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The Witch Hunter
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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, 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.
Table of Contents
A Sneak Peek of The King Slayer
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I STAND AT THE EDGE of the crowded square, watching the executioners light the pyres. The two men, dressed for work in dark red cloaks and charred leather gloves, circle the narrow wooden platforms, their lit torches held high. At the top of each pyre, four witches and three wizards stand chained to a stake, bundles of wood heaped around their feet. They stare into the crowd, determined looks on their faces.
I don't know what they did; they weren't my captures. But I do know there will be no apologies from them. No last-minute pleas for mercy, no scaffold-step promises to repent. Even as the executioners touch their torches to the wood and the first of the flames leaps into the leaden sky, they remain silent. They'll stay that way, stubborn to the very end. It wasn't always like this. But the worse the Reformist rebellions get, the more defiant the Reformists themselves become.
It doesn't matter anyway, what they did. What magic they used. Spells, familiars, potions, herbs: It's all illegal now. There was a time when those things were tolerated, encouraged even. Magic was seen as helpful—once. Then the plague came. Started by magic, spread by magic—we were almost destroyed by magic. We warned them to stop, but they didn't stop. Now here we are, standing in a dirty square under a dirty sky, forcing them to stop.
To my right, about twenty feet away, is Caleb. He stares into the fire, his blue eyes narrowed, forehead slightly creased. By his expression he could be sad, he could be bored, he could be playing against himself a game of noughts and crosses. It's hard to tell. Even I don't know what he's thinking, and I've known him longer than anyone.
He'll make his move soon, before the protests begin. I can already hear the murmuring, the shuffling feet, the odd cry or two from a family member. People raise sticks, hold up rocks. They stay their hands out of respect for the men and women on the pyre. But once they're gone, the violence will begin. Against the executioners, against the guards who line the street, against anyone who supports the justice doled out in front of us. People are frightened of magic, yes. But the consequences of magic frighten them even more.
Finally, I see it: a gentle tug on a lock of dark blond hair, a hand placed slowly in his pocket.
I'm halfway across the square when the shouting breaks out. I feel a shove from behind, then another. I pitch forward and slam into the back of the man standing in front of me.
"Watch it, you." He whips around, a glare on his face. It disappears as soon as he sees me. "I'm sorry, miss. I didn't see you, and—" He stops, peering at me closely. "My word, you're just a child. You shouldn't be here. Go on home. There's nothing here you need to see."
I nod and back away. He's right about one thing: There's nothing here I need to see. And somewhere else I need to be.
I follow Caleb down a wide cobblestoned street, then through the Shambles, a maze of narrow, sludge-filled alleyways lined with squat, dark-timbered row houses, their pitched roofs casting a near-permanent shadow over the street. We wind through them quickly: Cow Lane, Pheasant Court, Goose Alley. All the streets in this area have funny names like this, originating from when the square at Tyburn was used for herding livestock.
Now it's used for a different kind of slaughter.
The streets are deserted, as they always are on a burning day. Those who aren't watching the burnings are at Ravenscourt Palace protesting them or at any one of Upminster's taverns trying to forget them. It's a risk, making an arrest today. We risk the crowds; we risk being seen. If we were arresting an ordinary witch, we probably wouldn't risk it at all.
But this is no ordinary arrest.
Caleb pulls me into an empty doorway. "Ready?"
"Of course." I smile.
He grins back. "Pointy things at the ready, then."
I reach under my cloak and pull out my sword.
Caleb nods in approval. "The guards are waiting for us down on Pheasant, and, just in case, I've got Marcus posted on Goose and Linus covering Cow." A pause. "God, these street names are stupid."
I stifle a laugh. "I know. But I won't need their help. I'll be fine."
"If you say so." Caleb reaches into his pocket and pulls out a single crown. He pinches the coin between his fingers and holds it in front of my face. "Shall we say the usual, then?"
I scoff. "You wish. I've got five times the quarry, so that's five times the bounty. Plus, these are necromancers. Which means there's at least one corpse, a bunch of blood, a pile of bones… that's a sovereign at least, you cheapskate."
Caleb laughs. "You drive a hard bargain, Grey. Fine. Let's make it two sovereigns and drinks after. Deal?"
