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4.0 out of 5 stars
Witch Finder
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on 7 June 2014
This one really took me on a ride, but not a good one. I went from thinking it was going to be a solid four stars, then saw it was probably going to be an iffy three, to then realising it would probably be a 2.5 and that was me being generous. This is a real shame because I loved the cover and the premise sounded very promising. I also want to warn any animal lovers that this book contains some rather brutal scenes of rather hideous treatment of some rather cute animals by some rather douchey men!

This sounded like it could be such a great story. Luke wishes to join the Malleus Maleficorum, a brotherhood that is dedicated to finding and killing witches. Luke is the only person they know who is a Witch Finder; he can see witches and the magic that clings to them. He witnessed his parents deaths at the hands of a witch and has been determined to seek revenge ever since. When he picks Rosa's name, Luke knows that he must track her down and kill her, or risk being killed himself for not completing the task. But Rosa Greenwood isn't what Luke expected, she's not the brutal, unfeeling person he has always imagined every witch to be.

I really loved the premise, it sounds like it could be such an amazing story. Sadly, this didn't really deliver and the story was actually really lacking. Luke and Rosa's romance is something you know is coming, but it takes a long time and then suddenly just happens. I feel like I would have really loved their romance a lot more if we had seen it slowly developing and had more moments between them.

Rosa's family is in a dire way, her father's death has left her devastated and her family struggling. They no longer have the wealth they used to and are struggling to keep up the pretence that they are a rich, powerful family. Rosa's brother Alexis wants her to marry Sebastian Knyvet, who is from one of the most powerful and wealthy witch families. Sebastian, as you quickly realise, is an utter knobhead! There isn't a likeable part about him, but that's the whole point, you aren't supposed to root for him at all and you don't.

My main issue with the book was how slow moving and boring it was. There wasn't much happening for a lot of the book and my interest really began to wane and I felt like I might nod off at times. I was really enjoying it at the beginning, but the story just really began to slow down at the halfway point. To make matters worse, the end seemed really disjointed and it felt like I was reading a different book from the one I started with. I also didn't like that there wasn't much of an ending to speak of, just an abrupt end and the knowledge that if I want any real answers, I will have to read the next book. I have no intentions of picking up the next book, I almost fell asleep reading this one.

2.5/5 Stars

An okay read. The premise sounded promising but the book didn't live up to it. Slow moving, with a romance that suddenly appears rather than building up over time. Really abrupt ending but I am not interested in picking up the sequel to see how it turns out.

*I received a copy of this novel from the author/publisher/publicist via Edelweiss in exchange for a free and honest review and received no monetary compensation for this review.
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on 4 June 2014
I read the winter trilogy and really enjoyed them but the captivating world Ruth Warburton creates is even more spellbinding and seems to fit much better into the world of carriages and corsets and the overall power men have compared to women. Also there's that moment of joy when you read a name like Rokewood and you go 'ooh Anna!' was it predictable? yes but I loved it!
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Right from the beginning I was immediately transported to Spitalfields in 1880. All my senses were pulled into the opening scene of Luke on his way to meet his uncle and this remained the same throughout Witch Finder.

With alternate narrations from Luke and Rosa, a picture builds.

With Rosa we find out about her magical family and their expectations. Knyvet’s personality becomes very clear from a harrowing scene whilst riding on The Row (the first but not the last!). We find out later why he may be so cruel and I’m wondering if in future books in the series that we might see a completely different Knyvet … however, in Witch Finder, he is the character who makes your skin crawl with his maliciousness and greed.

Luke gets into the family home as a stable boy. He is so sweet and with his growing feelings for Rosa, his attempts to kill her bring heartache and guilt. Ending back at his uncle’s with no memory of the past few months, his ‘emptiness’ was heartbreaking.

I love how the author uses magic both in its healing manifestation and in its destructive force. Excellent use of the match factories in the plot too! It is obvious the author has researched. A blending of fact and of course, fiction.

The build-up to the cliffhanger was amazing. I was so tense! I’m looking forward to finding out how the consequences play out in Witch Hunt (due to be published in June so not long to wait).

I can’t end my review without mentioning the covers. Love the symbols and the fact that we never see our main character’s full facial features. There’s an animated cover of Witch Finder on the author’s website.

I would like to thank the publishers for pre-approval via Netgalley.
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on 11 March 2014
I was an avid reader of all the witch books and couldn't believe it when this book came out. Loved how this book tied in with the witch trilogy and loved the historic setting! Story could have had a greater depth to it though
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*I received a copy of this book via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Thanks to Hachette Children's Books and Ruth Warburton*

An orphan as the result of his parents being murdered by a witch, Luke Lexton joins a brotherhood of witch hunters - the Malleus Maleficorum. The final test of his initiation is to choose a name in a book of witches and kill that witch within a month. The witch he chooses is Rosa Greenwood, a young girl who is being forced to marry Sebastian Knyvet, a cruel and rich young man, in order to save her familiy from bankruptcy. As Luke poses as a stable boy in order to kill Rosa, he realises that murdering a witch won't be as easy as he thought.

Witch Finder is set in 1880's London and I enjoyed the setting.
The plot was rather predictable but despite this I found the book enjoyable and liked the author's writing style.
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on 27 January 2014
Really good keeps you interested from start to finish. I can not wait for the second book, I loved it.
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on 18 January 2014
Yet another brilliant story by Ruth Warburton
Cant wait for the next one (witch hunt)
Wish they were a bit longer as didnt want to stop reading and the fact that they were in the olden days worked really well
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on 5 July 2014
book, not as good as the others she wrote
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on 21 September 2014
really goodbook
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 9 January 2014
I was lucky enough to receive a proof copy of Witch Finder and having loved Warburton's Witch in Summer series I couldn't wait to read it. Witch Finder did not disappoint. It was so gripping that I read it in practically two sittings. The plot was amazing (think Flambards with witches) and Luke and Rosa fantastic characters. My only disappointment is knowing that it's going to be a while before the next book in the series publishes.
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