but I was a little disappointed that it wasn't as exciting as I hoped it would have been.

    Witchstruck is about Meg Lytton, a maid for the banished Princess Elizabeth. Meg is young and beautiful but is also secretly practicing witchcraft. She has the potential to be a very powerful witch but she still needs more training in controlling her gift. I really liked Meg because she was a strong female character. Women in this time period were raised to be passive, but Meg was wild, headstrong and opinionated. Of course this caused problems when she often would act before thinking. Since her fiancé is the local “witch hunter”, you would think she would be more careful with her gift. But she wasn’t and this caused her so many problems. I was frustrated at times with her poor judgement, but it did add excitement to the story.

    I also liked Alejandro, the mysterious Spanish priest in training who is assigned to Princess Elizabeth. There is instant sparks between Meg and Alejandro, and some really intense moments between them. But I wanted more! More romance! More swoon worthy moments! I wish there was more time given for their story. There were other plots in the story that were the main focus, so I didn’t feel a connection between Meg and Alejandro. I hope that in the next book the author spends more time on developing their relationship.

    I thought the writing was well done but I just wished the story had moved a little faster. The story was slow in the beginning but eventually picked up. I just wish this had happen sooner. But I am curious to see what happens next so I am looking forward to reading the next book.

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  • Posted November 15, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    In this, the first of a trilogy that features a Tudor-Era witch,

    In this, the first of a trilogy that features a Tudor-Era witch, Victoria Lamb capably presents a young witch, Meg, in service to Elizabeth, exiled half-sister of Queen Mary.  While many Tudor-era stories focus on Henry VIII or the court intrigue: this story is more focused on events that are relevant to the protagonist and her machinations as she learns her craft.




    A bit frustrating as an adult to read, as Meg is very much a headstrong, willful and  impulsive young woman, prone to act first and think later, if at all.  Rather, her lack of rational, adult behavior is on clear display with the first person narration.  First person narration is tricky, while the thoughts do feel like they are portrayed realistically; the repetition and perseveration when frustrated expose the reader to several passages of oft-repeated woes, complaints and lists of grudges that the forward motion of the story is severely impeded.  Despite those issues, it was hard not to like Meg: admirably loyal to Elizabeth, brave and utterly without guile, she is endearing and often like a puppy: it’s too hard to stay annoyed with her for long. 




    And, that is fortunate, because in the mid-16th century, witchcraft was a punishable offense: with the devoutly Catholic Mary on the throne, and her well-documented dislike and fear of the younger, prettier and seemingly more likable Elizabeth, spies loyal to Mary are always angling for esteemed positions by carrying tales to the Queen about the goings on.  Elizabeth knows that Meg is a witch, and frequently consults her for information and foretelling, but the two have a bond that is solid and friendly, despite the difference in social position. 




    And there are spies or those friendlier to the crown dispatched: first in the form of Alejandro a Spaniard with whom she has a romantic interest.  He is in training for the priesthood, so total devotion and all time is not devoted to this romance. Yet, it is shuffled off in a weird series of “oh he likes me , I think I love him” moments of separation and dreamy girl-crush moments the story tends to jump about a bit in favor of Meg’s narration and thoughts.  The other danger to Meg is Marcus, a witch hunter who she wastes long passages in telling us how despicable he is to her.   With other characters popping in and out, and Meg’s questionable ability to sort friend from foe, there are moments that stretch imagination to the breaking point, but enjoyable nonetheless.  




    What emerges is a story that will appeal to younger readers that can identify with Meg, and are better able to put reality aside and just enjoy the ride of the story, and accept the great changes that the reader must accept in this story.




    I received an eBook copy from the publisher via Edelweiss for purpose of honest review; I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility. 

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted November 13, 2013

    (Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a re

    (Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to Harlequin TEEN, and Netgalley.)
    16-year-old Meg is a maid to Lady Elizabeth – Queen Mary’s sister, who is imprisoned on charges of not being Catholic.
    Meg is also a trainee witch though, apprentice to her aunt Jane, and Lady Elizabeth uses Meg and Jane’s abilities to tell her whether she will ever claim the throne.

    1554 is a bad time to be a witch though, with so many witch hunters about, and one small mistake proves costly when Meg is accused of witchcraft. With her own life and her aunts life at stake, as well as that of Lady Elizabeth, Meg must try to save those she cares about, without sacrificing herself.
    Can Meg save her aunt though? Can she save Elizabeth by retrieving an important letter in time? And could marrying a witch hunter save Meg?


    This was a great historical fantasy story, and I loved Meg and her troubles.

    Meg was a great character, even if her innocence led her astray at times. She usually did what was right though, and often stuck her neck out to try and help people, even when it landed her in hot water.
    Meg’s brother, cousin, and father were not very nice people, and really deserved whatever they got. The only person Meg really had for support was Alejandro, who helped her even though he knew what she was capable of. This was pretty admirable of him, and he became one of my favourite characters.

    I liked the storyline in this book, and I really wanted Meg to get away from the witch hunters, and for Elizabeth to reclaim her title of Princess. I liked the combination of historical and paranormal themes, and the tension of what would happen to Meg, her aunt and Elizabeth.
    There was also a slight romance in this book, but it was very much a side story, and we didn’t really get much on this until the end. I’m not sure if this book is supposed to be a paranormal romance, but I would suggest that the story focused much more on Meg and the witch-craft than the romance. If you’re looking for a paranormal romance, then I’d look elsewhere.
    The ending of this was satisfying, although there was plenty left to build on in a sequel.
    Overall; a great historical paranormal story.
    7 out of 10.

