Stella Mayweather, Book 1
Synopsis: More than three hundred years after the most terrifying witch hunts the world has ever known, it’s happening again.Young witch, Stella, has to put her faith in strangers just to stay alive but she might not be any safer in their midst than from the danger she is running from.There is more than one dark secret in her new family: Étoile’s sister is spoken of in fear and sadness; Marc is supposed to be a powerful witch but is missing his magic; where does the owner of their safe house vanish to every day and why does Evan have the eyes of someone not quite human? There is only one secret that someone will do anything to keep quiet, but whose secret is it and will Stella have to pay the price for silence?
Review : It’s been awhile since I hadn’t read a novel about witches. So I was very curious to get into this one.
Well, I have to confess that it was difficult for me to hold on to the story, especially at the beginning. There are too many descriptions, too many details that we could easily do without. I found the first two chapters particularly long. Fortunately, continuing my reading I found that the story became more and more exciting.
So here we follow Stella, a young 24 years old woman who leads a precarious life: she has no family, no friends and lives in total solitude. Her professional situation isn’t encouraging either: she does temporary jobs, afraid of drawing attention to her if she stays too long in one place. Indeed Stella isn’t a young woman like any others and now her life is about to change radically: chased by a group of armed men, she manages to escape and to get in her home. On television, she learns that several women were burnt alive at a stake. The responsability of the killigs was claimed by the Brotherhood, an organization of witch hunters which decided to wage a war against all witches living in this world. Shortly after that, a young woman named Etoile knocks on her door: she announces that she’s a witch, like her and that she has to leave London as soon as possible to escape the hunters. Thus, she finds herself in New York, and from there, a new life begins for her…
The heroine is a character that we can be easily attached to. She’s a young woman who has always lived alone, who has never relied on anyone’s help. This lack of social life has made her stronger. So, when suddenly people she doesn’t know offer to help and protect her, she’s suspicious enough. Moreover, when she meets Robert Bartholomew, his wife Eleanor and their son, Marc, she feels uncomfortable. They are very rich people, leaders of the Council of Witches. Fortunately, all this changes when she reaches Meg’s property, a huge old and safe house. Meg doesn’t hesitate to put her house at the disposal of these young witches so they can learn to use and control their magic. Classes are taught by David and Evan. Our heroine is very attracted to Evan, but he seems to hide a secret. The other characters are also very endearing. I loved Etoile and her sister Seren and Kitty is adorable!
Overall I still thought the book was a bit too slow. We discover along with Stella this new world in which she is now part. ¾ of the novel only describes the life in Meg’s house, the relationships between students, class, and so on. Again, I found some passages long and boring. And concerning their enemies, the hunters, they are practically absent in the story, except of course at the beginning of the book. The end, however, is rich in revelations and surprises! I admit I was surprised by the identity of the responsible of the attack. And for Meg or Evan, I didn’t expect that at all! The last pages announce a Volume 2 more focused on action and full of surprises.
As a part of the blog tour, we give away an ecopy of Illicit Magic. For that, you just have to post a comment here with your e-mail address. You can earn an extra entry if you’re a follower and if you spread the word. This giveaway is international and ends on April 30, 2012 at midnight.