Born Wicked

stars Cate is sixteen Three months before her seventeenth birthday she has to choose at the intention ceremony if she s going to marry or join the Sisterhood What is the Sisterhood The Sist

*2.5 stars*Cate is sixteen. Three months before her seventeenth birthday, she has to choose, at the intention ceremony, if she’s going to marry or join the Sisterhood.What is the Sisterhood?The Sisters are the feminine arm of the Brotherhood, only without any power: they do not preside over legal disputes, or create addendums to the morality code, or judge the cases of girls accused of witchery. They live isolated in convents in the cities and dedicate their lives in service to the Lord, educating girls in their elite boarding schools, occasionally serving as governess.Cate does not want to join them. She promised to take care of her sisters, Maura and Tess, and how could she do so, while being in New London?The story takes place in 1900 in New England, a place where witches are either sentenced to the prison ship or the madhouse. Let’s say that they don’t want to be discovered and live in secrecy. She could marry…that would be the wisest choice. But to whom? There’s Paul, the childhood friend in love with her. And there's Finn, their new gardener whom she comes to appreciate…very very much. Why? I have no idea. Sure, he’s sweet and gentle but, to be honest, I found him normal and pretty boring. Nothing special. Same goes for Paul, actually. Needless to say, I did not care for the romance.Cate is a good character and how much she cares for her sisters is admirable. I wish we had seen more of Tess, the younger sister, though. She seems to be present mostly at the beginning and then not so much anymore. Maura, her, is and that's great except for the fact that she and Cate don’t have the best of relationships.The plot had potential but there wasn’t enough magic, in my opinion. I believe it’s mostly because they have to hind it but, still, a story with witches needs witchery! And, the pacing, it was too slow. There isn't much happening in the plot and so there are some parts that drag or feel like fillers.The writing was good enough but there was nothing different, from the majority of YA books, in it. It didn’t impress me but it was pleasant enough to read.I believe the sequel may be better, since I thought the ending was interesting and gives a lot of possibilities. I will read it, but it certainly will not be a priority.If you want to read a story filled with magic and exciting romance, this may not be the perfect choice but, if you want to read a story containing family as one of the themes, some cute romance and an historical setting, this is it.Bestseller Born Wicked By Jessica Spotswood is a Kindle 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 onlyEverybody 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.. Author Editor Feminist Slytherpuff I live in Washington, DC with my playwright husband, where I also work as a children s library associate for the DC Public Library If you re interested in interviews or guest posts, please contact me at jessicaeathor gmail.. A viral Books Born Wicked Actual rating: 3.5. Rounded down for the pointless motherfucking love triangle.Mother didn’t trust Father to fight for us. Truth be told, she didn’t do a very good job of it herself. She left me with a diary full of cryptic warnings and a responsibility that should have been hers.I will keep my sisters safe...while I have breath left in my body.I'm an idiot. This is what I get for not reading the summary. For some fucking reason, I thought this was an adult novel. It's not. I thought it was magical realism. It's not, it's about witches. I thought it takes place in the modern US. It doesn't. Then I thought it took place in 18th century US. That ended quickly when I encountered a family named the Ishidas (there weren't a whole lot of Japanese people in the US in the 18th century, ok?). This book is an alternate history of the US with a Puritan-like religious sect called "The Brotherhood" in charge, in which witches existed and are persecuted.So now that we've finished discussing how dumb I am for not paying attention to the summary, let's discuss the book itself:The not-so-good:- Completely fucking pointless love triangle: what's better than one awesome guy?! Two of them! WHY?!- I-don't-want-to-be-a-witch syndrone: the main character suffers from it.- The length: It's a long book, and there is a decided lack of action. This is an alternate history of the 1900s US, expect plenty of courtship and tea parties with your witchcraft.The good:- Surprisingly feminist: there's a big message about female empowerment, education, and oppression in this book.- A likeable main character who doesn't feel like a Mary Sue: she is not a pretty pretty pretty girl like the summary tells you. She's dowdy, she's awkward, and she's more a mother hen than a peacock.- An interesting, if initially confusing-as-fuck alternate history: once you get that figured out, we're golden.- Diversity: people of color. Lesbians. A tongue-in-cheek reference to how liberal the alternate Middle-Eastern countries are in comparison. The witches themselves are believed and abhorred by the Brotherhood for being women who live with other women, and it's implied that they're lesbians. They're not, but it's the prejudice.- Interesting and unexpected side characters: you think a character is a stupid trope? Nope!- A well-drawn sisterly relationship: this is a book about sisters, and it shows.The Summary: You must watch over your sisters for me. Keep them safe. There’s so much I wanted to tell you. And now I haven’t time.Contrary to the fucking summary, 16-year-old Cate Cahill isn't "too pretty." She's the rather dowdy oldest sister to her younger siblings, Tess, 12, and Maura, 15. Her mother passed away when she was 13, leaving her with a cryptic message and a mission to watch over her sisters.It's a pretty important mission, because the Cahill sisters have a secret: they're witches. Not even their despondent, grieving shadow of a father knows. It's a secret that could kill them because they live in an alternate version of circa 1900 United States. This US is ruled by The Brotherhood, a fanatical religious sect that doesn't believe in the rights of women. This is because over 100 years ago, they defeated the witches, women said to be powerful, wicked, evil, lustful. They are kept controlled, regardless of their lack of magic.The Brothers are afraid the witches will rise up again someday, Mother said, so they loathe the idea of powerful women. We are not permitted to study and go to university as men do, or to take up professions.Since then, the Brotherhood has led a reign of purity, chastity, where women are subdued and submissive.The message is clear: women who are too opinionated or too educated, too odd or too curious, are punished. They deserve whatever fate they get.Women like us.Women are evil. Magic is reviled. The Cahill sisters are witches who must practice their witchcraft in secret, and they hate it. Spirited Tessa cannot help using spells where she shouldn't. Fiery Maura wants the freedom to practice her witchcraft---she doesn't feel like magic is something of which they should be ashamed.