Wednesday, January 25, 2012


By: Jessica Spotswood
Published By : Razor Bill, Penguin
Released : 24th January 2012
Details: Paperback, 330 Pages


Book Blurb : Taken From Goodreads

A Great and Terrible Beauty meets Cassandra Clare in this spellbinding fantasy .

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.


 I loved this book. I’m going to be honest and say that it was a little slow the storyline for the first 100 pages or maybe a little more.....but now....I can’t wait for book 2.

This is a great read once we get right into the story, past the getting to know characters and I know it will only get better as more books enter the reading world.

Tess, Maura and Cate , are 3 sisters who are all witches. Tess uses magic like any 12yr old would do when told not to do something. She is a little mischievous. Maura is 15 and feisty and a little out spoken. Cate is nearing 17yrs and is sensible, worried for all their safety. She knows truly what is at stake if Brother Ishida comes knocking.

There is a prophecy, the Brotherhood ( grrrrrrr...) and the Sisterhood. You don’t want Brother Ishida at your door with his goon squad as he has proclaimed you to be a witch, mostly because he says so and off you go to the mad house or to the prison ship.

This story is set in 1896. The Cahill Sister’s mother is dead and their father away working, almost constantly. A Governess has been brought in to transform these girls into the upstanding , well bred ladies that they are and to get them married off when they come of age.

Enter Paul McLeod, Cate’s best friend who she grew up climbing trees with and mucking about. He has returned from New London and both parties have grown older and more handsome. Paul has the best intentions. I like Paul but he isn’t for Cate. Hopefully he shows us a deeper character, one that will fight for Cate.

Then enter Finn Belastra...* sigh * , the resident intellectual gardener who wants to tend a bit more than the roses. He is swoon worthy and smart. He is a gardener by circumstance, brains he has, but he also has a sense of loyalty to his mother and sister.

This is when the story gets real interesting. There is the most wonderful snogging, letters get revealed, girls get taken, secret rooms, banned books, hidden weaponry , more snogging. Secrets are revealed, there are sacrifices to be made and there is Finn. I can’t wait to see Finn in action.

What I am looking forward to in the sequels is, some action scenes, I’m talking Harry Potter verbal magic sparring without the wands, two guys fighting for Cate and her sisters, more of the totally corrupt Brother Ishida. This guy has two sets of rules and currently needs a rather hard ‘stinky dead fish slap’ from me. Dear old dad to wake up to his daughters strife and to find out what the deal truly is with the Sisterhood.

There are a couple great twists in this book, which I really enjoyed.

Jessica visually writes her scenes beautifully. I loved the bookshop and the garden.

Can the Sisterhood truly be trusted to look out for those within their walls or are they just as bad to a certain extent as the Brotherhood?

This book got very exciting and I wish we had more excitement to read before I turned the last page .

Jessica Spotswood has started something that I want to follow through until the end. I am waving the Team Finn T-shirt and can’t wait to read more about Cate and her sisters.

Oh, and how gorgeous is this book cover?


Father gestures toward the corner of the room, where Mrs. Corbett sits like a fat spider on the plush red sofa, spinning her helpful little schemes.

Our noses bump in the dark, but Finn tilts his head sideways until his lips touch mine. They brush back and forth , testing. Tasting. He waits, but I only press closer, and he reads that for the invitation it is. His kisses grow bolder. My toes curl in my slippers; my fingers clench the fabric of his shirt; fireworks explode in my belly.

His mouth explores the sharp line of my jaw, then moves to the hollow of my throat.

“Finn,” I sigh. Never in my life has my voice sounded like that.

" No ,” I say slowly, raising my eyes to his. “I don’t feel compromised at all.”

“If you stay here, I’ll have to kiss you senseless and someone will see us eventually.”





  1. Me want this Finn!!!! Aaaa, he sounds awesome and those swoon-worthy quotes are making my head spin because I WANT THIS BOOK NOW! Awesome review, Michelle!!! ♥ So glad you loved it. I am now absolutely getting this book thanks to your review! :)

    Celine @ Forget-me-not

  2. Hi Celine,

    Awww...Thanks! It is a gorgeous book, I loved it when the story really got moving. Me thinks,book 2 is really going to be cracking:D I can't wait to see what Finn and Paul get up to.


  3. Great review! I really loved this book especially Finn. Oh Finn . . . he was such a sweetheart!

    1. Hehe! Finn is simply gorgeous!! I can see a hero here.

  4. Oh heavens, I am excited for this!!! Magic, snogging, impossibly sweet gardeners, snogging, an evil Brotherhood, more snogging.... yeah, IS IT RELEASE DATE YET?! Aww gosh, I'm already waving MY Team Finner t'shirt. This sounds brilliant, great review!!

    1. Oh the book trailer shows some wonderful snogging. I think he is a lovely Finn. Hehe! I have my Team Finn T-shirt on, he is swoon worthy.

  5. I want to be tended by Finn! LOL

    Witch Hunts and historical fiction. Good combo. I'll be looking for this book.

  6. Hun, I think there is going to be a massive Finn fan club who want to be tended...he has it all!

  7. AHHH I can't wait for this book; It sounds amazing! I'm glad you enjoyed it! Wonderful review!

  8. I have this one waiting for me and plan to read it really soon! I'm glad to hear you really enjoyed it and appreciate the warning that the beginning is a bit slow. Can't wait to dive in! Oh, and love the trailer!

  9. @sagacity and @ candace,

    I really loved this book. I think the party has only just got started and we are going to be in for some wonderful Finn, Paul and the girls, plus some wonderfuly badly behaved sub characters:D



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