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  • Posted October 13, 2013

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    When I first saw what Witchstruck by author Victoria Lamb was ab

    When I first saw what Witchstruck by author Victoria Lamb was about I was both interested and hesitant. Interested because reading about witchcraft set in an era where practitioners of witchcraft were executed sounded like a fun time; hesitant because I would be reading a story set way way back in history. Me and historical fiction don’t get along great mainly because in most cases where I’ve been reading historical fiction the characters become so realistic to that point in time that everything they say and do just becomes unrelatable and distances me from the plot.

    Luckily this was not the case with Witchstruck!

    In the novel, main character Meg Lytton is a witch who has been aware of her abilities since a young age. Having learned how to be a witch from her Aunt Jane, both Meg and her aunt are aware that being discovered means a certain death. Currently Meg is serving the Princess Elizabeth, Queen Mary’s younger half-sister, in Woodstock  all because the Princess seems to have taken an interest in Meg’s strange abilities and strong knowledge of witchcraft in hopes of discovering whether or not she will take the throne.

     Things take a turn for the worst when, accidentally, Meg begins to risk exposure as a witch. Especially when witch hunter Marcus Dent begins to take a sudden dark interest and liking in Meg. Then, just when things seem like they can’t get any worse Meg meets a to-be priest: Alejandro De Castillo. The last thing she expects from him is to be as mysterious as he is and to be drawn to him in a way that has the potential to ruin everything she and her Aunt have worked so hard to keep hidden. Against all that, Meg can’t deny that the possibility of falling for him is very real.

    What I did not expect from Witchstruck was to become so interested in the plot and characters. The way the novel is written and the way that the story and scenes are laid out and presented are really great. I was constantly left wanting to read more even when I had to put the book down, thinking “One more chapter…” And eventually one chapter became five and five became the whole book. Author Victoria Lamb does an amazing job at keeping the reader immersed in the story without overwhelming them. Which made the experience way better for me.

    I was however in a love-hate relationship with the protagonist Meg Lytton. At times I would be cheering her on in the story, feeling like she was the best protagonist who was getting stuff done instead of moping around and whining. At other times… I would just be very annoyed with the ways Meg would go about situations to get stuff done. Sometimes she would be doing things based off emotion and at other times she was considering doing things involving herself and the novel’s antagonist to attempt and fix some of the problems she herself had caused.

    Another thing that I was a bit iffy on when it came to Witchstruck was the romance. While Meg and Alejandro (*insert Gaga song here*) both had their moments that made my heart turn to complete and total mush I still find most of their relationship highly unrealistic. Alejandro is a kind, understanding and accepting soul but still I found that for him and Meg to be together required a lot of loopholes. So many loopholes that were made just so he and Meg could be together when I personally expected there to be some level of difficulty involving his religion and Meg’s witchcraft that would interfere with their relationship.

    I would recommend Witchstruck to readers who are fans of historical fiction, readers who want a novel that will keep them addicted and to fans of witch-lore who want a read that is thrilling, romantic and gripping.

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  • Posted October 1, 2013

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    Reading books in this trying time has always fascinates me. I ad

    Reading books in this trying time has always fascinates me. I adore the richness of this world created and what it could bring to the reader.

    Plot: This is a historical fiction with a bit of fantasy. A young lady named Meg is a witch and has to hide it. She is also under the advisement of a future queen Elizabeth who is facing political struggles as well. Each chapter fully engages the reader in the world, characters and different elements of fantasy. The intensity of how they live to extreme people, the astonishing weight of the overall story really brings me in deeper. I’m super excited to read the next book already.

    Love: With all the drama surrounding political wars and family, I loved that this character has her moments as well. She meets this guy, Alejandro, who happens to be a Spanish priest in training. The moments that they get to have gives the story something more to look forward to. The ending of the book leaves me excited and anxious to see where this relationship will go.

    Political: As I have mention before, this story does a great job in capturing friendships along with lots of political and power struggles. Even though Meg is dear friends with Elizabeth, Elizabeth herself is under pressure to act accordingly. Everything she does is under careful eye of her older sister and queen. Seeing how everything is dealt in court with vast proportions of emotions like anger and blame, the world is on Elizabeth’s shoulder. She must prove herself or cease everything that has to do with the throne. Talk about pressure!

    An intriguing read that is faithful to the era, Witchstruck is an success. With amazing elements, it feels like you are actually in the story. A riveting story of love and magic, Witchstruck is awesome!

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  • Posted August 27, 2013

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    Wonderful Historical Fantasy!

    Step back into sixteenth century England, when the royal Tudor family is embroiled in both political and religious strife and Queen Mary has exiled her sister, Elizabeth. Witches were feared and murdered with great zeal, making this historical trip back in time even more intriguing because Meg, a servant of Elizabeth’s is a young witch filled with powerful, untapped magic that could mean death to them both if Meg’s powers are exposed. Her life may hang in the balance from a spurned suitor and determined witch hunter as well as a young Catholic knight/priest.

    Witchstruck by Victoria Lamb will entice history buffs as well as lovers of all things supernatural as she deftly blends brilliant and youthful characters with historical facts and supernatural fantasy in a fast-paced and very well-written tale that held me spellbound to the end! Danger, intrigue, hatred, revenge, magic and love are all part of this enchanting tale as it races to an end that could change history at the stroke of a pen! Fabulous YA reading and a wonderful start to a new trilogy!!

    An ARC edition was provided by NetGalley and Harlequin Teen in exchange for my honest review.

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