"Deal." I give him my hand, but instead of shaking it, he kisses it. My stomach does a funny little tumble, and I can feel warmth rush into my cheeks. But he doesn't seem to notice. He just shoves the coin back into his pocket, then pulls a dagger from his belt, and flips it into the air, catching it deftly.
"Good. Now let's get going. These necromancers aren't going to arrest themselves, you know."
We edge along the front of the houses, our footsteps squelching softly in the mud. Finally, we reach the one we're looking for. It looks like all the others: a dingy white plaster thing with a wooden door covered in peeling red paint. But unlike all the others, given what's on the other side. The wizards I usually catch are still alive, still corporeal. Not so, today. My stomach tightens in the familiar way it does before an arrest: part thrill, part nerves, part fear.
"I'll kick it open, but you go in first," Caleb tells me. "Take charge of it. It's your capture. Sword up and out. Don't lower it, not for a second. And read the arrest warrant straightaway."
"I know." I don't know why he's telling me this. "Not my first time, remember?"
"I do. But this won't be like the others. They won't be like the others. Get in and get out. Nothing fancy. And no more mistakes, okay? I can't keep covering for you."
I think of all the things I've done wrong in the past month. The witch I chased down the alley who nearly got away. The chimney I got stuck in trying to find a hidden cache of spellbooks. The cottage I stormed that didn't house wizards brewing potions but a pair of aged friars brewing ale. They're just a few mistakes, true. But I don't make mistakes.
At least, I didn't used to.
"Okay." I raise my sword, my sweaty hands slipping off the hilt. I quickly wipe them on my cloak. Caleb draws his leg back and slams his foot against the door. It smashes open, and I burst into the house.
Inside are the five necromancers I'm looking for, huddled around a fire in the center of the room. There's a large cauldron perched above the flames, a foul-smelling pink smoke billowing from the top. Each of them wears a long, tattered brown robe, and oversized hoods conceal their faces. They stand there, moaning and chanting and holding bones—either arm bones or a very small person's leg bones—and shaking them like a bunch of damned Mongol shamans. I might laugh if I weren't so disgusted.
I circle around them, my sword pointed in their direction. "Hermes Trismegistus. Ostanes the Persian. Olympiodorous of Thebes—"
I stop, feeling like an idiot. These necromancers and the ridiculous names they give themselves. They're always trying to outdo one another.
"You five," I say instead. "By the authority of King Malcolm of Anglia, I am commanded to arrest you for the crime of witchcraft."
They continue chanting; they don't even look up. I glance at Caleb. He stands by the door, still flipping his dagger. He almost looks amused.
"You are hereby ordered to return with us to Fleet prison for detention and to await your trial, presided over by the Inquisitor, Lord Blackwell, Duke of Norwich. If you are found guilty, you will be executed by hanging or by burning, as is the king's pleasure, your land and goods forfeit to the crown." I pause to catch my breath. "So help you God."
This is usually the part where they protest, where they say they're innocent, where they ask for proof. They always say this. I have yet to arrest a witch or wizard and have her or him say to me, "Why, yes, I have done illegal spellwork and read illegal books and purchased illegal herbs and thank goodness you've come to stop me!" Instead, it's always, "Why are you here?" and "You've got the wrong person" and "There must be some mistake!" But it's never a mistake. If I show up on your doorstep, it's because you've done something to draw me there.
Just as these necromancers have.
I keep going. "Tuesday, 25th October, 1558: Ostanes the Persian purchases wolfsbane, a known poison, at the black market in Hatch End. Sunday, 13th November, 1558: Hermes Trismegistus etches the Seal of Solomon, a talisman used for summoning spirits, on Hadrian's Wall outside the city. Friday, 18th November, 1558: All five subjects seen at the All Saints Cemetery in Fortune Green, exhuming the corpse of Pseudo-Democritus, né Daniel Smith, another known necromancer."
Still nothing. They just drone on and on, like a hive of old bees. I clear my throat and go on, louder this time.
"Subjects possess the following texts, each on the list of Librorum Prohibitorum, the king's official list of banned books: Albertus Magnus's Magister Sententiarum. Thomas Cranmer's New Book of Common Spells. Desiderius's Handbook of a Reformist Knight."
Surely they'll react to this. Wizards hate nothing more than finding out I've been inside their home, finding things in places they thought no one would ever look. Small hollowed-out niches under the floorboards. Beneath the chicken coop. Stuffed inside a straw mattress. There's nothing a wizard can hide that I can't find.
