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on 2 April 2014
I loved this book and read it in a day and a half. It was spooky and atmospheric, with a great storyline that didn’t falter and wonderful characters, continued from the first book, Witchstruck.

The main focus is on Meg, a born witch, working for a young Elizabeth I before she became Queen. Encouraged by Elizabeth, Meg works a spell with far reaching results and has to put her abilities to the test to bring order back to the world around her. This wonderful storyline is spooky and gripping, providing constant action from page 1.

The unlikely relationship between Meg and Catholic novice Alejandro is beautifully portrayed and utterly convincing. And I was caught up in the complexities of their romance as they tried to keep their betrothal secret, and dealt with interference from all sides, including the Inquisition.

Witchfall is a great book and I got totally lost in it. I can’t wait to read book 3!
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on 17 September 2014
If you enjoyed Witchstruck at all (as I definitely did), even the slightest bit, you must read Witchfall. Victoria Lamb has ramped things up for the second instalment of her YA Tudor Witch trilogy: more complexity to the romance, more shadowy danger to our beloved protagonist as well as more historical reference.

The settings in this novel are great and beautifully done. The politicised atmosphere at court and the more rustic country setting are both rendered clearly for the reader, as well as the dreadful vision which plagues poor Meg more and more through the novel. Dangers are definitely lurking everywhere, and this is a very tense read.

It's difficult to say much for a sequel without giving away spoilers, but you should know that the plotting in this novel is first rate. The tension is managed exquisitely, and even when you are sure you know what's going to happen next, there are surprises and twists in store. I am also enjoying the cast of characters created in this series and am very much looking forward to seeing how it is all tied together in the end.

I think the second book in a trilogy must be quite difficult to get right and I am always grumpy with a book which leaves too many loose ends. Witchfall skilfully draws together threads that were introduced in Witchstruck without them having felt like loose ends, and also weaves in (and ties off) new ones effectively. There is clearly mileage to explore and conclude in the next novel, but this is no irritating cliffhanger.

Overall, if you enjoy historical fiction and/or witchy books and/or YA romance, I would definitely recommend this series.
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on 4 March 2014
This novel follows Megan as she accompanies Princess Elizabeth to court in London. Summoned by Queen Mary who is reportedly due to give birth at any time, Elizabeth finds herself even more of a prisoner than she was at Woodstock. But it isn't just events at court that are dangerous for them. The Inquisition suspects everyone and it's only a matter of time before they investigate Elizabeth's household.

I started this almost as soon as I had finished Witchstruck which I had loved! Meg is a great character and as I said in my review of Witchstruck I loved the concept of magic at the Tudor court.

Meg is in even more danger in this novel. The inquisition has her in their sights and at Elizabeth's command she carries out magical 'experiements' to try and talk to Anne Boleyn right under the nose of Mary and the court. Plus her foe Marcus Dent might be back and out to get her. I often had the "just one more chapter" syndrome at night while reading this as I had to find out what happened next.

I enjoyed this second installment almost as much as I enjoyed the first. There is more love now that Alejandro and Meg have moved on a step in their relationship. There is more magic with Meg pushing her powers even further. John Dee and his assistant Richard also play more of a role in this novel with Dee almost becoming a new mentor to Meg. We also find out more about Marcus Dent and his past.

I definitely loved it and wouldn't hesitate to recommend it, I can't wait for the last book in the series.
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on 6 March 2014
I devoured Witchstruck last May thanks to the lovely guys at Random House, I was truly sucked into this story and begging for more. It feels like I have been waiting a lifetime for the next instalment in Meg's tale as I read Witchstruck about two months before it's general release. Sometimes reading them early is NOT the best idea.
It's sooo good to have Meg and Alejandro back in my life, I feel like their friends of mine.
Witchfall is so much more intense and dark. Blanche Parry is not one of my favourite characters but I felt for her so much after her time with the inquisition as for Meg my heart was in my mouth for her whole ordeal. I shant say anymore on these matters as I do not wish to ruin the story. But yet again Victoria has given us an absolute gem of a second story in this bewitching series.