“We’re witches, Cate. We were born that way. Magic isn’t shameful, no matter what the Brothers would have us believe. It’s a gift. I wish you would accept that.”Whereas Cate worries all the time, and wishes she weren't a witch.I frown at my reflection in the pond, wishing with every fiber of my being that I weren’t a witch.Cate and her sisters are of marrying age, and a conniving neighbor with the aspiration of being the next Mrs. Cahill has convinced their dad to get them a governess---a dour Sister. A convent-like organization for women who don't marry. Cate and her sisters aren't fond of the idea...that's one more person they have to keep their secret from, but this governess isn't the plain sourpuss of a nun they expected. She is young, she is beautiful, she is fashiomable...Sister Elena is pretty—no, beautiful—with smooth brown skin and black ringlets peeking out from beneath her hood. And she’s fashionable—as fashionable as the Brothers’ strictures will allow. Her dress has a wide bell skirt in a soft pink that reminds me of Mother’s peonies. And she may just be the ally that they need.Cate has more on her mind than just the secrecy of her magic, she's of an age to marry, and for girls like her, there are only two choices once she turns 17: marry, or become a sister. Will she be marrying her childhood sweetheart, Paul...who understands her.“A life with you will never be dull, will it, and that’s just what I want. Think about it, Cate. That’s all I ask. Can you do that?”Or the mysterious Finn.Finn squares his shoulders—which have gotten a good deal sturdier since the last time I saw him. Or paid attention, at any rate. How long has it been since I actually looked? He’s gotten awfully handsome; it can’t have happened overnight.Adding to her headaches is her mother's mysterious message, it seems like Cate and her sister are in danger. There is a prophecy---will they be the one to fulfil it? Hell, will they live long enough to see it?...if the Brothers found out, they would kill me. Immediately and without trial. Perhaps they’d make an example of all three of us—burn us at the stake, or hang us in the town square, the way they did in Great-Grandmother’s day.The Setting: Whaaa?! This book was really, really confusing at first. I thought it was historical US, it's not. It's an alternate version of the US, where witchcraft exists and is stifled for fear. Around 100 years ago, the Brotherhood gained power. They killed all the witches, they set up a Puritan-like regime under which women aren't allowed access to higher education (some Brethren don't believe women should read at all) and should be submissive to men at all times. They use the witches' power to justify suppressing young women and making them subservient.They cared nothing for protecting girls’ virtue. They would have women aping men— dressing immodestly, running businesses, even forgoing marriage to live in unnatural unions with other women.”This book has a lot of diversity. There are Japanese families and side characters. The governess has "brown skin." There are lesbians, it is implied that some of the witches are lesbians.Furthermore, with the Middle Eastern circumstance these days where women are denied access to education---this book makes a tongue-in-cheek reference to the liberalness of the Middle Eastern countries compared to the US in this alternate universe.I hold back a sigh. What I wouldn’t give to share in the freedoms of Arab girls. They’re allowed to inherit property and go to university; they’ve even been given the right to vote.Overall, I felt like the world building was very well-done, if confusing at first.Cate: I hate that I’ve taken this small happiness away from her. When I was her age, I liked to run through the gardens, and I suppose I was careless with my magic, too. Now I have to play mother for Tess and Maura, and ignore the wild girl that still bangs in my heart, begging to be let out.A really sympathetic character. She is a girl who is forced to grow old before her time. She has to play disciplinarian to her two contrary, wilder, free-spirited sister, and it sucks the life out of her to do so. There is no question that the sisters love one another, and Cate feels her responsibility heavy on her shoulders. She is prepared to give up her own happiness to keep them safe.It’s been years since I’ve let myself consider what I want. It hardly matters. I didn’t want Mother to die; I didn’t want Father to turn into a shadow of his old self; I didn’t want the responsibility of policing my sisters. I certainly never wanted to be a witch in the first place.The universe has yet to take my wishes under consideration.I love her occasional moments of anger and resentment at having been forced to grow up so fast, so soon.It’s rare that I’ve let myself feel angry with Mother. She’s dead; she can’t defend herself. But now I’m shaking with it. How could she? How could she die and leave me here to deal with all of this alone?What I didn't like about Cate was her hatred of her own powers. She has an unique power, and no, she doesn't feel like a Mary Sue. Cate believes her witchcraft wicked, she hates her powers, she thinks herself evil. I don't like that. If I had powers, even if they were presecuted, I'd revel in it. Find a way to work it to my advantage. Don't be a motherfucking pussy. EMBRACE THE POWER. Cate sometimes feel week because of her own denial, and I didn't appreciate that character flaw, especially when power is something I would so embrace.The Romance: I want to chase right after Finn. I don’t care how big a fool I’d look.But I can’t. I’d be no better than that Penelope. Paul’s just proposed; I can’t go chasing after another man, one who may not even want me.Why?! Fucking why?! Paul is PERFECT. Here we have a case of a completely needless love triangle. She has her childhood best friend, Paul, with whom she has an understanding, which means that everyone in the 'hood knows they will get married one day, and she knows it, and Paul knows it, except BOOM, OUT OF THE BLUE COMES FUCKING FINN. Who takes all the Funn out of things. Sorry, couldn't resist.Paul is so nice. He understands Cate so well. They get along so well.“Because we’re alike, you and I. We want adventures, not quiet nights at home by the fire. I think I could make you happy if you’d let me.” Paul’s voice goes gravelly, and he takes both my hands in his. Which is why I don't fucking understand the need for a love triangle at all.

