Author: Jessica Spotswood
Publication Date: February 7th, 2012
Publisher: Putnam Juvenille
Synopsis: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.
My Thoughts: This book was really fun to read. Not a whole lot happened, it wasn't action or thrill packed, but it was very gripping nonetheless. There are a few fantasy elements that I'm usually a sucker for and witches is definitely one of them. If you like things witch related I am sure you will find this book quite enjoyable!
Cate and her two sisters are witches. Their mother was to but she is gone. They live in world were witches are feared and destroyed. Witches used to be in power, but then came along the brotherhood. The brotherhood is a group of men that completely dominate all women are are for the complete removal of all witches. They believe women to be weak, simple minded people, who should submit to a man's rule without question. This kind of thing is obviously quite disgusting, so you really can't help but hate the brotherhood immediately. They represent such an evil force. Attempting to conquer everyone and keep all women under their feet. They make sure to make witch accusations on a regular basis as well to keep the women obedient and fearful as well. Most women that are tortured or imprisoned are innocents. Cate and her sisters however are not, and everyday they face the fear of being revealed or the next to be used as a demonstration of the brotherhood's power. Cate and her sisters are utterly alone with no one to teach them how to control their magic or how to avoid detection. They have no one to trust or confide in except each other. Cate feels complete responsibility in taking care of her sisters and guarding their secret. Such a task at such a young age creates large amounts of pressure that I don't think I could withstand myself.
So in shouldering this responsibility Cate has to do her best to appear as normal as possible. No easy feat when she detests all the brotherhood stands for. She is expected to marry a young respectable man or to join the sisterhood and essentially, marry the lord. Something like a nun would be. The sisterhood would be pretty much the last thing Cate would want to do, to be part of such a corrupt group of people that goes against everything that she is. Cate's determination to protect her family is very admirable. She is willing to sacrifice any of her own hopes and dreams if it means safety for her two younger sisters. And sadly, that is exactly what it comes to. Cate falls in love with the wrong person. If she were to follow her heart attention would be drawn to her family and detection would be sure to follow. But if she marries the man she is expected to marry she will have to move away and be incapable of protecting her sisters like she always has. These are Cate's options and she has but a few weeks to make her choice. My heart ached for Cate. I was compelled to feel for her, to want to help her, to wish things could be easier. I can't help but always admire a strong female character. That being said, I didn't really feel strongly connected, or in love with any particular characters in the story. I definitely respected Cate and enjoyed her personality and loyalty. I did really like Finn though, it may have had a lot to do with his love for books haha.
So there doesn't seem to be any light at the end of the tunnel for Cate, but she does find some help in very unlikely and unexpected places. But not all the help she's finds is genuine. Deciding who to trust does not make her life any easier.
I really enjoyed this book! There were quite a few unexpected plot turns, I absolutely love when a book can surprise me. Usually you can kind of guess what will happen next, not so much in this story. At least for me. I would absolutely recommend this book to any and all YA fans. A thrilling paranormal tale with just a dash of love and passion made for a really great mixture and spectacular story that I can't wait to continue! I wish the second book were out already, I can't wait to read what happens next. The Cahill Witch Chronicles is promising to be a great series indeed!