Synopsis: Everybody knows Cate Cahill and her sisters are eccentric. Too pretty, too reclusive, and far too educated for their own good. But the truth is even worse: they’re witches. And if their secret is discovered by the priests of the Brotherhood, it would mean an asylum, a prison ship—or an early grave. . . Desperate to find alternatives to their fate, Cate starts scouring banned books and questioning rebellious new friends, all while juggling tea parties, shocking marriage proposals, and a forbidden romance.
Born Wicked is a debut historical fiction that features an alternate history with a magical twist. In this revision of 1890’s New England, the Brotherhood–a sect of a priest–rule with an iron fist over the lives of women who fear they may be witches.
Cate is the eldest in a trio of magical sisters trying to keep her family safe in a world where magic is feared. As Cate gets closer to her sixteenth birthday she must choose to marry or join The Sisterhood and leave her sisters to fend for themselves. However, darker plans laid years ago could tear the bonds Cate holds most dear.
I enjoyed the way the novel explored the relationships between Cate, her sisters and the other women in the novel. Cate is strong-willed, determined and set in her ways which may or may not be a good thing. The tension between Cate and her younger sister Maura is well written.
The novel has a great start and even pace. Towards the end, I began to get the feeling this novel is just a starting out point. I’m eager to find out what happens next in the storyline.
There is even has a little love triangle that played a big part in the story, which surprised me. For me, the romance didn’t really leap off the page. Spotswood does a good job of ruffling corsets when it came to the hot and cold aspects of Cate’s love life, but it wasn’t the most interesting part of the story.
This novel is a perfect combination of the sisterly bonds of Entwined by Heather Dixon mixed with the darkness and adventure of A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray.
Overall Born Wicked is a fun mix of Historical Fiction and Paranormal Romance that is unique to both genres. I’ll be really interested to read Born Wicked sequel, Star Dust when it first comes out.