September 23, 2013

Star Cursed by Jessica Spotswood

Star Cursed by Jessica Spotswood
Release Date: June 18, 2013
Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons
Pages: 371
Series: Cahill Witch Chronicles
Review Source: Received via Netgalley, but review is based on my own finished copy

Synopsis: (from Goodreads)
With the Brotherhood persecuting witches like never before, a divided Sisterhood desperately needs Cate to come into her Prophesied powers. And after Cate's friend Sachi is arrested for using magic, a war-thirsty Sister offers to help her find answers—if Cate is willing to endanger everyone she loves.

Cate doesn't want to be a weapon, and she doesn't want to involve her friends and Finn in the Sisterhood's schemes. But when Maura and Tess join the Sisterhood, Maura makes it clear that she'll do whatever it takes to lead the witches to victory. Even if it means sacrifices. Even if it means overthrowing Cate. Even if it means all-out war.

In the highly anticipated sequel to
Born Wicked, the Cahill Witch Chronicles continue Cate, Maura and Tess's quest to find love, protect family, and explore their magic against all odds in an alternate history of New England.
My Thoughts:
If you’re looking for a series book with a Happily Ever After then you should probably look elsewhere. But if you’re looking for something absolutely gripping, a book that will draw you in on every page, and will make you throw your hands up at the end and scream “whyyyyy?!?!?!” (that isn’t hyperbole, that was my actual response), then please, please check out ‘Star Cursed’, and the first volume of the Cahill Witch Chronicles, ‘Born Wicked’.

There are so many reasons to like these books. The world building is intricately structured, with such an intelligently written focus on gender roles. Just like in our world there are different factions within groups arguing about how to change the status quo and bring women back into power. 'Star Cursed' brings us to New London, a location which we only heard about in Born Wicked, a place where the Brotherhood rules even more strictly, especially as increased restrictions on women are being put into place.

While all the characters are layered and interesting, Cate is the real reason why these books work so well. Cate is so strong, even when her hands are tied. She cares so much, and she wants to do what is right. She doubts herself, like anyone would, but she really grows into her own in this book, embracing her power and seeing how magic can be very good or very bad, depending on who’s wielding it.

Without getting too much into spoilers, I just adore the relationship between Cate and Finn. I would be remiss if I didn’t point out how lovely they are together, and how refreshing it is to see a pair who suit each other so well, and respect each other so much. But while the romance is spectacular, the even stronger relationships in these books belong to those of the three sisters: Cate, Maura, and Tess. There is such an intense dynamic at play here, especially between Cate and Maura. Their bond is very complicated, but it’s one that Jessica Spotswood writes flawlessly.

As you may have been able to tell from my first paragraph, it’s putting it kindly to say that the ending of this book is cliffhanger-y (an official term) and heartbreaking. Even though I thought I saw it coming, it still completely broke me, just like the ending of ‘Born Wicked’ did, except this time even more so. As of writing this review it’s been a couple of weeks since reading the book, but I still feel all those emotions. When I think about the book my heart races and I want to start counting days until the next book’s release, except I know acknowledging that wait will break my heart even more. Basically? Jessica Spotswood sure knows how to leave her readers dying for more. I would seriously dislike her for that ending if a) she wasn’t so sweet a person, and b) her books weren’t so brilliantly crafted. Highly, highly recommended.

The Cover:
I liked the original series design better, but this is still gorgeous!


Find Star Cursed by Jessica Spotswood on Goodreads, Book Depository, & Amazon.


  1. I've become so allergic to cliffhangers, I swear. I actually gave up on book 1 because it just didn't grab my attention, but perhaps I should reconsider once the next book comes out and I don't have to suffer through the horrible cliffhanger. I love my HEAs after all.
    Glad you enjoyed it. Great review!

    1. Sometimes it's fabulous to read a whole series/trilogy in a row without having to wait -- there are a couple of ones I'm planning to do that with. I'd definitely recommend giving this one another try. I liked it the first time, but the second time around I love it even more. And book 2? FAB!

  2. I liked the first book though I didn't love it...might have to wait until all three are out so I can read 'em all in a row, like you suggested!

  3. Haha, I love how you started this review Ashley! I had the same response at the end, oh boy was that an intense ending!

    I LOVE the historical world building. There are so many parallels to history and present day. New London and the Brotherhood are fascinating, as is the sisterhood.

    Cate and Finn are perfect together! I love them for all the reasons you do. Tess can be infuriating but I do like how Spotswood depicts the complexities of the relationships between sisters.

    CAN'T WAIT for the last book. Oh god is Spotswood going to smash our hearts to pieces?! I hope not LOL.


Thank you so much for taking the time to comment; I appreciate each one!


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