It's funny most people dread reading the second or third in a series as they are not always as good as the first book. I completely loved Witchfall it was dark and empowering...I won't ruin it but there was a part in the second half of the book where I was sat thinking how can the series continue. And then bam another awesome twist that tells you what you needed to know. Meg and Alejandro's relationship is put to the test in the most intense way. I was not ready for or expecting the love triangle although when it happened, I was like aww now that makes complete sense. I was completely blown away again, this book had the perfect imagery and sometimes that was hard to imagine as it was sooo gruesome at times.

Victoria Lamb you have well and truly done it again!!!! LOVED IT!!! Want the next book NOW!!!! If you haven't already read Witchstruck then check out my review of that here
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on 21 April 2014
Witchfall resumes pretty soon after the end of Witchstruck with Meg, Elizabeth, and Alejandro heading to court. Meg is constantly under threat from the Inquisition, who are looking for anybody who might be practicing witchcraft. Most of the book takes place at court and danger surrounds them all with the Inquisition in one corner and Queen Mary in the other, trying to get rid of Princess Elizabeth. Witchfall is a bit darker than the first book and this suits the plot. Meg has faced exposure as a witch, only just escaping, and even one slip up will land her in the dungeons being tortured by the Spanish priests. On top of that is Meg and Alejandro's love. The Spanish priests would never allow Alejandro to marry somebody of Meg's class and so they have to hide their betrothal.

While Meg is the main character, Alejandro was by far my favourite. It annoyed me how Alejandro seemed slightly more dedicated to their love, although I admired Meg for standing up for her heritage on not letting Alejandro's wishes dictate her own. Meg is a very strong person and in Witchfall she has to embrace this strength. She is constantly looking out for Elizabeth, desperately trying to see when she will return to the throne, and also succeeds in taking care of herself. However, there were times when Meg needed to stop and think about what she was doing and the consequences of her actions.

As the book goes on Meg realises that when attempting to speak with a ghost from the past another spirit was inadvertently released, something evil. This is the other half of the plot that the book consists of and it made the book more exciting. There was lots of impressive spell casting and tense scenes which I enjoyed and they let Meg's determination and stubbornness shine through, both of which kept her alive throughout the book. The setting of the book was one of the best parts. It is set in 1555 so the book is essentially historical fantasy. This augmented the atmosphere of the book and made it even more enjoyable.

Overall, Witchfall was a good sequel with an interesting twist at the end and I'm looking forward to reading the next one!

YA
3.5 stars
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on 19 October 2013
I received a free copy in exchange for an honest review from Netgalley.

General Overview (no spoilers)

I thought this book was really good. It was (mostly) historically correct, full of magic, love, loyalty and betrayal. I love Meg, she is a great character, strong but admits her weaknesses, wants the best for her mistress even if it means losing her love. She wants what is best for everyone she loves.

4 out of 5 stars

Step by Step Overview (spoilers)

0% - This is the sequel to Witchstruck which I enjoyed greatly, only been a month or two since I read the first one and I already cannot remember some of the small threads of plot. I have only heard/seen good things about this book, cannot wait to get started. The title suggests something bad will happen to Meg but we will see.

10% - I love the setting of this series, would have hated to live then though. Probably wouldn't have been so bad if you were a commoner but all accounts make it seem terrible to be at court, so why does everyone want to be there? The writing style is nice and flows easily, the story has picked up straight where the first one left off.

20% - Is Mary going to give birth? I am pretty sure she does not in the little history I remember.

30% - Poor Blanche , never really liked her but she is loyal and no-one deserves that treatment. Now poor Meg, will she be able to wangle her way out of it? It's horrible how people can be so cruel to each other. It sickens me.

40% - Evil spirits - looks like things are getting interesting and dark - I like. I have really taken to Meg, she is a brilliant character and Alejandro sounds like the perfect guy.

50% - Now in the countryside where Lady Elizabeth grew up. Some new characters have been introduced which is good. I like Alice who has been in it for a while. Is Marcus Dent back? What is the black form that Meg keeps seeing? Could it be the spirit of Anne Boleyn?