It occurs to me that it's rather pointless to recite their crimes, considering I've caught them in the middle of an even bigger one. I'm not sure what to do. I don't have all day to stand around listening to these old fools chant, and I can't let them finish their spell. But I can't exactly jump in and lay them out with my sword, either. We're supposed to capture, never kill. Blackwell's rule. And none of us would dare break it. Even still, my fingers tighten around the hilt and I'm itching to start swinging, until I see it: a shape beginning to form in the pink mist in the cauldron.
It rises into the air, swaying and undulating in a nonexistent breeze. Whatever this thing is that they're in the middle of conjuring—my guess is that it's Pseudo-Democritus, né Daniel Smith, who I watched them dig up—it's hideous. Something between a corpse and a ghost, translucent yet rotting, mossy skin, disjointed limbs, and exposed organs. There's a strange humming noise coming from it, and I realize it's covered in flies.
Caleb's voice startles me. He's standing beside me now, his dagger held in front of him, staring at the thing in front of us.
"What do you think?" I whisper. "Is it a ghost?"
He shakes his head. "I don't think so. It's too, I dunno…"
Caleb makes a face. "Ugh. You know I'd rather you say viscous. But, yes. And a ghost wouldn't take five men to raise, so my guess is ghoul? Maybe a revenant. It's hard to say. He's not fully formed enough yet for me to tell."
"We need to stop them before they finish," he continues. "You take the two on the left, I'll take the three on the right."
"No way." I turn to face him. "This is my arrest. I get all five. That was the deal. You can have the viscous thing in the pot."
"No. You can't take on five by yourself."
"Three more sovereigns say I can."
"Don't you Elizabeth me—"
"Elizabeth!" Caleb grips my shoulders and spins me around. The necromancers have stopped chanting, and the room has gone silent. They're staring right at us. Instead of bones, they're clutching long, curved knives, all of them aimed in our direction.
I break free of Caleb's grasp and step toward them, my sword held high.
"What are you doing here, girl?" one of them says to me.
"I'm here to arrest you."
"On what charges?"
I tut in irritation. If he thinks I'm going through the litany of that arrest again, he's got another thing coming.
"That thing." I jerk my sword at the twitchy apparition. "That's the charge."
"Thing?" one of them says, looking affronted. "That's not a thing. It's a ghoul."
"Told you," Caleb whispers behind me. I ignore him.
"And it's the last thing you'll ever see," the necromancer adds.
"You wish," I say, reaching for my handcuffs. I look down, just for a second, to unhook them from my belt. But it's enough. One of the necromancers sends his knife flying.
"Watch it!" Caleb shouts.
But it's too late. The knife lands with a sickening thump in my chest, right above my heart.
I drop my sword and rip the knife from my chest, throwing it to the floor. There's a flash of heat in my abdomen, followed by a sharp, prickling sensation. And in an instant, the wound heals. There's almost no blood; it doesn't even hurt—at least not much. Seeing this, all five necromancers go still. They know—the moment I came through the door they knew—but it's different altogether to see it work: the stigma branded into the skin above my navel, a scrawl of black. XIII. The stigma that protects me and shows me for what I am. An enforcer of the Thirteenth Tablet. A witch hunter.
They back away, as if I'm the one to be afraid of.
I am the one to be afraid of.
I lunge forward and punch the nearest necromancer in the stomach. He doubles over as I slam my elbow into the back of his neck and watch him slump to the floor. I turn to one of the others. Stomp on his foot, pinning it to the floor, and slam my other foot into the side of his kneecap. He drops to his knees, howling. In a flash, I snatch his hands and bind them tightly with the brass handcuffs. Brass is impenetrable to magic; there's no escaping for him now.
I round on the other three. They hold their hands in front of them, backing slowly away. From the corner of my eye, I see Caleb watching me. And he's grinning.
Snatching another pair of cuffs from my belt, I start toward them. Close up, I can see how old they really are. Gray hair, wrinkled skin, watery eyes. Each of them seventy if they're a day. I want to tell them they'd be better off going to church and saying their prayers instead of exhuming bodies and conjuring spirits, but what's the point? They wouldn't listen anyway.
They never do.
I grab a necromancer's wrists and clamp the manacles around them. Before I can get to the other two, they twist away, one of them muttering an incantation under his breath.
