The magic and suspense of Graceling meet the political intrigue and unrest of Game of Thrones in this riveting fantasy debut.
Your greatest enemy isn't what you fight, but what you fear.
Elizabeth Grey is one of the king's best witch hunters, devoted to rooting out witchcraft and doling out justice. But when she's accused of being a witch herself, Elizabeth is arrested and sentenced to burn at the stake.
Salvation comes from a man she thought was her enemy. Nicholas Perevil, the most powerful and dangerous wizard in the kingdom, offers her a deal: he will save her from execution if she can break the deadly curse that's been laid upon him.
But Nicholas and his followers know nothing of Elizabeth's witch hunting past--if they find out, burning at the stake will be the least of her worries. And as she's thrust into the magical world of witches, ghosts, pirates, and one all-too-handsome healer, Elizabeth is forced to redefine her ideas of right and wrong, of friends and enemies, and of love and hate.
Virginia Boecker weaves a riveting tale of magic, betrayal, and sacrifice in this unforgettable fantasy debut.
Boecker's confident debut takes the familiar elements of many strains of YA fantasy epic setting, alternate history, wizardry, paranormal enforcers and stirs them into an explosive cocktail of high-stakes adventure. The island of Anglia is ruled by the gimlet-eyed Inquisitor, Lord Blackwell, and his captive young king. The two collude in the sexual exploitation of Elizabeth Grey, a youthful witch hunter for Blackwell's inquisition, and this departure from romantic tropes is the first clear sign that Boecker is out to make the formulas her own. Elizabeth copes by taking a leaf from her prey's spell books contraceptive herbs, with which she is caught and for which she is sentenced to death. Her unlikely saviors are a hidden contingent of magical practitioners who have been ordered by their seer to enlist her help. None of the players know exactly what is going on or to what end, adding further uncommon realism to the sorcerous premise. The first-person, present-tense narration is rendered masterfully; coupled with the cinematic vividness of the descriptions, the whole makes for a page-turning delight. Ages 15 up.