[545]: The Witch Hunter by Virginia Boecker


GOODREADS SUMMARY | Little, Brown BYR | ARC paperback, 368 pp. | Young Adult Fiction | Β Fantasy | Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

I’ve had my doubts about this book. For me, there is nothing else in the world that reeks of fantasy other than witchcraft and wizardry. And between you and me, fantasy has always been an aggravating genre that doesn’t seem to agree with me.

This book was a surprisingly enjoyable take on the witchcraft in the 15th century. It follows the story of one Elizabeth Grey; a sixteen-year-old witch hunter who suddenly finds herself accused of witchcraft. Before her punishment was doled out (most likely she’s to be burned at the stake), she was saved by an unlikely ally. The most wanted Nicholas Perevil.

I naturally assumed there was to be a romance between Nicholas and Elizabeth. But before long, I knew that I was wrong. The book, thankfully, was more than about romance between two enemies. And certainly, not about that at all. It’s Elizabeth’s journey to discover the truth; to uncover the lies she’s been fed in her years of service to Blackwell. It was to mete out justice for the witches that have died senselessly and without cause. And how she got from being a witch hunter to their saviour is an interesting component of the plot.

In truth, she was hard to take at first. For someone who was supposed to be a prodigy and good at what she does, she kept bumbling and making stupid mistakes. As a result, her childhood friend, Caleb kept covering for her. But she more than made up for it towards the end. She found the courage to do what the prophecy foretold and found herself on the right side of justice for once.

The romance worried me for a time or two. A love triangle was brewing in no less than a few chapters. She’s been in love with Caleb through her adolescent years, but meeting somebody else in Nicholas’ camp opened her eyes to her true feelings towards Caleb. I really hope that the second book will not open this can of worms, but I have a feeling Caleb will be back and Elizabeth will put me through the rigamarole of waffling between the two. If that happens, I’ll be jumping ship faster than you can say boo.

Virginia Boecker effectively captured the right atmosphere of the novel. It’s dark, sinister and more often, hopeless. The world was well evolved, efficiently described, and easily imagined. There are a few characters here whose back stories intrigued me. Hopefully, they’ll get more billing in the second book.


  • I am actually someone who really likes fantasy so I am guessing that I will be able to enjoy this one as well! I am looking forward to it because I do own this book and it really is just a matter of starting. The witchcraft seems like it is done well and historically accurate as well. I like the sound of it’s role in the book.

  • I’m a big fantasy fan, so everything aside the age of MCs and the love triangle sounds good. Glad you enjoyed it!

  • I tend to be really hot and cold with fantasy too, anything too high fantasy goes over my head and I find it incredibly difficult to really get into. I’ve seen this one around, but haven’t taken much notice of it until now. I can handle a terrible romance as long as it isn’t the main driving force behind the storyline and this sounds as though it doesn’t play a huge role thankfully. You come to expect love triangles in YA sadly and hopefully it’s not the case here. She sounds like a bumbling idiot to be honest, but I’m really excited to read this one now Joy. Have just added it. Wonderful review hun! <3

    • Fortunately, it’s not in this case. So hopefully, it will keep to the storyline the author is following.

  • LOL fantasy as always agreed with me quite well, so I wonder if that means I will like this one even more? πŸ˜€ Glad to hear you enjoyed it, even if it worried you a few times. While I’m not completely anti-love-triangle, I really love it when its NOT. I love a good spooky atmosphere having to do with witches, so your review has made me want to read this soon!

    • I could do without it, to be frank. I wish I’m into fantasy books as you! Thanks for visiting!

  • It sounds like an exciting story, so let’s hope it’s not spoiler by a love triangle. I think I’ll sit back and see how the story unfolds before considering this one. πŸ™‚

    • I hope so, too, Rachel. You know I can’t stand those!

  • Jazmen

    I picked this up from the library and brought it back without reading it, all this week. I think I’m going to pass–for some reason I just feel like I won’t enjoy it. I’m glad you liked it though!

    • It hasn’t been getting a warm reception, for sure. I didn’t think I’d enjoy it, but I’m surprised I did.

  • Love the picture – makes me think of fire and burning witches at the stake. Hmm, I admit, this would be a hard book for me to get motivated to read, but I like what you’ve said about it. I don’t know if I can take another YA love-triange though if it rears its ugly head.

    • Oh God. You have no idea how many takes I had to do it to get the right lighting. Lol. I had to take the picture at night, lights off with just the candle lighting my way. It was pretty freaky, actually. πŸ™‚

  • Hmmm. The premise sounds interesting and I really love the fact that she is a witch hunter and then BAM is accused of witchcraft herself! The whole romance and quick love triangle thing…meh.

