I wanted to love this book. I really, really did. I mean, I adore books about witches, and the cover is just so absolutely gorgeous. And there were some things that I liked about it. I liked the society it takes place in—an alternative-reality 19th century New England, with the stifling, restrictive, and controlling pseudo-religious Brotherhood. And I loved the idea of a trio of sister witches, fighting against a prophesy that spells their doom. And Finn—the love interest—was perfectly lovely, even if the author was weirdly obsessed with his lips and kept calling them “red” and “cherry” (which sounds resoundingly unattractive to me). Oh, and the little sister, Tess, was actually probably my favorite character.
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.
But Cate, the main character, drove me absolutely batty. I felt like I was gritting my teeth in frustration at her actions through most of the book. It’s something in the way she’s so hypocritical about her magic, always yelling at her sisters for using it, then not thinking twice for using it herself. And it annoyed me how she’s so controlling and refuses to let her sisters make any decisions for themselves—I just don’t understand how her ego could be so big that she is incapable of believing that anyone besides herself can make the right choice. I also never understood her hatred of Elena. Yes, Elena’s motives are suspect, but she never actually does anything to warrant Cate’s dislike. It just came off as jealousy to me. And don’t even get me started on the way Cate leads Paul on and totally uses him—and then she has the gall to complain when the Sisters want to use her for their own ends. Uh, hello even more hypocrisy.
Overall, I was fairly okay with the book until Cate sent me over the edge. I suspect that most people wouldn’t be as annoyed with her as I was, so this book is probably still worth your time. I just can’t move past wanting to slap Cate.
Rating: 3 / 5