"Mutzak tamshich kadima."
The room goes still. The fire stops burning and the billowing pink smoke disappears, receding into the cauldron as if it never existed. The necromancer keeps muttering; he's trying to complete the ritual. I grab a dagger from my belt and hurl it at him to try to stop him. But it's too late. The spirit hovering over the cauldron above us, hideous yet harmless before, becomes solid. It drops in front of me with a thud.
Caleb swears under his breath.
Before either of us can move, the ghoul knocks me to the floor, fastens his cold, rotting hands around my throat, and starts to squeeze.
"Elizabeth!" Caleb leaps forward, but before he can reach me, the last two necromancers turn on him, their knives held high.
I grab the ghoul's hands. Tug at his wrists, scratch and beat on his arms. Try to suck in air, even if it does smell like dirt and rot and death. It doesn't stop him. I can hear Caleb shouting my name, and I try to call back, but my voice comes out a strangled whisper. I keep struggling, twisting back and forth to try to break his grip. But he's too strong.
My vision starts fading, disappearing into patches of black. I slap my hand against the stone floor, trying to reach my sword. But it's too far. And Caleb can't help me. While he's managed to get one necromancer on the floor in cuffs, he's still fighting off the other, who sends objects flying toward him: furniture and smoking logs and bones. I'm on my own. There's a way out of this—I know there is. But if I don't figure it out soon, this ghoul will strangle me to death. Not even my stigma can protect me against that.
Then I get an idea.
I summon the last bit of air I have, give what I hope is a convincing last gasp, and go still. Let my jaw go slack, allow a vacant look to slide into my eyes. I don't know if it will work, because this thing is dead and maybe the dead can't be fooled. When he doesn't stop squeezing, I think I've made a mistake, and it takes every bit of self-control I have to keep still.
Finally, he stops. In the second it takes him to loosen his grip around my throat, I plunge my hand into the sack of salt on my belt, snatch a handful, and fling it in his face.
An unearthly shriek fills the room as the salt melts what's left of his skin and penetrates his skull, his eyes, his brain, dissolving it into a gray sticky mass. Warm, putrid chunks of flesh drip onto my face and hair; an eyeball unravels from its socket and dangles in front of me like a viscous ball of twine. Stifling a gag, I roll to the side, snatch my sword off the floor, and swing. The blade cuts neatly through the ghoul's neck, and in a swirl of hot air and another ear-splitting shriek, he disappears.
The last necromancer pauses at the sound, the objects he has spinning around the room dropping unceremoniously to the floor. Caleb doesn't hesitate. He grabs him by the back of the head and slams it into his knee, then punches him in the face so hard the necromancer staggers backward and falls into the fire. Before he can move, Caleb drops beside him and slaps bindings around his wrists.
He pauses there for a moment, head down, breathing hard. His sweaty blond hair is plastered across his forehead, his face smeared with blood. I'm still sprawled on the floor, my hands and clothes covered in dirt and rot and God knows what else. Finally, he lifts his head and looks at me.
And we both start laughing.
Caleb steps outside and whistles for the guards. They storm into the house, clad in their black-and-red uniforms, the king's coat of arms emblazoned across the front and a red rose, the flower of his house, embroidered on the sleeve. One by one they haul the necromancers outside, toss them into the waiting hurdle, and chain them in. When they get to the last one, a look of dismay crosses their faces.
"He's dead," one says to Caleb.
Dead? That can't be right. But when I look over at the necromancer I flung my dagger at, I see him lying faceup, eyes open to the sky, the knife I'd meant for his leg impaled in his gut.
I shoot a horrified glance at Caleb, but he ignores me and begins speaking.
"Yes, he's dead," he replies calmly. "It's unfortunate, of course, but we got lucky."
"Lucky?" the guard says. "How d'you mean?"
"Lucky that only one of them died," Caleb continues smoothly. "They tried to kill each other the moment we arrived. I suppose they had some sort of pact. You know how necromancers are. Obsessed with death." He shrugs. "We spent half the arrest trying to keep them off one another. I mean, look at this place. And look at poor Elizabeth. She's a mess."
The guards look from Caleb to me, as if they had forgotten I was there.
"I'll have to report this to Lord Blackwell," one of the guards says. "I can't very well deliver a dead prisoner."
