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Burn Mark

Burn Mark

2.8 8
by Laura Powell

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In a modern world where witches are hunted down and burned at the stake, two lives intersect. Glory is from a family of witches, and is desperate to develop her 'Fae' powers and become a witch herself, though witch-activity carries a threat of being burned at the stake. Lucas is the son of the Chief Prosecutor for the Inquisition with a privileged life very


In a modern world where witches are hunted down and burned at the stake, two lives intersect. Glory is from a family of witches, and is desperate to develop her 'Fae' powers and become a witch herself, though witch-activity carries a threat of being burned at the stake. Lucas is the son of the Chief Prosecutor for the Inquisition with a privileged life very different from the witches he is being trained to prosecute. And then one day, both Glory and Lucas develop the Fae. In one fell stroke, their lives are inextricably bound together.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Secrets, lies, and crime go hand in hand with magic and mystery in this urban fantasy from Powell (The Game of Triumphs). In an alternate present-day England, witches are a small but present minority, licensed and regulated by the government, at risk of being burned alive if they’re caught misusing their powers. On the same day, two 15-year-olds come into their powers: Glory Wilde, part of a witch family entangled in crime, and Lucas Stearne, son of a High Inquisitor. When Lucas volunteers for an undercover assignment to prove his worth and offset the stigma of being a witch, he and Glory become uneasy allies, united as they discover a corrupt conspiracy involving the Inquisition that could spell disaster for witches everywhere. Twists and surprises abound in this fascinating drama. Although the story is a bit dense and slow-moving in places, Powell’s world-building is solid, her details are grounded, and the novel’s magic system is refreshingly logical. A satisfying series opener with hints of Holly Black and Diana Wynne Jones. Ages 14–up. Agent: Sarah Molloy, A.M. Heath. (June)
Children's Literature - Lisa Colozza Cocca
Set in an alternate world, this paranormal crime novel explores a contemporary setting where witchcraft is commonplace. It is so commonplace that there are laws and government agencies in place to control the witches. The two main characters, Lucas and Glory, come from opposing groups. Lucas's family has been a part of the British Inquisition for several generations. It has been their job to hunt down and control the witches. The witches they are unable to control, they burn at the stake. Glory comes from a long line of witches and longs for the day when she too will have fae, the power of witchcraft. When Lucas and Glory reach the age of fifteen they each discover they have the mark of the Devil's Kiss. Lucas follows the law and goes to his father to reveal his fae. Glory, on the other hand, chooses to keep her power secret. Their lives intermingle when each is sent into a witch mob as undercover spies. The plot combines mob wars, government corruption, and violence with a budding romance. The author has built a strong, well-crafted world. However, the multitude of secondary characters and shallow sub-plots slightly weakens the overall story. Fans of the genre will likely be drawn in enough to the world and the two strong main characters to accept the novel's weaknesses and crave for a sequel to tie up the many loose ends. Reviewer: Lisa Colozza Cocca
VOYA - Marlyn Beebe
In an alternate world technologically similar to the 21stcentury, witchcraft is common. In this England, although it is not illegal to be a witch, all must be registered with the government. It is easy to tell who is or is not: witches (both male and female) have a mark that looks like a burn somewhere on their body. The protagonists are two London teens, Gloriana (Glory) Wilde and Lucas Stearne. Glory comes from a long line of witches, though her talents have not appeared yet, and she is desperately hopeful. She wants to pull her family out of the shadow of the Mafia-type clan who runs the streets now. Lucas is the son of one of the most powerful men in the government. His father is chief prosecutor of the Inquisitorial Court, a job that sounds exactly like what it is. Lucas is horrified when, one day, he finds a burn mark on himself. He eventually decides that the best way to use his power is to work for the Inquisition. Glory and Lucas meet when Lucas goes undercover in Glory’s neighborhood to find out who is responsible for terrorist-style violence against witches, and they discover a widespread conspiracy that could involve people from both camps. None of the characters here, even Glory and Lucas, are portrayed as terribly sympathetic, but it works because it makes the idea of them working as a team more plausible. With some bad language, as well as a lot of British slang, this mystery/spy/paranormal/dystopian novel will probably work for mature readers of any of those genres. Ages 15 to 18.
School Library Journal
Gr 7 Up—Set in a modern-day England where witchcraft is highly regulated and discrimination against "witches" is prevalent, this coming-of-age novel manages to be an action-packed read and a metaphor for intolerance and suspicion currently experienced by some minorities. Two teens come into their fae power on the same day. Upper-class Lucas is a the son of a seventh-generation inquisitor, the public servants charged with prosecuting "fae" crimes, and he plans to follow in his father's footsteps. Then he finds the "Devil's Kiss" on his back and feels the power awaken within. This unexpected and unwelcome power means the end of his father's career and a life of heavy supervision by the state, as he will, of course, register himself and submit to the mandated testing and binding of minors. Working-class Glory, on the other hand, is overjoyed the day her power awakens. Daughter and granddaughter of witches famed for their style and criminal acumen, she knows that her gift brings new life to her family's aging criminal enterprises. She is surprised when her beloved aunt insists on keeping her new power a secret; being a witch for a gang, it turns out, is more dangerous than glamorous, and rival operations have been watching, waiting to see if Glory's power would develop. The two teens are brought together by political intrigue after an incident of witchcraft-based terrorism and a race to stop anti-witch zealots within the government. A well-done, fast-paced read that will appeal to both paranormal fans and thrill-seeking readers.—Caroline Tesauro, Radford Public Library, VA
Kirkus Reviews
Crime noir meets paranormal romance in this addictive thriller about two London teens in whom the fae awakens, conferring abilities at once exhilarating and harshly stigmatized. Glory exults in her strong powers, although Auntie Angel warns her to hide them from the organized-crime covens ruling their hardscrabble neighborhood; otherwise, she could be forced to marry Wednesday Coven–heir Troy Morgan. (Powerful witches are rare and the gift runs in families.) To Lucas, whose ancestry includes England's most distinguished inquisitors, his awakening fae feels like a door slamming on his future and his father's career as Chief Prosecutor of the Inquisitorial Court. Asked to investigate who's sabotaging an important legal case, Lucas jumps at the chance, working with a skeptical Glory. In this alternative contemporary England, witches have achieved some rights and can even have careers, provided they're "bridled" (fitted with magic-preventing iron). Still, stake burning remains legal, though regulated; growing popular movements advocate witch genocide. Political intrigue and class warfare, inquisitorial office and coven politics are densely detailed without overwhelming the characters or slowing the pace as the narrative builds to a tense climax so cinematic that readers will find themselves mentally casting the film version. This smart, stylish series opener raises the bar for paranormal fiction, leaving readers impatient for the next installment. (author's note) (Urban fantasy. 12 & up)