  1. Author Editor Feminist Slytherpuff I live in Washington, DC with my playwright husband, where I also work as a children s library associate for the DC Public Library If you re interested in interviews or guest posts, please contact me at jessicaeathor gmail.

251 Reply to “Born Wicked”

  1. Actual rating 3.5 Rounded down for the pointless motherfucking love triangle.Mother didn t trust Father to fight for us Truth be told, she didn t do a very good job of it herself She left me with a diary full of cryptic warnings and a responsibility that should have been hers.I will keep my sisters safewhile I have breath left in my body.I m an idiot This is what I get for not reading the summary For some fucking reason, I thought this was an adult novel It s not I thought it was magical realism [...]


  2. Well, I read the first 150 pages of this novel and then skimmed another 50, but this one just isn t holding my attention, I m afraid The writing and mood are actually rather nice, and the language seems pretty appropriate to early 20th century New England albeit an alternate history version aside from some jarring words here and there There just isn t enough witchery in this book for me, however, since the book seems very heavily centered around the romance And unfortunately, the romance wasn t [...]


  3. 2.5 stars Cate is sixteen Three months before her seventeenth birthday, she has to choose, at the intention ceremony, if she s going to marry or join the Sisterhood.What is the Sisterhood The Sisters are the feminine arm of the Brotherhood, only without any power they do not preside over legal disputes, or create addendums to the morality code, or judge the cases of girls accused of witchery They live isolated in convents in the cities and dedicate their lives in service to the Lord, educating g [...]


  4. Whatever I am going to write here will probably sound hypocritical in the light of the recent ramblings about genre commercial popular whatever you want to call it fiction that I started in my Angelfall and Under the Never Sky reviews, but here it is I ve only read a couple of chapters of Born Wicked and thus far there are no objective issues with this novel that would justify my giving it a low rating or a bad review It is written like everything else popular in YA right now, down to the 1st pe [...]


