I adored A Witch In Winter, Ruth Warburton’s debut in January this year. A Witch In Winter was a compelling novel about a girl who discovers she is a witch after she performs a love charm on a boy she likes, which she doesn’t expect to work, but does. Of course after the spell wears off and Seth still likes Anna, she is somewhat worried it may be a residual effect of her spell. Having met Ruth twice since then; at the Hachette brunch where I got my awesome proof of this book and it signed, and the Foyles Creative Voices event too and chatted with her on twitter, she is one of those authors I can’t help but really admire and like as a person and write. Plus she is always so lovely, therefore reading A Witch In Love I had both high expectations and the worry that if I didn’t like it, this review would be absolute torture to write. Thankfully, and obviously, I loved it. In fact, I think it’s better than its predecessor and I read the entire book in one day, from on the way home from the Hachette brunch to that evening, and was utterly captivated.
A Witch In Love follows on from A Witch In Winter and unsurprisingly due to the title, focuses a lot on this romantic dilemma. I was really interested when I heard Ruth speak about her writing inspiration at the Foyle’s Creative Voices earlier this year. She heard a radio show which said that in order for a romance novel to work there needed to be a reason they couldn’t be together; wondering whether someone actually is in love with you or is bewitched to certainly fulfils that expectation and is very well explored.
Warburton’s writing is assured and Anna’s voice really felt real to me in this book. While she is worrying about witchcraft and threats from that, she is also not sure whether to lose her virginity or not and is going through very typical teenage problems. My favourite part of the book was the enemy that was set up and all of the historical detail that went into it as a group of anti-witch ‘outhwiths’ who want to find and expose her. There is a scene towards the end that genuinely sent chills up my spine and I applaud Warburton for this and her creepy, creepy moments being mixed in with the more mundane and the excitement of witchcraft.
Warburton really develops Anna and her family history in this book, as she learns a charm was put in place for her to not know about her abilities before she moved. Warburton also really pays attention to making her secondary characters not just feel like props, Seth’s grandfather and Anna’s friends are all great. There’s a bit of a love triangle developing, but I think it’s been handled very well so far and not just been tacked on so I look forward to seeing where Warburton takes it.
Seth and Anna’s relationship was great fun to read. The highs and lows were so realistic and reminiscent of your first relationships and all the confusion and awesomeness happening all at the same time. Seth’s a great character to read and a favourite of mine already.
I love UKYA and this trilogy celebrates and is unashamedly British; from the slang to the tiny little details, this is a brilliant representation of modern Britain, just without the witchcraft (well, as far as I know anyway!) I highly recommend it and I absolutely cannot wait until next year for the final conclusion. By the end of this novel, I was incredibly angry it could just be left there without the next book to immediately read and get my hands on! If you enjoyed A Witch In Winter, I think you will love this addition.
I received a free proof from Hodder Children’s Books and this is my honest review. A Witch In Love is available to buy now!