Published January 5th 2012 by Hodder Children's Books
//The Book Depository//
Anna Winterson doesn't know she's a witch and would probably mock you for believing in magic, but after moving to the small town of Winter with her father, she learns more than she ever wanted to about power. When Anna meets Seth, she is smitten, but when she enchants him to love her, she unwittingly amplifies a deadly conflict between two witch clans and splits her own heart in two. She wants to love Seth, to let him love her – but if it is her magic that's controlling his passion, then she is as monstrous as the witch clan who are trying to use her amazing powers for their own gain.I really love to read books about witches. Maybe it has something to do with Harry Potter, or maybe it's because I'm still holding onto that childhood fascination I had with them, (I dressed up as a witch every year on Halloween from the time I was five until I was 10) but I still love to read about them. So A Witch in Winter was something I was really excited for.
Although a perfect fit for the paranormal romance genre, A WITCH IN WINTER avoids fangs, excessive body hair and submissive female leads, and tells the heart-wrenching story of a couple meant to be together, but being forced apart. Seth is utterly irresistible and Anna is an empowered, proactive young woman with unimaginable magic inside her. This is fast-paced, sensuous writing with believable incantations inspired by Warburton's research into witchcraft legend and old English.
The biggest issue I have with this book is the characters, particularly Seth and Anna. They're both so melodramatic a lot of the time, and Anna can be very whiny. And the thing is, I know Anna has her reasons for being that way - she's done something she feels is truly awful, and even though she's done everything she can to fix it, nothing has changed. But her whining is so repetitive, the same thing over and over again, that I couldn't help but be frustrated by it. They also say, "Oh, Anna," or "Oh, Seth," about a million times throughout the book.
However, there were times when I really liked Anna. She's a fairly strong character. She's willing to stand up for herself and others when it's truly needed, and she also genuinely cares about her friends. She's not my favorite character, but she's not my least favorite. Same goes for Seth - he's also a caring person, he's fun, and he's definitely someone I'd love to know in real life, but he's also a little melodramatic and there are times when he seems fake.
One thing I love about this book is that the bad guys are real bad guys. They're not wimpy; they go all out when Anna goes against them, which provides a great story. The bad guys make it pretty intense. And if I'm honest, they're very entertaining to read about.
Another great thing is the way Anna grows throughout the book. She goes from being a scared little girl who knows nothing about magic to trying to save everyone she knows, and I think that's the makings of a good book.
Overall: The plot is gripping and the bad guys are awesome. If not for my frustration at the characters, this book probably would have been 4 or 5 stars. Still, as it is, it was a fairly enjoyable read. 3 stars.