  5. Super annoyed with the ending but overall I really enjoyed the story I thought it could have used a bit action throughout but it was still really great


  6. This book is one you can t miss I m already dying to know what happens in books 2 and 3 Jessica Spotswood is an enormously talented author whose prose is gorgeous and full and lush and makes me want to live in the world she s created, an alternate history of America in the 1890s The author s style reminds me of Kristin Cashore s the imagery made me want to attend the tea parties and wear the dresses and hang out in the gardens I seriously loved this book, and had a hard time putting it down, con [...]



  7. Lovely This is bit of a magical story about witches in a very difficult time when they are hunted down, when they have to hide, to pretend to be normal and not draw any attention to them It s a story about a young girl that needs to protect herself and her sisters from all the dangers that might break them apart, a story about young love and old prophecies, and everything in betweenE COVER isn t it beautiful I mean, I am not sure of the relationship with the book, as the girl s dress doesn t mat [...]


  8. Die erste Fantasy Story bei der es sich um Hexen dreht und mich total begeistern konnte Cate und ihre zwei Schwestern sind Hexen, aber leben zu einer Zeit in der Hexerei nicht geduldet sondern verfolgt wird Sie halten sich versteckt Doch eine alte Prophezeiung zwingt Cate zu einer Entscheidung, ob sie weiter im Verborgenen bleiben oder den Kampf gegen die gef rchtete Bruderschaft aufzunehmen.Tolle Protagonisten, die einem direkt ans Herz wachsen und ein sehr fl ssiger Schreibstil, bei dem die Se [...]


  9. 3.6 5 ITA ENG NOW ADDED Questo libro si rivelato una piacevola sorpresa.In generale non sono una fan dello stile di scrittura utilizzato e anche l inizio non mi aveva convinta pi di tanto, l ho trovato un po lentino e sconfusionato forse Quello che invece mi piaciuto molto come si mescolano vari argomenti nonostante il libro non sia poi cos lungo.C tutto il mistero della profezia intrecciato con la vita di tutti i giorni di queste tre sorelle, di come si approcciano con le persone e soprattutto [...]


  10. Poor Cate This girl has far too much responsibility She takes care of the household as well as her two younger sisters On top of that she has to keep hidden the fact that all three girls are witches, less they be persecuted Cate seems to be lost after the death of her mother and her father isn t much help since he is often absent from the girls lives I just wanted to bundle this girl up in a hug and tell her everything was going to be okay Though I m not sure that would have been the truth.In ad [...]


  11. I met the author and got a copy signed She s really sweet and genuine, and sounds a lot like me After FinishingUnfortunately, I was immensely disappointed with this book I especially despised the ending This was such an obvious attempt to make a series, it s not evenUGH 2.5 StarsCate and her two sisters are witches They strive to keep their secret from the strict, religious Brotherhood who they have to display obedience to, despite their hatred toward witches and women alike In a few months, Cat [...]


  12. This will definitely appeal to certain types of readers, but it s really not for me Some parts were interesting, and it was compelling in the sense that it wasn t bad enough for me to give up on.Cate Cahill and her two sisters, Maura and Tess, live in an alternate history 1870s New England, where a religious order called the Brotherhood extrapolates the Salem witch trial era Except witches and magic are actually real though quite rare, so we re told , and if they re caught, the Brotherhood will [...]


  13. I stayed up till 3 00am finishing this book I thought it was a fast read I couldn t wait to see what would happen and now I m dying for the next book in the series DYING to read I didn t even read the back of this book before I read it I saw the lovely package that the publisher sent and decided just to go for it So the alternate history and some of the other aspects were a total surprise Alternate histories are my current favorites I love the combination of magic and romance The whole book kep [...]


  14. I tried so hard to finish this book but after chapter five this became an exercise in withstanding torture The pacing of this book is ridiculously slow I swear, I would read one page and start searching for something else to do.The problem stems from the main character, Cate She is such a dull sponge one that ll suck all the fun out of life There is no vibrancy to her, no spark She is completely devoid of anything that incites excitement or empathy in me She s also extremely passive, preferring [...]



  15. Born Wicked was a perfect example of a book that has both good as bad qualities to it I really did like the book but in the end it wasn t enough to make me love it This review will be a little different from my usual reviews because there was 50% of good stuff and 50% of bad stuff, in my opinion.The good The setting I absolutely loved the setting I think it may be the best part of the book I didn t actually know this book was historical until I started reading it It s actually an alternate histo [...]


