Sunday, 14 July 2013

Star Cursed - Jessica Spotswood

Star Cursed (The Cahill Witch Chronicles, #2)
Star Cursed (The Cahill Witch Chronicles #2)
 - Jessica Spotswood
Grade: YA
Rating: 5/5 stars

With the Brotherhood persecuting witches like never before, a divided Sisterhood desperately needs Cate to come into her Prophesied powers. And after Cate's friend Sachi is arrested for using magic, a war-thirsty Sister offers to help her find answers—if Cate is willing to endanger everyone she loves.

Cate doesn't want to be a weapon, and she doesn't want to involve her friends and Finn in the Sisterhood's schemes. But when Maura and Tess join the Sisterhood, Maura makes it clear that she'll do whatever it takes to lead the witches to victory. Even if it means sacrifices. Even if it means overthrowing Cate. Even if it means all-out war.

In the highly anticipated sequel to Born Wicked, the Cahill Witch Chronicles continue Cate, Maura and Tess's quest to find love, protect family, and explore their magic against all odds in an alternate history of New England. (Description from Goodreads)

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Born Wicked introduced us to a world run by religious belief and the heavy hand of men – condemning women for being anything other than meek and reliant on fathers and husbands...unless you’ve accused of witchcraft. Star Cursed takes that to a whole new level, detailing the life within the only walls safe from Brotherhood exposure: The Sisterhood convent. Not as meek as they would seem, as it is really a refuge for witches.

At the end of Born Wicked, Cate Cahill makes a weighty decision to move her life to the Sisterhood home in New London, all to protect her real sisters and the boy she loves. But it’s not all it’s cracked up to be. With a prophecy looming over her choices and the Brotherhood stepping up their crackdown on women’s rights, danger is at every turn - and there’s not a lot Cate can do to stop it.

I really liked that we got to explore the prophecy more, not only because the glimpse we saw in book 1 wasn’t complete. There seems to be an endless amount of facets to the future, but all unchangeable. I’m usually not a fan of prophecies and taking away choices – the idea that something is predetermined and unstoppable makes me angry – but I really liked seeing how it all unfolded in Star Cursed. Maybe it was because Cate fought the idea of the future already being defined too, but it was also just exciting.

The sister drama was one of my favourite parts of the book. I always love seeing families, especially when they’re in paranormal books, because family is often ignored for romance or magic. Well, when your romance and magic are also tied to family, it’s hard to escape. I loved seeing Cate, Maura and Tess all interacting. They don’t have perfect relationships, and that just makes it more realistic. There were aspects of the sisterly-bonding that you could determine from far away. I could see that the tension between the siblings that had carried over from the first book wasn’t just going to disappear, even after embracing their witch side and eliminating one of the reasons for that tension. The fighting and struggle to reconnect with each other made me worried about what was to come.

I was concerned we wouldn’t get to see Cate and Finn’s relationship develop in this book, but I shouldn’t have panicked so much. The connection they started in Born Wicked gets explored again in this book, with no less danger to overcome. The only bright spot is that they’re so determined to be together and to love each other. While it wasn’t quite as intense, like feathers in a cupboard or garden transformations; the fact that they got the chance to steal kisses in the night was good enough for me.

There is an extremely large hint of rebellion in this book, not only from the witches but from the general populace. The Brotherhood is losing favour and control of the masses. It made the second half of the book, and particularly the ending, very intense and fast paced. I was so shocked by the final pages, I almost couldn’t believe the words in front of me and I had to reread them a few times. You get so pulled in by the flow of the story, the way everything is moving so quickly and with such focus...and then the cliff-hanger hits. And it’s an epic cliff-hanger. I'm still waiting for it to settle in my mind.

An incredible sequel, with a mix of romance, rebellion and intense magical action! I can’t wait to get my hands on book 3.

5/5 stars

(Originally posted on Goodreads)


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