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Author: Victoria Lamb
Year Published: 2013
Synopsis: If she sink, she be no witch and shall be drowned.
If she float, she be a witch and must be hanged.
Meg Lytton has always known she is different; that she bears a dark and powerful gift. But in 1554 England, in service at Woodstock Palace to the banished Tudor princess Elizabeth, it has never been more dangerous to practice witchcraft. Meg knows she must guard her secret carefully from the many suspicious eyes watching over the princess and her companions. One wrong move could mean her life, and the life of Elizabeth, rightful heir to the English throne.
With witchfinder Marcus Dent determined to have Meg's hand in marriage, and Meg's own family conspiring against the English queen, there isn't a single person Meg can trust. Certainly not the enigmatic young Spanish priest Alejandro de Castillo, despite her undeniable feelings. But when all the world turns against her, Meg must open her heart to a dangerous choice.
The Secret Circle meets The Other Boleyn Girl in Witchstruck, the first book of the magical Tudor Witch trilogy.
Review: It's been a really long time since I've read a book about the Tudors and even a historical fiction in general. History just isn't my thing, and I prefer things set in the present or in the future. But Lamb does a really great job of making this book seem less historical and more fantasy/romance/adventure!
I'm sure there are some historical inaccuracies, but for the most part all of the major information seemed right to me. Like I said, I'm no history buff, but everything was believable and fit in with what I imagine would be going on during the reign of Queen Mary. There are real historical figures mixed in with the fictional ones, and Lamb makes it seem like all of them are (or were) real people living through the real past. Elizabeth is lovable most of the time, but never forgets that she is a princess. Meg knows she was born to be a witch but must keep her powers hidden. Marcus Dent is terrifying and someone I would never want to cross.
And then there's Alejandro de Castillo, who is charming and handsome but destined to become a Spanish priest. So naturally, Meg develops feelings for the one man who cannot (or will not) love her back. I really enjoyed how the romance in this book was presented very slowly and develops over time instead of being love at first sight. Meg and Alejandro have their issues that they need to work out, and secrets that need to be shared. I was a little annoyed with Meg sometimes though because I felt like she just doesn't listen when Alejandro tells her important things. I wanted to reach into the book and slap some sense into her.
Although this book takes place over the course of 1-2 years, it doesn't really feel like it. Lamb keeps the plot moving quickly and smoothly, and only gives us events that are important to advancing the plot. Missing periods of time are explained quickly and brushed off as unimportant, and I thought it was very well done. I think there might have been a few unnecessary scenes and some things that slowed the book down a little, but overall it wasn't too bad. And there's enough adventure and conflict and even some sword-fighting that is definitely worth the read! There are quite a few questions that are left unanswered, but since this is the first book in a trilogy, that didn't bother me too much.
I would totally recommend this book to someone looking for a quick, fun, paranormal romance with a historical flair. Especially if you know anything about the Tudors or the Boleyns, and want to hear their story with a new and exciting twist. I will definitely be reading the sequel, Witchfall, and I can't wait to find out what happens next for Meg and Alejandro and Elizabeth! a 3.5/5 to Witchstruck from me!