  16. MORE MORE P.S I love that book Okay so I had my eye on this series for some time now I was not sure about it but when our bookshop announced 16% sale I could not just ignore the fact that I wanted to read this book And no, ebook was not enough for me I love witches and I want them all on my shelf THE WORLD Oh it is so different to what we are used to So once upon a time New England was the place ruled by witches But they abused their power and then normal people killed them The Brotherhood came [...]



  17. When I found this among a pile of early releases at work, I chalked it up to destiny Thanks to a crappy YA track record, my grabbing Born Wicked was akin to a 30 day trial on a steamer from HSN It might explode in my face, but I could still mail that sucker back no money lost, just the fleshy bit of my cheek one eyebrow.Looking past the lovely cover, the first thing I noticed was first person present tense sigh Authors of the world, PLEASE stop using present tense in teen fiction Full disclosure [...]


  18. Reading is the perfect escape from whatever ails you Well, I expected way of this story, sadly.What I liked The world building This book takes place in 1900 in New England an alternative version and women are I don t want to write pets because pets might have even rights then women do At times, it was really disgusting and hard for me to read about the oppression of women by the Brotherhood The dynamic between Cate 16 , Maura 15 and Tess 12 Jessica Spotswood created an extremely realistic rela [...]


  19. After the death of her mother, Cate Cahill had to take on the responsibility of caring for her two younger sisters Her father is rarely home and even when he is, he s not exactly the most reliable of men Not to mention he knows nothing of his daughters whispered spells Only their mother knew of their magic and urged them against telling anyone, father included So for years, Cate has had to act as mother often than sister, and while they ve had their many ups and downs, inviting anyone into thei [...]


  20. I love books about witches and vampires and evil creatures in general This was another read I really enjoyed Cate, Tess and Maura are sisters Moreover they are witches and they have to hide their abilities because the ruling Brotherhood is hunting witches down After the death of their mother Cate has to take care of her sisters and watch over them so they are careful with their magic At the same time, Cate has to decide whether to join the Sisterhood or to marry and both possibilities are not p [...]


  21. I was lucky enough to win an arc of this from the author s blog, and wow, am I so glad I did The prose was lush and evocative, beautifully painting the world Cate lives in The idea of a world where women, and witches especially, are supressed by an all powerful Brotherhood was compelling, and the worldbuilding felt genuine All the characters had their own personalitites and issues,and I never felt like the secondary charactors were just a backdrop to the action The main romance of the book was e [...]


  22. Yo, I swear Jessica Spotswood must have read my brain or something, because you guys alternate fantasy history about the Salem Witch Trials is EXACTLY the sort of book I want to read and what is delivered by Born Wicked Spotswood s debut novel and the first of a trilogy The Cahill Witch Chronicles.Read the rest of my review here


  23. to be honest I had my problems getting into the story but eventually I did and it was worth my time born wicked is a very enjoyable story with great characters and cool time setting Cate and her sisters have a very realistic relationship which reminds me of my own relationship with my sister sometimes I liked how the story develops through out the book bc some aspects took me by surprise and so I m looking forward toad the sequel as soon as possible


  24. I feel like I m missing something here It took me nearly 20 days to read this book cause it couldn t hold my attention I wasn t expecting a period piece and man did it take its sweet time picking up I have the whole trilogy so I will continue but ugh I m so upset I didn t love this book as much as everyone else seems to.


  25. There s no good way for me to start this review except to just come straight out and say that this book disappointed me With a pretty cover and interesting premise but lacking in world building, solid pacing, and full characterization, BORN WICKED seems to exemplify all that is characteristic of recently published YA that are big hits but technically weak So what follows is probably going to be of a what not to do essay for YA writers, and I hope to God that future writers and publishers will t [...]


  26. Dear Cate,Let s talk, you and me We re both women, we ll definitely have no problem finding at least one topic to find common ground in We started off as friends, you and I I quite understood and empathized with the horror you felt concerning the chauvinistic bastards who organized themselves as the Brotherhood and whose main aim was to ensure that women did not move out of their place in the supposed natural order of things I was quite disgusted and I dare say, felt your anger at the crimes con [...]


  27. I went into this book knowing next to nothing about it except that it involved witches and hey, I haven t read very many books that dealt with witches witchcraft so I was excited to give it a try And, well, I liked it It was a light and fun read There are a few things I wish had been better, but overall it was enjoyable.What I liked It has an interesting, kind of alternate history setting which wasn t what I expected And I love alternate histories and historical fantasy, so I liked that element [...]


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