Double Monster Review: Born Wicked

Double Monster Review: Born WickedBorn Wicked by Jessica Spotswood
Series: The Cahill Witch Chronicles #1
Published by Putnam Juvenile on February 7th 2012
Pages: 326

A Great and Terrible Beauty meets Cassandra Clare in this spellbinding fantasy.

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 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.


I was excited to read another book about witches that was set back in time. It's nice to have that real feeling of old school fantasy, where modern times do not intrude.

I was drawn right into the story from the beginning. Born Wicked is a tale full of mystery and romance. Three sisters all have the power of witchcraft from their mother. Unfortunately, their mother has passed, leaving the eldest – Cate – in charge of keeping their secret safe. If the Brotherhood were to find out, they would be taken away and charged and sentenced.

Her sisters want to embrace the magic, while Cate has tried to damp down on hers to be a role model and keep them from being discovered. When a mysterious note arrives, Cate finds out there is more to their powers and behind it a prophecy of three sisters who may bring around the destruction of the Brotherhood. A new tutor arrives to prepare them for coming out in society and marriage, but Cate finds that she is hiding something as well.

All the while, Cate is being courted by her childhood friend, but is torn between him and falling in love with the gardener. She must choose what is best for her family, no matter what her heart has to say in the matter.

Final Verdict:
Full of mystery and romance, Born Wicked is a book that I could not put down and one I highly recommend. I just fell in love with this story and I can't wait to read on in the series.



It is hard to find a truly impressing witch tale. I know… I have tried. Some lack the magic that I was looking for, some just go in a direction that really wasn't right for me. So, it is with great hesitance that went into Born Wicked.

If you were looking for an action-packed witch tale, you may not to stop right there. Born Wicked, while entirely engrossing, was not at all action-packed. I would probably go out on a limb and say maybe 1% of the entire book is contains any action. The rest is build up and plenty of mystery and suspense. And I liked Born Wicked just the way it was.

Spotswood creates a world for her characters unlike one I have ever seen. Kinda familiar, but really not. In the beginning, I will admit that I was completely lost. It was not until I really let myself go in the world that Spotswood created that I was really able to enjoy it. It has a Victorian feeling to it. Definitely not a type world that I encounter very often. And in a lot of ways, it is this world that Spotswood creates which sets Born Wicked apart.

While the lack of action and even a touch of confusion regarding the world were a bit of a set back, Born Wicked shines with its characters and the hint of a forbidden romance. Cate Cahill is a fabulous main character and her point of view narration leads the read down some interesting turns. While our focus may be on Cate, it is really the other sisters that interest me. They are given plenty of attention throughout the novel, but I almost wish I had seen some of their point of view. It is really odd that I feel that way since I usually shy away from multiple points of view novels, but hey, it is what it is.

Final Verdict:
Born Wicked is an epic witch tale. Sweeping historical setting. Unforgettable characters. A romance that is all consuming. Just enough magical elements. And the start to what I hope will be an incredible series. You will want to get your hands on this one.

Born Wicked is being billed as A Great and Terrible Beauty meets Cassandra Clare. Personally, I am not a huge fan of book comparisons. And while there may be some truth to the book comparisons, I really think Born Wicked more in the vein of the Prophecy of the Sisters series by Michelle Zink. But hey, that's just me.




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