Product Details

Bloomsbury USA
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
7.60(w) x 5.00(h) x 1.20(d)
Age Range:
14 - 17 Years

Meet the Author

LAURA POWELL spent most of her childhood with her nose in a book. She went on to study Classics at Bristol and Oxford, then spent five years working in the editorial departments of both adult and children's publishers. Laura is the author of two thrillers for teen readers, Game of Triumphs and Master of Misrule.

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Burn Mark 2.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
Bookishluv More than 1 year ago
This is one of those books I was set out to fall in love with but instead of being sucked in and finishing it in a matter of hours it took me almost a week to finish it. The premise of the book is pretty unique and what made me want to read it. It's set in an alternate London where there are Covens which are actually gangs, everyone knows that witches exist and they are looked down upon in society, and modern day witch burnings happen in all parts of the world. Glory and Lucas are the main characters. Glory being the next in line to become the head witch of a coven and Lucas who is the son of a Chief Prosecutor for the Inquisitorial Court and finds himself to be a witch which pretty much ruins all his future plans of being part of the inquisition. Like I said the concept sounds awesome and I really would have loved this book if it wasn't for all the extra details and info dumping that occurred. It really took away from my enjoyment of the book and I even started skimming some paragraphs because it didn't hold my interest. Another thing that was a little frustrating was the switch of point of views in the middle of the chapters. For the most part the povs alternated with each chapter but about half way the switch would come without warning and there were times I thought I was reading in Glory's pov but somewhere in the middle it became Lucas' point of view and vice versa. Another thing that had thrown me off was that the prologue sucked me in but then after that about half of the book nothing really happened. It was just giving us details about the day to day lives of our two main characters. It's not until Glory and Lucas finally meet up which was literally about half way into the book that things picked up, and I found myself actually wanting to finish the book instead of marking it as a DNF. Burn Mark has an amazing cover which I think actually reflects the personality of Glory who is very strong willed and knows she is a very powerful witch. She was the only character who I really liked in the novel. Lucas did grow on me by the end but not so much, he was too stuck in his prejudice mindset about witches even though he had become one also. Overall Burn Mark had great potential but it just wasn't executed well.
kimba88 More than 1 year ago
The tale begins when we meet fifteen year old Gloriana Starling Wilde. She is having a nightmare about a woman being burned as a witch. She has had this dream since her mother disappeared when she was just three years old. She lives with her Auntie Angeline Starling and father. They belong to a mafia type witch family. They are unregistered and make their living in petty crime and running the neighborhood. Every night she prays for the mark of the Fae. We then meet fifteen year old Lucas Stearne. His family comes from a long line of Inquisitors and he is expected to fill his father’s shoes. On the very same day these two come into Fae power. The tale that unfolds takes us deep into the world of both witches and Inquisitors. Unexpectedly Gloriana and Lucas find themselves working together undercover. Both enter this arrangement for different reasons and on different sides of a war against/for witchcraft. They soon discover that not everything is black and white. The characters Powell creates are unique. Gloriana in her dark eye make-up appears hard and streetwise. She has come into her Fae and she is powerful. While she wants to scream this from the tree-tops she is forced to keep it a secret. She is tough and life has taught her not to take crap from anybody. Her boisterous ways had me laughing aloud. She shows no fear and feels a sense of loyalty; even to those who don’t treat her well. In the beginning she had clear opinions about witchkind and humans. Her prejudice runs deep, and it’s her time spent with Lucas that changes her. Lucas is the perfect son, on track to follow in his father’s footsteps; even if he silently disagrees. As he comes into his Fae, we see a change in him. He sets out to prove himself to his father, but quickly forges his own path and begins to be firm in his own beliefs. While I didn’t always approve of him jumping into action without back-up, I liked him. Together their personalities worked of each other and made them each a better person. Other characters add to the story-line and present us with characters to love and loathe. The world-building