A Witch Alone is the final book in Ruth Warburton’s A Witch In Winter series and as such will contain some mild spoilers for the first two books so proceed at your caution.
I love Ruth Warburton’s writing and in particular the way she brings a historical context to witchcraft to her YA. Having seen her at several YA panels now and at a couple of events, I always find it so interesting to hear her talk about her research and the real history behind witchcraft. This is something that is clearly present in the books, especially the chilling torture scene in A Witch In Love, and it really enhances the stories beyond a typical YA paranormal.
In A Witch Alone we are taken from London to Russia to the sea, and there’s a really international feel to the conclusion of this trilogy. We get to see so much more of Warburton’s witching world than we ever have before and I really liked this aspect to the book in particular.
A Witch Alone picks up shortly after A Witch In Love, where Seth and Anna broke up and Seth has gone away to work on a boat while Anna tries to make her way through her A-levels and honing her abilities as a witch. However, the more she finds out about her mother, the more she begins to see why her mum ran away when she was a child.
Anna has changed so much from the girl we meet in A Witch In Winter and I love seeing how much bolder and how much more in control she is from her first introduction.There is a slight love triangle element to this book in that Abe, which we have known since the last book, has definite strong feelings for Anna and in the absence of Seth has complicated things. However, this love triangle is well-handled and I found the option of Abe for Anna added an interesting choice to the plot of the book.
I personally wished the ending had been a little different. While I could appreciate how it bought the whole trilogy together, it did add up to a brilliant and chilling climax, the resolution didn’t quite work for me. Although I could understand the decisions made, I felt one small part of the ending jarred with the message of the previous books while simultaneously complimenting them. Yes, it’s an ending that has truly left me torn between loving it and hating it. Perhaps, this is deliberate though as it certainly highlights the impossible choices Anna is forced to make in this book.
The Witch In Winter trilogy has marked Ruth Warburton as a YA author to watch and I absolutely cannot wait until 2014, when Witch Finder, the first book in her new Victorian YA series which follows a member of the Malleus Maleficorum.
A Witch Alone is available to buy now. I received a free copy from the publishers, Hodder Children’s Books, for my honest review.