Star Cursed by Jessica Spotswood

CURSED
Star Cursed by Jessica Spotswood
The Cahill Witch Chronicles Volume 2
Publisher: G. P. Putnam’s Sons
Genre: Action/Adventure, Historical, Paranormal
Length: Full Length (366 pgs)
Age Recommendation: 10+
Rating: 5 stars
Reviewed by Thistledown

With the Brotherhood persecuting witches like never before, a divided Sisterhood desperately needs Cate to come into her Prophesied powers. And after Cate’s friend Sachi is arrested for using magic, a war-thirsty Sister offers to help her find answers—if Cate is willing to endanger everyone she loves.

Cate doesn’t want to be a weapon, and she doesn’t want to involve her friends and Finn in the Sisterhood’s schemes. But when Maura and Tess join the Sisterhood, Maura makes it clear that she’ll do whatever it takes to lead the witches to victory. Even if it means sacrifices. Even if it means overthrowing Cate. Even if it means all-out war.

In the highly anticipated sequel to Born Wicked, the Cahill Witch Chronicles continue Cate, Maura and Tess’s quest to find love, protect family, and explore their magic against all odds in an alternate history of New England.

A storm is gathering for the witches in New London and the Brotherhood is tightening its strangle hold. Will the Cahill sisters be a force to free the witches from persecution or a destructive spark that sets the city ablaze?

Cate Cahill is the eldest of three sisters, and has just had to make a heart wrenching decision to leave her home and fiancé, Finn. She has joined the Sisterhood in order to save those she loves from becoming pawns in a war that could destroy her family and all she cares for. Finn has joined the Brotherhood in order to be able to protect her, even if from afar. Her sisters Maura and Tess are sent for after a wave of violence toward girls and women suspected of witchery begins to get out of hand. As the sisters arrive at the school run by the Sisterhood, tensions escalate. Warring factions within the ranks of the witches place the sisters at odds and in danger. It has been foretold that one of the sisters will kill the other and one will be the oracle that either sets the witches free or begins a new Terror.

The events in this series captivated me so much that I bought the first book, Born Wicked in e-book form and when I found out I was going to meet the author, I promptly went out and bought it in hardcover so she could sign it. So, getting the chance to review the second in the series pretty much made my week. I credit a book with being good when I can’t sleep, eat or do anything without it in my hand and that was the case with Star Cursed as well. As I read, I couldn’t help but respond to the dynamic that author Jessica Spotswood crafted with her characters. The fighting between the sisters, the love between Cate and Finn, the desperation of the women effected by the tyranny of the Brotherhood, the inmates at Harwood, the religious fervor of the Brotherhood and the many different personalities in the cloister of the Sisterhood; all of it pops with emotion and action and I could not get enough.

Watching the three sisters interact within the mystery of the prophecy was intensely moving. First there is Cate, the oldest sister that has had to keep the sisters moving in the right direction pretty much her whole life. Now she has had to forgo her dreams of happiness with Finn in order to keep everyone safe. Maura is the middle child and is always looking for attention and ready to pick a fight just to prove how much prettier she is than Cate, or even how much stronger she is as a witch. Maura is determined to be the oracle and she doesn’t care who she knocks over in her path to greatness. Tess is the youngest sister and is only twelve. She has secretly begun to have visions and is terrified of what they will mean. The Brotherhood is on the hunt and is filling the insane asylum at Harwood with more girls every day in search of any and all oracles or witches.

Star Cursed is also a political testament to the rights of women. Think about the times when women couldn’t vote, hold a job, learn to read or even own certain books because of religious intolerance. Women have been placed in powerless situations before, cast into insane asylums for being different, accused of being immodest and arrested for simple misunderstandings or forced into situations with male “superiors” that put them in horrible circumstances. Add to that the fear and terror of the witch burnings that happened throughout Europe and the incidents that happened in Salem and this is the climate that Jessica Spotswood has so brilliantly brought to life, with an alternative history twist. If you are a fan of Harry Potter, Beautiful Creatures, Charmed, the House of Night series or The Secret Circle series, then this is a book you will more than likely enjoy.

When I am in the market for a witchy read with characters that leap out of the page, I know Jessica Spotswood will deliver. Star Cursed cast a spell on me on the very first page that has lasted long after the final page has been read.

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