Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Blog Tour for Born Wicked by Jessica Spotswood; Review + Author Interview

Born Wicked (The Cahill Witch Chronicles, #1)
Posted by Donna
Release Date: February 7th, 2013
Finished Date: February 3rd, 2013
Publishers: Puffin
Source: For Review
Format: Paperback
Pages: 352
Buy: Amazon UK / Amazon US / The Book Depo

A gorgeous, witchy, romantic fantasy by a debut author! Perfect for fans of Kristin Cashore and the Beautiful Creatures series!

Everybody thinks 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. Then Cate finds her mother's diary, and uncovers 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. But if what her mother wrote is true, the Cahill girls aren't safe--not even from each other

The Review: "Will you marry me Cate?" I go still,the question hanging in the air. I have never felt more accepted - for the girl I am, not the girl I want to be - never more loved and respected than I am in this moment. It's a choice, and it's mine to make.

Stories about witches are probably one of the least favourite I liked to read about. I've read numerous of books with them and for some reason they don't usually grab my attention as much as other paranormal creatures do. However, Born Wicked is one of the most compelling witch stories I've ever had the pleasure of reading.

Cate Cahill lives in a time where women don't have any say in anything. All they're good for is to look pretty, marry a man who can support them or join a convent. However for Cate, it's also a time where she has to hide her families secret. Her and her two sisters are witches and if anyone was to ever find out what they could do, they'd be arrested and face one of two dooming fates; spend the rest of their lives in a prison or be killed. As Cate tries to protect her family at all costs, she soon finds it harder to to keep them safe because her sister witches are tied up in an a prophecy and that means that dangerous people are now after them.

Born Wicked was such a surprising read for me because honestly, I wasn't expecting to enjoy it. Admittedly there was a time to start with that I felt like I could have put the book down, mainly because  with any book the start of the it is the introduction and this was a little slower than I would have liked, however things quickly picked up and soon I couldn't put the book down.

Jessica Spotswood is a very talented author. I thought it was magical how she wove the story into the late 19th century and managed to create it so very imaginable. It was imaginable to the point that I truly believed that this was what the witch trials had been like. It's a very harsh and scary time for a women. They're being  forced to obey and not think or they're being carted off and being accused of being a witch. It was sad to read - especially being a women myself. I'd hate to have been born in them times!

Cate and her sisters go through a lot. They lost their mother at a young age and their father isn't very much help. Cate takes on the responsibility of being a mother to the her sisters and she's always trying to keep them in line with their magic. While her sister's relish in using their magic, Cate shied away from it and it isn't until she learns of the prophecy that she realises things need to change. Cate was a very likable character - I sympathised with her a lot during the story. She loves her sisters but they all have different personalities and sometimes it causes problems. Her sister Maura was probably my least favourite character, you'll see why when you read it for yourself.

Now the romance in the story doesn't play a huge part to start with. We see Cate battle with her feelings for Paul and Finn but, I'm glad the love triangle wasn't stretched out. Cate's choice was pretty simple from the start but it's also one that's the most complicated. I really liked both Paul and Finn but Paul was creepy at some points. I can't help thinking he has another motive all together. It might be nothing, but I'm not sure. But Finn, aw sweet Finn. He stole my heart as soon as he stepped onto the scene. He's caring, compassionate and so very trustworthy. He loves Cate for who she is and I'm rooting for these two to get the happy ending they deserve.

Overall, Born Wicked is a great debut novel from Jessica Spotswood. It's enthralling and so magical that it's very hard not to love. And even with it's slow start, it's one that will leave you very satisfied and ready for the sequel, Star Cursed.
Jessica SpotswoodAuthor Interview with Jessica Spotswood.


When did you first start writing? I’ve been writing since fourth grade. As a kid, I was obsessed with two things - books and horses – so my first stories were about the horses at the stables where I took riding lessons. When I was a little older, I started writing historical YA romances about girls who lived during the Civil War (I grew up near the Gettysburgbattlefield) and rode horses and fell in love with scandalous boys.

Do you have a favourite place to write? My office, very late at night. But I also have a lot of coffee-shop writing dates with my husband, The Playwright.

What’s the best part about writing a story? I love the moments when the characters surprise me by doing something that wasn’t in my outline but feels exactly, perfectly right and fits into the story, as though my subconscious has been planting breadcrumbs in that direction all along.

Can you tell us a little bit about what you’re working on now? Right now I’m working on book 3 in the Cahill Witch Chronicles; I’m about one-third finished with the first draft. 

Questions relating to Born Wicked

What was your inspiration for writing Born Wicked series? Like Cate, I’m the oldest of three sisters. I had a dream in which my sisters and I were fighting over a magical locket from our mother. There’s no locket in Born Wicked, but the idea of writing about sisters struggling with a complicated magical inheritance stuck.

Can you tell us how you chose characters names? The Cahill sisters’ names just sort of came to me. They were originally Kate, Moira, and Tez, but that quickly morphed into Cate, Maura, and Tess. The Social Security website has a brilliant name index where you can look up the 200 most popular names from a given decade. That helped me find names that are era-appropriate for 1896. For last names, I was working at a university press at the time, and I borrowed some from authors and scholars I processed payments for that struck my fancy! I also named a few girls accused of witchery after my critique partners.  

Who would play your dream cast if your book was optioned for a film? My hipster dreamcast Finn is Andrew Garfield. Elle Fanning would be a brilliant Tess. Model Lily Cole looks like Maura to me. And I think of Cate as a younger Reese Witherspoon or Kristen Bell. You can see pictures of them (and a lot of historical dresses) on my Cahill Witch Inspiration Pinterest board.

Do you have a favourite character? Cate. I spend most of my time in her head. She can be bossy and prickly, I know, but she always means well. As for minor characters, I’m awfully fond of Rory Elliott.  She and Sachi weren’t meant to play such big roles initially, but they snuck into my heart and now they’re in all three books.

What’s your favourite quote from the Born Wicked? I don’t know if I have a favorite quote, but my favorite scene is Cate and Finn’s first kiss. It involves feathers and magic and a secret room, and it was one of the first scenes I wrote.

About Author: 
I heart books, yoga, tea, cardamom cookies, the color pink, board games, theatre, twirly dresses, and bells chiming the hour. I’m frighteningly enthusiastic. 
I use GR to keep track of what I read and recommend books that I really love, but I respect and enjoy reading more critical reviews.

7 comments:

Sam @ Realm of Fiction said...

Great review! I can be the same way about witch stories sometimes, so I'm glad to hear this worked for you. Thanks for sharing the interview, too. I'm looking forward to meeting Cate. :)

haley hagen said...

hmmmm, I've never really been that interested in this book since it is witches BUT your review changed my mind, I think I will deff get this soon! Thanks for the review hun! (:

Carina Olsen said...

Ahh! Great post, sweetie :D Thank you for sharing. <3 And oh. I love your review :) I still haven't read this book.. But I do have it, so I need to read it soon :) Finn sounds amazing! <3
Love, Carina @ Carina's Books

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