Witch Finder by Ruth Warburton
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Genre: Young Adult Paranormal
Book Description: London. 1880. In the slums of Spitalfields apprentice blacksmith Luke is facing initiation into the Malleus Maleficorum, the fearsome brotherhood dedicated to hunting and killing witches.
Luke’s final test is to pick a name at random from the Book of Witches, a name he must track down and kill within a month, or face death himself. Luke knows that tonight will change his life forever. But when he picks out sixteen-year-old Rosa Greenwood, Luke has no idea that his task will be harder than he could ever imagine.
My thoughts: Luke has a recurring nightmare. Every night he relives watching his parents die from witchcraft. In his mind everyone who wields magic is evil and dangerous to society. He seeks initiation into a secret group whose goal is to rid the world of witches, one at a time, by killing them.
He randomly selects a name, Rosa Greenwood. His life will be forever changed when he accepts the challenge. He discovers that things are not clear cut, killing someone is harder than he thought it would be.
There were a few things that I really liked in this book. One is that it is easy to judge people by the acts of a few. In this case, all witches are considered bad. The reality is that there are some who are power hungry, ruthless, greedy, etc, when in fact most are good people. I liked that Luke is loyal. He cares deeply for his family and friends. He is a kind person, he also learns that Rosa has a similar personality. I liked that class distinctions were overlooked and that the quality of a person was emphasized.
This book started a little slow and picked up the pace as the story progressed. I really began to like some of the characters. There are some who are very bad people. There is violence and swearing in the book. It is hard to read a few of the scenes. They are graphic enough to cause me discomfort, I understood the need for them in the book. There are dark concepts and situations.
I would not recommend this book to anyone under 16 years of age.