Review: Born Wicked (The Cahill Witch Chronicles, #1) by Jessica Spotswood

Born Wicked (The Cahill Witch Chronicles, #1)Born Wicked (The Cahill Witch Chronicles, #1) by Jessica Spotswood

Publication Date: February 7th 2012
Page Count: 330
Published by: Putnam Juvenile
Source: Library

Synopsis from Goodreads:

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 six months 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 stars 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.

My thoughts:
I love that the setting for Born Wicked was an alternate version of New England at the end of the 19th century. I also enjoyed the similarity to an actual historical event, namely the Salem Witch Trials. Watching closely over the town is the Brotherhood, who are so small minded and fearful of witches that they prosecute anyone who is 'different'. Females are scared that one look, or one wrong move, will draw the attention of the Brotherhood. The Brotherhood also believed that women should not be educated and be subservient to males, especially their husbands. (I was pretty much disgusted by the behavior of the Brotherhood. They were pretty sick minded people. At times they were just dirty old men and they really creeped me out.)

Since their mother's death, Cate has looked out for her 2 younger sisters. Now that Cate is of the age to announce her plans to either marry or enter the Sisterhood, her carefully planned life starts unraveling. New people come into Cate's life and want to befriend her. They all have secrets of their own and it's not clear who is on Cate's side and who is out to harm Cate and her sisters.

Cate’s sisters play a big part in this story. Tess is the youngest and seems to understand the importance of keeping their witchery a secret. Tess is a sweet younger sister and gets along very well with Cate. The middle sister, Maura, came off as whiny and unappreciative. One of Maura's temper tantrums could have caused disastrous results if not for the quick actions of Tess and Cate. The fear of being discovered propels Cate to make decisions about her and her sisters future.

I liked both of Cate's love interests. One was her childhood friend who returned home after being away for an apprenticeship. At the same time she meets the new gardener that her father hired. I wasn't bothered at all by the 'love triangle' aspect. Both boys would have been a good choice for Cate. And it seemed by the end of this book that the triangle was over.

My only complaint about Born Wicked is that it starts slowly. The main reason for this is because of the world building going on. Once that was out of the way the pace picked up quite nicely. Closer to the end the pace was even better and things really started happening quickly.

Overall this was a very lovely book. I am looking forward to reading the rest of this series.

I give Born Wicked 3.5 Stars
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I love the feathers in the trailer:


  1. Born Wicked is third in my To-Be-Read pile right now! Definitely will be keeping your review in mind while reading!

    I'm giving away an ARC of The Springsweet....stop by and enter!

  2. This is one of my favorite books this year. I really loved it!

  3. This book is in my TBR list! I didn't know it was set in the late 1800's so thanks for letting me know! Great review, I'm glad you liked this book!

  4. I'm always interested in books with an alternate history. I can't wait to read this !

  5. Awesome review, Sandra! This book is on my wishlist, and I really hope to get this soon! I'm glad that the love triangle is not even slightly annoying! So can't wait to read this book! :)

  6. Born Wicked is a charming and heart-racing story, filled with magic and secrets, sisterly affection and forbidden love, prophecies, romance, betrayal, life changing decisions and absolutely phenomenal characters. Intense, spellbinding, sigh-worthy, beautifully written and thoroughly compelling - it's by far the best witch book I've read. Loved, loved, LOVED it!


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