Series: Yes, #1
UK Publisher: Hodder Children's Books
UK Release date: January 2012
With financial troubles forcing her father's hand, Anna Winterson and her dad move to a rural fishing village in England. There she moves into the spooky Wicker House, where she discovers an old spell book. But when she tries a spell late one night with friends, she discovers it works, making Seth fall head over heels for her. Anna will have to find a way to undo the spell and come to terms with her new witchy powers.
The setting for this witchy story is fantastic. Not only is the English rural fishing village of Winter old and full of history, which I really want to know more about, it is the kind of place that immediately conjures images of witchcraft and magic …old oak trees filled with cawing crows, thrashing grey seas, and creepy Wicker House. Possibly a make-over house from hell, but perfect for the mystery and intrigue of Anna’s discovery of an ancient spell book. The fact that it was based in England and incorporated British language and slang was an added extra for me.
Anna is an interesting but unusual heroine. Proclaiming herself as average, she is someone that I can relate to and find likeable. She is faced with touch decisions, a journey of self discovery and finds herself in some dire situations, yet her good heart leads her in the right direction.
With the flowingly beautiful writing and well past action, A Witch in Winter reads really well and is a quick read. And the action packed and magically charged ending will just knock your socks off! There was also plenty of mystery and underlying questions – who are the Ealdwitan and what do they want Anna for? Will there be a little love triangle between Anna, Seth and bad boy Abe? I do hope so!
If I had one complaint, it was that Seth and Anna’s romance develops rather quickly, all spells aside. Anna falls for him the moment she sees him. Yes he is good looking and does turn out to be a stellar guy, but initial feelings of infatuation are very different from love based on knowing someone’s character and personality. As Seth is spelled in love with Anna I also found it hard to see when the spell ended and their real feelings began, because for me there wasn’t enough build up and interaction between the two. Hopefully we’ll see more interaction and testing of their feelings in the rest of the series.
A Witch in Winter is a superb debut, full of mystery and eerie atmosphere. A great start to a witchy series.