Wednesday, 18 April 2012

A Witch In Winter - Ruth Warburton

A Witch in Winter (Winter Trilogy, #1)
A Witch In Winter (Winter Trilogy #1)
                                                 - Ruth Warburton
Grade: YA
Rating: 4.5/5 stars

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 in two. She wants to love Seth, to let him love her – but if it is 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. (Description from Goodreads)
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If you found a mysterious book full of spells, what spell would you try first? A love spell, of course. I can’t say I blame Anna Winterson and her friends for performing this little spell during a sleepover; it’s the one I’d probably try, thinking it would cause the least amount of damage. Boy is that the wrong assumption. A lot of damage can be done from a little magic.

Anna and her father have just moved to Winter, a small town on the coast of England, with the idea of starting fresh in a new environment. Little do they know that Winter is the home of many witches all intent on flying under the radar of normal people (also known as the “outwith”) Anna is thrown into the magically community thanks to the mysterious spell book she discovers in her house. Unfortunately, flying under the radar isn’t an option when you don’t know you’re doing magic in the first place. To make matters worse, there is a governing body of witches – the Ealdwitan – who will do anything it takes to make sure Anna remains under their control.

The Ealdwitan had me shaking my fists a bit. Their presence in the book isn’t made known for quite some time and even after they first pop up, you sort of think to yourself that they can’t be too bad if they’re just trying to keep magic a secret, especially with the way people tend to react to witchcraft. But there’s more to them than just their issues of control and secrecy. Although from the way the book ended, it looks like they’re not the worst bunch in the magical community. Look out for the crows, they’re a little creepy.

Obviously magic is a pretty major theme throughout the book and I loved it. I’ve always been a fan of witches, mostly because of Charmed, but this year has seen me explore the world of witches in books a lot more. And ‘A Witch in Winter’ really helped to fuel my witchy obsession. I love when weather magic comes into play in books, there's something extra special about controlling weather. There is so much weather magic in this book, especially storms. Ordinarily storms would give me the creeps. There’s a scene were Anna goes running for her Dad’s bed in the middle of a massive magic storm and I could totally imagine myself doing the exact same thing. Nothing better than hiding under the bed sheets in the middle of a scary storm, whether it has been made by magic or not. Despite my dislike of storms, the gathering clouds and epic rainfall brought a darker tone to the book that just made it even better than before.

I was a little concerned about Seth and his instant love for Anna. Obviously he was given a small push in that direction what with the spell Anna performed; but it did seem a bit odd that, having only known her for two weeks, he was instantly in love. Although I admire Anna for not falling for the same trap, being firm with herself and attempting to stay away. In the end, Seth and Anna proved to have a pretty cute romantic life. Their dedication and attachment to each other was definitely something that made me smile. I’m worried about book 2 though; I sensed a hint of a love triangle towards the end, but nothing too obvious yet.

My biggest issue – and pretty much only issue – with the book was the Old English text for spells. I thought it was cool to have the spells written in a similar way to how they would have been thousands of years ago. But it was a little difficult to pronounce everything; I struggled to keep the flow of the book going through spell scenes because I kept stopping to try and pronounce the words right. However, when you were past the spell the book ran smoothly and I loved it.

Looking forward to book 2. I’m sure it’s going to be an amazing read.

4.5/5 stars

(Originally posted on Goodreads)


  1. Hey Kim,

    I have this book to read and your review 4.5/5 has me all excited to crack it open. I just have some urgents I have to complete and then I shall get to it. My head is spinning with the amount of books I could read all at once...more heads please!!!

    I have to admit I have trouble when old language or strange words get used, sometimes I wish I had a word pronounce thing in the front of the book. I love it when some books have that, then I don't spend my time saying the one word 3 different ways in my head every time I see it..ha!



    1. Michelle, I totally understand the need for more heads. I want the days to be slightly longer so I have enough time to read everything.

      I actually flicked through the book looking for word guides, but no so luck. The good thing is that it doesn't happen too often, so it's not like you're struggling the whole book.

      I you enjoy the book, when you get a chance to read it.