Release Date: February 7, 2012
From the Publisher: Blessed with a gift…cursed with a secret.
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.
272 pages, Putnam Juvenile
When I started reading this one, it took me awhile to get into the flow of it. The story started pretty slowly, but picked up about a third of the way through. If you find it starts too slowly for your liking, punch through – it’s worth it.
This world is brilliantly devised and written. It seems to take place in the 19th century, but it’s hinted at that this is not the same 19th century from our past. This is a world where witches once ruled, but now the Brotherhood is the authority – seeking to subvert and oppress women. Every single trial and punishment I can recall from the book was a girl or woman – never a man. Women accused of witchery were either sent to an asylum or they mysteriously disappeared.
This is the world Cate Cahill and her two sisters have grown up in – as witches. Cate has spent the three years since their mother died trying to protect her sisters and keep their secret, all while watching other girls from the town be accused, tried, and punished for witchery.
I can’t imagine the strength of character required for Cate to stay sane while living through the events of this book. My heart aches for her – for the choices she was forced to make, and for the sacrifices she made.
My only complaint with the book is that it ends in the middle of the story. I know that it’s a series and will pick up in the next book, but it always bothers me when nothing is tied up at the end of a book.