This book just punched me in the gut and left me emotionally distraught. And noooo, I’m not being dramatic! If you thought the ending of Born Wicked hurt, that was nothing compared to what Star Cursed leaves you with.
It was probably bad timing that I finished this book shortly after watching the last Game of Thrones episode, which ended with the traumatic and much-talked-about Red Wedding. Like honestly, I might be semi-catatonic right now. My emotions are bruised and bewildered, but mostly bruised. (I need therapy. And a cupcake.)
Okay, anyway, enough about my feels. You get the point. You are warned about the impending hurt. It might even scare you away from reading these books, but if anything, it should encourage you to read them. Because when a book can hurt you so well, you know that the author has created a story and characters that have resonated with you so fully. It is practically like their happiness is your happiness, their pain is your pain. Author Jessica Spotswood has achieved this with The Cahill Witch Chronicles. She mesmerized us and captured our hearts and minds with Born Wicked, and she continues to do so with its sequel Star Cursed.
Star Cursed picks up a few weeks after Born Wicked ends. We find Cate trying to get used to life with the Sisterhood in New London. She can’t fully accept being there because of what she had to give up—her sisters and a life with Finn. But eventually, Cate needs to make effort with Sisterhood, especially if she might be the all-powerful prophesized witch. In addition, the Brotherhood is becoming more unbearable, issuing new rules for women that will stop them from having outside employment or being educated. Tensions are rising, not just with the witches, but in the human community. It is up to Cate to decide what is the right thing to do, even if it means going up against one of her sisters.
Just like Born Wicked, this book is beautiful. The setting and descriptions are dark, lush and different now that the characters are in New London. There is an underlying but palpable tension that simmers right below the surface throughout the entire book. It makes it a page-turner. I often found myself reading a little too fast and going back to take my time to absorb some of the details I hurriedly jumped over.
Characters, new and old, become more defined, and readers will start to make more decisive judgments about them. (Oh that Maura… I won’t even begin with that girl.) One of my favorite things about Born Wicked was the breathtaking romance between Cate and Finn. I’m so glad that they find a way back to each other (rather quickly, I might add) in Star Cursed. If you thought they were passionate before, just be ready to swoon your head off for their scenes in this book.
While I’m kind of obsessed with the romance, I like that it doesn’t overwhelm the story or take over the main plot. This book tackles many different conflicts that include family, politics and feminine oppression. I love how Cate’s relationship with her little sister, Tess, evolves into one of respect and unconditional trust. The injustice of the evil Brotherhood ignites such anger in me; no doubt it will also infuriate other readers. The inevitable war between the Sisterhood and Brotherhood is coming, and opinions are changing and charging, leaderships evolving, and it’s chaotic and overwhelming. Therefore, Star Cursed is endlessly fascinating with all these conflicts coming toward Cate all at once.
The thing is that I cared about every little thing that happened in this book, whether it was momentous or seemingly inconsequential. Spotswood has that magic in her writing to create a story and characters so unique and real and astounding; it’s impossible to not become absorbed into the Cahill Witches’ world and not feel the hurt when they do. The ending looks to promise a sensational and thrilling next book in this series. I can hardly wait for it. Until then, I’ve got more books, possibly therapy and definitely cupcakes to comfort and pull me through.
Star Cursed by Jessica Spotswood will be available wherever books are sold on June 18, 2013. Support The Young Folks and purchase the book at our TYF Store, powered by Amazon.
Publisher: G. P. Putnam’s Sons (June 18, 2013)
Length: 384 pages (Hardcover)
Series: The Cahill Witch Chronicles – Book 2 of 3
Source: ARC (Provided by publisher)
Genre: Young Adult, Romance, Oppression, Fantasy, Paranormal, Magic, History
Completed: June 2013