Book Reviews

‘The best moments in reading are when you come across something - a thought, a feeling, a way of looking at things - which you had thought special and particular to you. And now, here it is, set down by someone else, a person you have never met, someone even who is long dead. And it is as if a hand has come out, and taken yours.’ Alan Bennett

“Many a book is like a key to unknown chambers within the castle of one’s own self.” ― Franz Kafka

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Witchstruck - Victoria Lamb

Witchstruck is a Young Adult title set in the mid-1500s, which tells the story of 15 year old Meg Lytton.

Meg's father is a respectable farmer who, wary of her burgeoning interest in witchcraft (encouraged by her maternal aunt), arranges for her to serve the exiled Princess Elizabeth, who has been banished to the isolated, run-down palace of Woodstock by her sister, Queen Mary. Meg finds a kindred spirit in Elizabeth. The shadow of her mother Anne Boleyn, herself accused of witchcraft, hangs over the young princess and she is keen to further her interest in magic and astrology (her mentor/astrologer John Dee also makes a cameo appearance in the book).

Throughout the story Meg is pursued by two very different suitors: the dashing Alejandro, a Spanish priest-in-training whose mission is to ensure that Elizabeth and her retinue adhere to the Catholic faith; and the dastardly witchfinder Marcus Dent, a darkly evil and warped individual who has some very strange ideas about how to go about wooing a young lady!

I’m not much of a reader of Young Adult novels and was initially a little wary that there might be a bit too much teen romance for me, but I was very pleasantly surprised. In fact I found it to be more insightful and intelligently written than a lot of the ‘Tudor-lite’ adult novels that are around at the moment. Meg is a very engaging character and Alejandro, despite being described as ‘smouldering’ in the blurb (presumably to appeal to the teen/Twilight market), is a charming and enigmatic young man.

Victoria Lamb already has a well received adult Elizabethan novel under her belt (which I hope to read soon) and another one to be released next year. I understand that Witchstruck is the first in a planned series of books featuring Meg Lytton, and accordingly the ending, whilst both exciting and satisfying, is left wide open for the next instalment.

Reviewed by Denise Powell.

Guest reviewer Denise Powell has kindly reviewed this novel for The Little Reader Library - many thanks to Denise for this lovely, insightful review. Denise is a very keen reader whose reviews I always enjoy reading and whose opinion I trust when choosing a book.

Published by Corgi

You can visit Victoria's website here and follow her on twitter @VictoriaLamb1

Thanks to the author and publisher for kindly sending a copy of this novel to read and review.

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