Release Date: 5th January, 2012
Publisher: Hodder Children's Books
Anna Winterson doesn't know she's a witch and would probably mock you for believing in magic, but after moving to the small town of Winter with her father, she learns more than she ever wanted to about power. When Anna meets Seth, she is smitten, but when she enchants him to love her, she unwittingly amplifies a deadly conflict between two witch clans and splits her own heart into two. She wants to love Seth, to let him love her - but if it's her magic that's controlling his passion, then she is as monstrous as the witch clan who are trying to use her amazing powers for their own gain.
Although a perfect fit for the paranormal romance genre, A WITCH IN WINTER avoids fangs, excessive body hair and submissive female leads, and tells the heart-wrenching story of a couple meant to be together, but being forced apart. Seth is utterly irresistible and Anna is an empowered, proactive young woman with unimaginable magic inside her. This is fast-paced, sensuous writing with believable incantations inspired by Warburton's research into witchcraft legend and old English.
Okay for once this year I'm totally impressed by this title - one I didn't expect to like nor even love. Now after hearing nothing but great things about this book and by the time I got this book into my greedy little hands as all books eventually find their way to (by the way it's a beautiful book cover and I know the model or rather know of her) . . . I have to say the wait was well worth it. But damn damn damn, I wished I had picked this book up a lot sooner than I did and discovered for myself what this book was all about . . . and its epicness! It had plenty of that to offer!
A WITCH IN WINTER tells us the story about a young girl named Anna whom has recently moved with her father from London to the coastal village of Winter for a fresh start since her father had lost his job. While Anna isn't exactly thrilled by this recent change in her life, however she settles in quite comfortably and eventually makes friends for herself along the way. But after an innocent sleepover and a few drinks later, Anna's new friends find a spellbook hidden away in her new home and decide - forcing Anna to play with them - to cast a love spell which like all love spells go . . . goes completely wrong. With her friends little knowing of what they've unleashed, thinking they were just mucking around, the spell actually worked and it was all because of Anna. The day she returns to school, the boy she thought of while creating the spell and the boy she happens to have a crush on since moving to the town, that being Seth, suddenly starts declaring his love for Anna and begins obsessing over her every need. After all, he did say this, "Anna, I know this sounds crazy but - I love you." Honestly what's a girl to do? How can a girl with no power undo this crazy love spell that was never meant to be casted in the first place? Or . . . is there something more to Anna than she first realized? Guess you'll have to pick up the book to find out.
I have to say this book was utter awesomesauce and it really set itself apart from your common young adult reads that we have nowadays on our shelves. But what I loved most was the fact that the book focused far more on the witchy side rather than on other paranormal creatures side, and it's not too often a paranormal YA story has that type of element about it. It was sure a nice change and it really hit close to home for me. The setting especially was what made me want more and more of this story . . . but also the characters as well.
Anna, the main heroine, was one of the best characters I've read in a while. The fact that she was so normal and easy to relate to on a teenage level (what with her trying to fit in and make new friends), I thankfully didn't have to suffer through too much teenage angst so well done to the author, Ruth Warburton, for that! As far as Seth goes, Anna's crush, I felt sorry for the poor boy. I mean, the love spell didn't exactly do him any favours at first. But the moment he stepped onto the page was the moment I fell for his character and I felt instantly drawn to him almost within a heartbeat. Sure, he didn't seem like your average 'nice guy' and he had his own personal issues to figure out, but what matters here was liking him and liking him - and loving him - I did. Not only did the love spell create an interesting storyline but it also helped these two main characters, Anna and Seth, confide in each other, form a friendship, and find a sense of trust. But honestly it was more than that . . . it eventually help them find themselves and who they want to be . . . so the love spell was a kind of a blessing in disguise for these characters even though it was awkward at times. The love declarations and all . . . very awkward.
Overall, I thought A WITCH IN WINTER was a fantastic debut novel coming from the very talented and engaging Ruth Warburton. With a wonderful haunting setting, interesting characters with many different layers and with an action-edgy-packed finale, I'm definitely excited to continue with this trilogy and if the first book was awesome . . . I'm expecting to be blown away by its sequel. I highly recommend this book to anyone with a love of witches and unexpected romances . . . along with a little bit of everything hidden inbetween!