    • I was not enjoying that, but thankfully, it didn’t take her long to realize the error of her ways. πŸ™‚

  • I like books about witches and magic and such, but haven’t been reading many. This one has been on my radar and I like that most seem to be enjoying the story. Great review. It seems like a great journey.

    • I haven’t been either. I think the last series I read was A Discovery of Witches. That was really good!

  • I was at a book festival where Virginia Boecker was speaking. This book intrigued me very much. Dark and sinister…I love it! Great review!

  • Wheeee, I’m happy to know that you liked this one, Joy! We’re one of the few who enjoyed it πŸ˜‰ I was hesitant to read it at first because the early reviews weren’t very positive, but when I read it, I was like “Oh, wow, this is actually pretty good!” I wasn’t a fan of the love interest personally… I thought he was too boring for my tastes O_O Too carebear to the point that he felt like he had little personality, but then again, I was just glad it was with someone who’s more in the sidelines in the greater scheme of things. Usually romances happen with the leader of a group, and this was a breath of fresh air!

    Faye at The Social Potato

    • Oh God. His name alone is Boringville already, but I kinda like his quiet character. πŸ™‚

  • RO

    As usual, your photography totally rocks! I’m not sure that I would put this on my TBR shelf, but I do like the idea of a person changing views and fighting for those beliefs. That just makes for a great theme. Great review! Hugs…

  • Yay – another gorgeous pic! I’m simple going to say your review has me near drooling for this book. MUST read soon. I’m so glad this worked out for you – do you think the fantasy was balanced out with the historical? The romance actually has me excited, Lol. Oh, and the worldbuilding …
    Great review, Joy πŸ™‚

    • Completely. This one has faes and creatures from Grimm. I really enjoyed it!

  • Hahah I’m glad you liked this Joy, I …sadly, hated it immensely. BUT OH WELL

    • Yeah. You and the majority, apparently. πŸ˜‰

  • Sounds like it’s still under control, and everyone is just crushing, no loving yet. I hope it stays that way. I do loathe love geometries.

  • Yay πŸ˜€ Awesome review Joy. <3 I'm so so glad that you liked this book so much. Now I'm much more excited about reading my hardcover sometime soon, hih πŸ™‚ So happy you loved it. But ugh, fingers crossed for no triangle in the sequel ;p

    • I’m surprised you haven’t read it yet. πŸ™‚

  • Yup, I’m convinced. I wasn’t at first, but I just love books with witches so I have to try this one. Too bad she’s a blundering at the beginning, if she’s that great of the witch, though. Great review!!

  • Mmm, not sure about this one but curiosity does get the better of me!

  • Patrick C.

    Yes! This one looks so good, fantasy isn’t really my cup of coffee, but really glad you gave this one a try! Definitely intriguied by the plot line/

    Happy Reading
    Patrick @ The Bookshelves

    • Not mine, either. I hope you’ll give it a chance, Patrick!

  • kindlemom1

    I have yet to see a bad review for this, I’m going to have to break down and buy this one. Wonderful review!!

    • Thanks, Ali. πŸ™‚ I hope you’ll enjoy it.

  • This book ended up totally not being for me, haha. But I’m personally a huge fantasy lover so this one was a little light for me. It’s so great that you could enjoy this much more, especially if you don’t usually like fantasy! Maybe we can start dragging you over to the dark side ;D

    • That seems to be the popular opinion. I wasn’t feeling positive about this one at first, but I warmed up to it eventually.

  • So glad you ended up enjoying this a lot more than I did, Joy! I agree about Elizabeth being hard to understand–I was completely baffled by all the random rookie mistakes she made despite being one of the “best” witch hunters. I’m really iffy about the love triangle, too. >_<

    • Ugh. What was up with that? Thankfully, I gave her a few chances to save herself. Lol.

  • Fantasy rocks! But I do prefer it in a fantasy world

    • πŸ™‚ Oh I know. I’m in awe of the books that you read!

  • The dark and sinister atmosphere sounds like it is really well done and keeps the tone of the book

    • It was great. Hope you’ll give it a chance.

  • I’m still rather on the fence about this book. You mentioning the possibility of the love triangle in the sequel doesn’t particularly please me either. I think for now I’m going to skip it. Maybe when the whole series is out I’ll just binge-read them.
    Wonderful review, Joy!

    • It’s put me in quite a conundrum, too. But I truly enjoyed it despite my problematic relationship with fantasy novels.

  • Oh this sounds interesting. I especially like the idea that the two enemies don’t fall in love, that trend irritates me to no end! Hopefully, there is no love triangle in the next book. Great review Joy! I’m putting this one on my list. πŸ™‚

    • I hope so, too. Love triangle is such an aggravating trope. Ugh.

  • Melliane

    I liked this one as well, it was interesting and I’m curious for more

    • I’m glad you liked it, Melliane. I don’t do fantasy often, so this was a great surprise!