60% - King Henry VIII, I like hearing stories about him, even if at this point in history he is dead. Could the creature somehow be him and Marcus Dent together? Or just whoever the see-er fears most?

70%- Hopefully soon we will find out exactly what or who the dark spirit is and how to get rid of it.

80% - I am loving this part of the book, it is original and clever, very enthralling. Is Meg alive or dead?

90% - Does that mean the dark spirit is gone? Are they still in danger? I now have no idea how this is going to end, although I know how I would like it to end - Queen Mary to die and Lady Elizabeth be crowned and Meg can move to Spain with Alejandro.

100% - A third love interest for Meg. I am glad it did not turn into the cliched love triangle, Meg only ever had eyes for one man. Nice end I would have liked a clearer confusion but that's just me.

Who would I recommend it to?

Anyone who likes historical fiction or old fashioned witchcraft. Or just want something a little different.
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on 1 August 2013
Review: wow what a fabulous sequel to a magical novel. I was lucky enough to receive book one and book two from Random House for review and I am so pleased because I couldn't wait to start this sequel after having read the first book. I really don't normally like a lot of magic in books and mystical creatures such as witches but in this case, i can definitely make an exception. The first in this series introduces us to determined young witch meg and this book lets us get to know meg even further and she exceeds our expectations in terms of what she is capable of!

Overall this book is a lot darker than the first, there is more magic being brandished in this one, and at one point in the book, I genuinely feared for meg's life. I found that I couldn't read this book before bed because I would have nightmares, but that shows you just how good it was, that it got under my skin so much, just a warning that this one really isn't for the younger end of YA readers...

There was even more of a historical aspect to this novel with Henry VIII making an appearance as well as the spirit of Anne Boleyn, I found this historical aspect truly wonderful and very well researched. For me, it just added another level to this novel. We had the story of meg, the magic being worked, the possible love interest with Spanish priest Alejandro and the the historical aspect in terms of relationships between Elizabeth and each member of here family-truly inspired!

The love story intensifies in this novel too, Alejandro is still very much on the scene and making his presence known at court, and then when Elizabeth and her party move to Hatfield. Meg's family are also around more in this book which I found interesting, her brother and father seem to now be far more supportive of her and I think this only gives her more confidence to be even more of her own person and make her own decisions.

Initially I wasn't sure about the increase of magic in this novel, I didn't think I was going to like it, but when everything ties together at the end of the book, you realise that the magic is a key ingredient into the events of this novel and the development of the characters within. Another great read and definitely something to recommend, the only bad part? We have to wait until next summer for the next book!
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on 18 July 2013
I honestly can't remember the last time I picked up book 2 in a trilogy/series straight after reading the first but 10 minutes after finishing Witchstruck I was already halfway through chapter 1.

Now at the court Meg has to be even more careful. Princess Elizabeth is being watched at every turn and Spanish Inquisition is just one of many things Meg has to contend with. The danger Meg is in comes across more in Witchfall, I was worried about her in the previous story but this time I was in an emotional knot from start to finish.

A lot happened in Witchfall, the Spanish Inquisition plays a big part in the first half of the book. Victoria Lamb certainly made it uncomfortable reading at times, the writing had me convinced I was right there with Meg.

I think because I care so much about Meg everything that happens to her this book is just affected me more. Including (pleasantly and also surprisingly) her relationship with Alejandro de Castillo, I think I have my first fictional crush ever.

My one complaint; I couldn't pick up the next book straight after!
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on 27 September 2013
I read this book in three days! I loved it! A fantastic sequel to 'Witchfall'.
My only negative is the use of some very repetitive adjectives through out the book.
If you enjoyed Witchfall, don't hesitate to buy this book - you won't regret it! I couldn't put it down - only my work stopped me from reading it quicker. I cannot wait for the third and final book - Victoria Lamb has quickly become my favourite author.
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on 7 March 2014
I was dying to delve back into this world and the installment carried on nicely.

The romance wasn't too heavy and fit well, it didn't take away from the magic in the book. I loved the battle with the witchfinder and can't wait to read what happens next
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