reminded me of a modern day version of Salem, Massachusetts (during the Salem Witch trials). Today they declare themselves much more civilized. They have rules by which all Fae are governor. They must declare themselves and be tested. They can choose to give up their Fae, by wearing irons or once they reach adult-hood seek work using their skills. Witchkind are constantly monitored by the Inquisitors and police. By all accounts they are second class citizens. They are sent to trial and burned at the stake for acts of witchcraft and treason. As we enter Powell’s world it is on the cusp of change. The Inquisitors are recruiting and working with Fae. This has caused a crack in the balance and some fear this change will lead to equality. Some might go to great expense to see that it never happens. I enjoyed this novel but I am afraid the pace might turn some readers off. I found the world-building fascinating and the writing flowed well, but there was very little action until the last few chapters. The conflict in this novel was resolved and this works well as a standalone, however Powell has left the door open for a series. Fans of witches and witch trials should enjoy Burn Mark. While the pace is slow, the detail is rich. I am hoping a second book develops and that Powell’s next plot has more action. I am keeping this author on my watch list. I want to tha
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Why cant laura just get to the point! I mean shr just frickin rambles on about crap that doesnt make any sense
ImaginaryReads More than 1 year ago
This novel intrigued me with how it brings witches and witch trials to the modern era. In a world where witches are very real and present in daily life, the majority fears them and persecutes them. Law-abiding witches must wear iron to subdue their Fae (their powers), and those who don't register themselves live in fear of being burned for treason. In the UK, where the story takes place, the Inquisitors run the witch trials as representatives of the law. The novel is told from the alternating perspectives of Glory and Lucas. I like how it gives us the viewpoints of two teens coming from very different areas of life. Glory is raised in a community of witches and has yearned to come into her powers since a very young age. Lucas, on the other hand, comes from a family with a long history working as Inquisitors and has always wanted to follow in his father's footsteps. He never thought about the possibility of becoming a witch because it isn't in his blood. But then he does, and he is forced to rethink his entire life and how it'll change the way people look at him. I found myself sympathizing with and liking Lucas more. He's not a spoiled brat despite his family's affluence. From the start, he establishes himself as an amiable, honest character with a good heart and sharp mind. His father is a righteous man unlike many of the other people he works with, and Lucas has learned from him to hold good morals and stand up for what he believes is right. Glory also has character. She's strong, courageous, and a tad bit outspoken. She has strong loyalties to the witches of her community, though she doesn't always approve of how they run things. Nevertheless, I never quite connected with her like I did with Lucas. There isn't much to say about other characters except that they are present, some likable and some unlikable. There are a fair amount of them, and few are developed enough to have a lasting impression. Lore-wise, I enjoyed learning about the history of the witches and their role in this world. I do wish that the story went into it more in depth at the beginning, as the story is slow to start, and it took me a while to understand the beginnings of the workings of the world. There's no need to info dump, but it would have helped to understand a little more about witches. I also feel as though we could have gotten more out of the story. I'd liked to see more to the plot and the world than we get in the novel. On the whole, this is a straightforward, enjoyable read. The pace starts off slow but speeds up as we get more into the world and the plot starts moving. I recommend this to those who enjoy an urban fantasy book with sound lore and history behind the world building.
Icecream18JA More than 1 year ago
Glory and Lucas act as foils for each other in this entrancing novel. Glory has always desired to be a witch, she believes strongly in the "Fae." Lucas is from a family where witches are persecuted and would like nothing more than to get rid of the mark that proclaims him as a witch. The reader will spend some time getting to know Glory and Lucas first. Glory is a lot less prickly and easier to connect to than Lucas, but Lucas will grow on the reader. The differences in their upbringing are large and it is hard to believe that these two characters could possibly both be witches. Glory learns more about her past as the story progresses and desperately wants to discover what happened to her parents. Lucas might have the answer or access to some of her questions, but how will the new information affect the pair? Overall, this story was pretty good. The characters, for the most part, were easy to like and get to know. The plot was slow in some places, but picked up in others. This book is recommended to teen/middle grade readers.
