Book Review: Witchstruck by Victoria Lamb

20 Jul

ImageMeg Lytton was sent to serve Lady Elizabeth for the duration of her Ladyship’s imprisonment at the dilapidated palace of Woodstock. Meg is relieved; it means a reprieve from the romatntic interest of the ruthless Marcus Dent. Dent doesn’t know that Meg is a witch, but Elizabeth does, and intends to use Meg’s power to find out when she’ll be able to return to court. But their exploits get them in all kinds of trouble, drawing the attention of one Alejandro de Castillo, priest-in-training, and Meg is certain she’ll have a noose around her neck before long. Playing with magic in Tudor England is a deadly game…

This book was what I needed to get me out of (yet another) book slump. Yet again, every book I’ve been picking up lately has been incredibly disappointing–even several front-runners I thought I was going to enjoy that I bought at bookfest! I recently returned from the library with a stack of hopefuls, and I was able to finish this one. What a sense of relief that was. I’m still way behind on my reading goal and am gearing myself up not to make it. There are still five months left of the year, though, so never say never I guess.

Anyway. I was in the mood for something well-written and historical with a fantasy spin, and I found it. You could tell Victoria Lamb did some research into the Tudor period, and the tone, setting, and characters were all pretty spot-on. 

Meg herself did get on my nerves a little bit when it came to Alejandro de Castillo; I felt like she took the love/hate relationship a little too far by the end of the book. Then again, Meg was a realistically drawn character–likable for the most part, but with her own bumps and burrs that make her believable, even if the reader might not agree with them.  I also liked the portrayal of Lady Elizabeth (soon to be Queen Elizabeth I if you didn’t catch on to that), who I don’t see as a younger woman very often in books. If anyone has some suggestions for fictional books staring a young Elizabeth I, let me know.

The whole thing reminded me a bit of The Queen’s Own Fool by Jane Yolen, which I quite enjoyed. That one’s about Mary, Queen of Scots, but the underlying premise is basically the same–girl serves as a lady-in-waiting, watching politics unfold from afar.

That said, the plot structure of this novel wasn’t as great as it could have been, or perhaps I was simply in the mood for something more political and more involved. There were basically two different strands that intertwined: 1) Meg is a witch and is in danger of being caught and tried and hung as a witch. 2) Lady Elizabeth is accused of treason and could be executed. The two strands sort of crossed a bit more when Meg goes to save a letter from Lady Elizabeth that could prove treasonous, while being on the run from the witch hunter. I just wish each had more of a bearing on the other. There were subtle hints, but I wanted more involvement. More politics, more witchcraft that affected politics. Again, it might have been a mood thing.

This is the first book in a series, and I think there’s potential for more politics in the next one when Elizabeth isn’t sequestered away, but is able to hang out at court. I will probably seek out the sequels at some point (only one other is out right now). I love the Tudor period!

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3 Responses to “Book Review: Witchstruck by Victoria Lamb”

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. 2013: A Year of Reading in Review | More Than One Page - December 26, 2013

    […] Witchstruck by Victoria Lamb […]

  2. Book Review: Witchfall (The Tudor Witch Trilogy #2) by Victoria Lamb | More Than One Page - April 21, 2014

    […] this fast-paced sequel to Witchstruck, Meg Lytton is once again threatened from all sides: court remains dangerous with the Spanish […]

  3. Book Review: Witchrise by Victoria Lamb (Tudor Witch Trilogy #3) | More Than One Page - August 28, 2014

    […] to see my reviews of Witchstruck and Witchfall, books 1 and 2 of the Tudor Witch […]

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