"Certainly," Caleb says. "In fact, I'm headed back to Ravenscourt myself. Why don't I accompany you? Less paperwork for us both if we go together, don't you think?"
"Paperwork?" The guard shifts uncomfortably. "On a Saturday?"
"Of course. After we deliver the report in person, we'll have to write it all up. Shouldn't take too long, a couple of hours at most. Shall we?" Caleb walks to the door and holds it open.
The guards look at each other and begin speaking in whispers.
"Maybe it can wait. Not as if he's going anywhere—"
"But what about the body? Someone's bound to notice if he's not moving—"
Caleb smiles. "I wouldn't worry about that. No one pays much attention to prisoners once they're inside. And you're right, he won't be going anywhere. After all, no one gets out of Fleet. Unless it's to the stakes."
The guards laugh, and Caleb laughs with them. But I feel a sudden shiver. I stuff my hand into the pocket of my cloak, clenching it into a fist.
Caleb escorts them outside, watches as they mount their horses. After a minute they shake hands and the guards ride away, the hurdles' heavy wooden frames dragging divots through the mud, the thud of the horses' hooves the only sound in the still-empty alley.
He comes back into the house, his expression once again unreadable. I watch as he begins righting the furniture, retrieving our weapons. I know he's mad I killed that necromancer—he's got to be. It was stupid and it was careless; it was a mistake after he warned me not to make one. Worse still, I have no excuse. At least not one I can give him. Any minute he'll start yelling. I can't stop him, but maybe I can soften the blow.
"Okay, I'll admit it. It wasn't my best work," I say. "But look at it this way: At least you don't have to pay me the two sovereigns now. I'll settle for just the one."
He sets down the chair he's holding with a thud and rounds on me.
"What the hell happened?"
"I don't know," I say. "I guess I made a mistake."
Caleb frowns. "I warned you about that."
"I know. And I'm sorry. I don't know what happened."
He peers closely at me, his eyes searching mine as if he might find a better explanation there. Then he shakes his head.
"You know that's not good enough. If anyone asks what happened today, you'll need to tell them the same story I told the guards."
"I know," I repeat.
"It's important," he continues. "If anyone finds out, it'll get back to Blackwell. You know what'll happen if it does."
I do. He'll call me into his chambers, stare at me with eyes as sharp and black and cunning as a crow's, and demand to know what happened. Not just what happened here, today. He'll demand to know everything. The things I've done, the people I've seen, the places I've gone. He'll demand to know how I lost focus. He'll wear me down with his questioning until I confess it all and he knows everything.
And he can't know everything. No one can. Not even Caleb.
"Let's get out of here," Caleb says. "The fire will be over by now, and we can't be seen."
He takes my arm and leads me out the door and into the streets. We wind through them the same way we came until we reach Westcheap, the wide, paved road that leads from Tyburn all the way to Ravenscourt Palace.
We're blocks away, but I can still see the mob stretching from the gates into the surrounding streets. Throngs of men—women, too—all of them shouting and chanting, denouncing the king, his advisors, even the queen for their unrelenting policy against magic.
"It's getting worse," Caleb says.
I nod. Burnings have never been popular, but they've never been protested before. Not like this. It used to be if you disagreed with the king's policy, you did it quietly: handed out pamphlets in the street, whispered your complaints over drinks at the tavern. It seems impossible that the entire city would now gather in front of the palace gates, armed with sticks and rocks and…
"What are they doing?" I can just make out a group of men, hammers held high, spread out along a stretch of gate where twelve stone slabs hang: the Twelve Tablets of Anglia.
The Twelve Tablets are the laws of the kingdom, etched into stone and posted along the gates of Ravenscourt. Each tablet details a different law: property, crime, inheritance, and so on. After Blackwell became Inquisitor, he added the Thirteenth Tablet. It listed the laws against witchcraft and the penalties for practicing it. It gave rise to witch hunters, to pyres, to the burnings being protested today. It disappeared two years ago—vandals, probably. But even though it's gone, the laws, of course, remain.
Destroying the other twelve tablets won't bring about change. They have nothing to do with witchcraft; it wouldn't matter even if they did. But the men continue to pound away, though they haven't made a dent. No wonder. The tablets are huge: six feet high and at least a foot thick, solid stone.
Caleb shakes his head. "He's completely lost control," he mutters.
"Who?" I say.
"Who do you think? King Malcolm, of course."