booksaresanity More than 1 year ago
Good characters but the book seemed long at times My first impressions of Burn Mark were a bit disturbing. I wasn't a fan of the descriptions of witches being burned alive at the stake. However, I am very sensitive to these types of descriptions, so for others, this may not be an issue. Also, once I got through the couple of descriptions there were not any more, so I was fine. I really liked the characters of Glory and Lucas. They were from two completely differently lifestyles and two different family types. Lucas was from twelve generations of Inquisitors (people who work for the government finding witches who have committed crimes), and Glory was from a long line of Fae, or witches. The society they lived in tried to juggle with how accepting they were of witches. Witches had to be registered and "bridled" with iron to stop them from using their powers. Otherwise they had to be working in a type of government position that allowed them to use their powers, while under supervision. The general idea of the book, that Lucas, who is the son of a high Inquisitor, becomes a witch is an interesting one. How will he reconcile his life now, when all he has ever planned was to follow in his father's footsteps? And how will his father and family deal with this dilemma? How does Glory fit into it? The book is an enjoyable read, but felt a bit long at times. I was not a fan of the ending, I felt like it was too abrupt and open-ended. Overall a nice read, I give Burn Mark three and a half stars out of five. ( This book contains some cussing) I received this book for free. This is my honest review.
Evilous More than 1 year ago
In a modern world where witches are hunted down and burned at the stake two people who have lived completely different lives find they have more in common than they ever would have thought. Glory is from a family of witches, and prays every day that she will develop the ‘Fae’ and become a witch herself. Lucas on the other hand is son of the Chief Prosecutor for the Inquisition, a long line of Inquisitors for that matter. His privileged life is completely different from the witches he has been raised and trained to prosecute. Then one day, both Gloria and Lucas develop the Fae. In one day their lives are changed forever and they start on a path that will entwine their lives together. So first let me say that this book does have some random terminology I was unfamiliar with, authentic slang from London I guess and I liked it. I only mention it because I did do a quick good search to be sure that my understanding of a couple of words were correct, and they were so go me, so it’s nothing that will detract from the book in the least, I felt if anything it made it more authentic. I will say that the versions of witches in this book is more elemental. No simple phrase or thought and things happen, there is real work to do it. I liked how gritty and complex it was. For me it made it more realistic and not hyped up. Fantasy but with limits. Though I will say I don’t think I’d be practicing my Fae as I’m a slight germaphobe, but even as I cringed I enjoyed the way they had to do the work to make things. Character wise I liked Gloria and Lucas. They are like two sides of a coin. Gloria is tough and rough around the edges where Lucas is proper and refined. They rub against each other and create this great tension and as a reader you are see both their sides and can understand them both. I loved seeing things from both of their viewpoints. I constantly felt myself being pulled to one side then the other over and over again with who I felt was right. Seeing two characters who are so clearly different have to work together and eventually grow to understand the other slightly better while never really changing their core beliefs was amazing. Now the characters really sold me but they wouldn’t have been nearly as good without a great plot and let me tell you this one was stimulating. A plot abound with undercover operations, mystery, intrigue and secrets galore. I think the plot moved along very nicely pacing everything so as a reader you are always interested and not wanting to put the book down. For me I’d finish a chapter and then think, just one more then to sleep. Then that one chapter turned into four or five… A good mix of suspense, action, and inner self development if you ask me. I give this book a solid 5 Stars. Now this great book is set to come out June 19th and I suggest you check it out. Would you side with the witches or the Inquisitors? Would developing the Fae be a blessing or a curse? Let me know what you think?