Saturday, 5 January 2013

Review: Born Wicked

 Born Wicked (The Cahill Witch Chronicles, #1)   
Author: Jessica Spotswood
My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Purchase: Amazon | B&N | TBD

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.

Before her mother died, Cate promised to protect her sisters. But with only six months left to choose between marriage and the Sisterhood, she might not be able to keep her word... especially after she finds her mother’s diary, uncovering a secret that could spell her family’s destruction. 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 with the completely unsuitable Finn Belastra.

If what her mother wrote is true, the Cahill girls aren’t safe. Not from the Brotherhood, the Sisterhood—not even from each other.

"To protect the people I love, I'd do it all over again."

It's not everyday that a paranormal YA book would leave you some tears, but this one sure did. Just the right mix of family, friendship, love, betrayal and responsibility. A very wicked book that was wickedly compelling. As a kid, I was a fascinated by witchcraft and whatnot and found these ways of punishment to those who are accused of it, barbaric. Spotswood just transported me back to those times and she made it feel like I was there inside the book and was actually living in the 19th century.

Cate, being the eldest among the three sisters, was left with the responsibility to take care of her sisters when their mother died. Of course, this wouldn't mean much of a headache except that they're witches and witches are either sent to an asylum, a prison or given an early death. At the beginning, I was wondering if Cate was simply paranoid and attracting more suspicions about their gift. But halfway, I felt lost like Cate was; torn between those who are trustworthy and those who'd lead them to harm.

Among the three, I loved Tess the most. She seemed like the most easiest to love among the characters (well, except Finn), perfectly mixed with her sweetness, innocence, mischief and interest in knowledge. She seems to balance her sisters in terms of attitude. Maura was one of the cause of those tears I've shed but I honestly couldn't blame her. If only their mother was alive and was able to teach them well, I'm quite sure she won't rebel in order to gain what she wants. Beneath the fiery and strong girl lies a deprived one. Though different than how caged her sisters was, she was still caged nonetheless.

I had this strong feeling, whether positive or negative, in almost all characters. They were well-written in ways that would involved the readers to feel something for them or against them. Although some of them were given little time for exposure, they managed to leave an impression to me.

The not-so-fast-yet-not-slow-either pacing of the story worked too. It left more room for questions to be answered in succeeding books, which means the next one will not be dull and would not serve mostly as filler book. It's nice how the mystery of the prophecy and the Sisterhood was unfolded but not entirely.

The last two chapters was utterly heartbreaking. I feel like I'm talking how they talked in the books, huh. I feel frustrated how Maura couldn't understand her sister and she would rather believe their governess. The choices given to Cate weren't a piece of cake, either. I feel like tearing my hair out of hate for Elena and Mrs. Corbett. And my heart goes out to Tess and Finn. Finn, who sacrificed and lost a lot. Tess, who was given the responsibility after Cate made her choice.

I feel drained after reading. The feeling of need for the next book won't die easily, and June is so far away.


  1. Great review. I adored this book and like you, felt heartbroken at the end. I can't wait for the next book!

    1. My heart goes out to every character. I can't wait for it, either.