My eyes go wide. This makes the third time in as many months Caleb's spoken against the king. He's never done that before.
"He's doing the best he can, I'm sure."
Caleb tsks. "Hard to put down protests or stomp out rebellions when you're too busy hunting or gambling or spending time with women who aren't your wife."
I gasp and feel my cheeks redden. "That's treason."
He shrugs. "Maybe. But you know it's true."
I don't reply.
"Malcolm's got to get rid of him," Caleb continues. "Or we do. It's the only thing that will end these rebellions."
Him is Nicholas Perevil, a wizard and the leader of the Reformists. That's what those who support magic call themselves. Not all Reformists are wizards, but all Reformists seek the same end: to reform the antimagic laws, to abolish the Thirteenth Tablet, to stop the burnings.
Nicholas Perevil should have been just another wizard we hunted and captured and tied to the stake. But before Malcolm became king, his father turned to Nicholas for help. Invited him to court, sought his advice, tried to find a way for Reformists and Persecutors—what Reformists call those who oppose magic—to coexist peacefully.
He soon became the most powerful wizard in Anglia. Not just in his magical ability, but also in his influence. He had the ear of the king; he was changing the policy of Anglia. He was appointed to the king's council and even brought in his own men. It was unthinkable, his opposers said. Impossible.
They were right.
Praise for The Witch Hunter:
A YALSA 2016 Teens Top Ten Nominee
* "An explosive cocktail of high-stakes adventure... 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."
—PW (starred review)
"Debut author Boecker's first-person, present tense narrative creates a suspenseful mood by allowing readers to see Elizabeth's secrets, doubts, and fears...The book has plenty of action-sword fights, battles with monsters, black magic, and betrayal-but there is also camaraderie and romance...Fans of Kristin Cashore's Graceling (Houghton Harcourt, 2008) will see similarities in this story of a girl with deadly skills who begins to question using her services to benefit a brutal ruler. This action-packed tale will be a welcome addition to most YA fantasy collections."—SLJ
"In her debut novel (a sequel is planned), Boecker has created an alternate sixteenth-century world whose characters are as intriguing as the magical world they inhabit...Woven within the complex fantasy is a new understanding of friendship and a tenuous but sweet Romeo and Juliet-like love story that promises to blossom, along with the witchcraft, mystery, and bloodletting."—Booklist
"Elizabeth is a compelling heroine, surrounded by strong supporting characters. Particularly compelling is Elizabeth's uneasy alliance with Fifer as they race to find answers, uncovering dark secrets along the way...First-time novelist Boecker delivers a promising debut. This reviewer is hoping Elizabeth's future adventures prove equally engaging."—VOYA
"The world-building here is comprehensive but concise...Thrilling action scenes combine with a twisting plot to spur readers forward. Perhaps most compelling, however, is Elizabeth's character arc, which moves her from a girl so beholden to the men in her life that she hands her body over both physically and sexually, to an autonomous young adult making decisions for herself....It will satisfy fans of warrior girls who realize their own power."—The Bulletin
"Those who like their stories fast-paced will enjoy this mashup of historical and fantasy. Ghouls, ghosts, magic, and supernatural creatures all appear, lending humor and creepiness in equal measure."—School Library Connection
"[Filled] with everything a good fantasy book needs: swords, poison, black magic, and betrayal. Elizabeth Grey is a tough, feisty protagonist whose fearless heart takes more twists and turns than the narrow city alleys in which the story opens. A fun, corpse-ridden, blood-drenched debut."—April Tucholke, author of Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea
"Sassy and smart, this page-turning fantasy is full of action, wit, and magic. I ate it up in one sitting and demand more...now!"—Beth Revis, New York Times bestselling author of Across the Universe and The Body Electric
"Crisp writing, a fast pace with bloody action, and the all-important monster rats make this story of a bold but more-vulnerable-than-she-realizes witch hunter a strong fantasy debut."—Kate Elliott, author of Cold Magic and Court of Fives
"Elizabeth is an endearingly flawed heroine, and the other characters are just as nuanced and delightful. With an immersive world and fast-paced, addictive plot, The Witch Hunter is perfect for those looking for their next fantastical adventure."—Emily Lloyd-Jones, author of Illusive
- On Sale
- May 3, 2016
- Page Count
- 384 pages
- Little, Brown Books for Young Readers