About 18 months ago, I first encountered writer Virginia Boecker via her blog. She was a Pitch Wars mentor, and of the mentor posts I read, hers was one of my favorite. Imagine, then, my thrill when Virginia chose me as her mentee. I will say that her feedback changed my book--she encouraged me to dramatically increase the pacing, and that advice was just the kick I needed to cut a substantial part of the story.
Needless to say, I pre-ordered this book as soon as I could. (It has taken me a shamefully long time to get to it--I need to stop going to the library when I have other books to read, because the library books always end up taking precedence.) I finally had a chance to read it, and am happy to say I thoroughly enjoyed it. (Of course, I might be a tad biased. See above).
Elizabeth Grey is a witch hunter in an alternate Elizabethan England where magic is not only forbidden, but an offense punishable by death. Despite Elizabeth's skill, her loyalty blinds her to certain dangers, and when she is betrayed and herself accused of witchcraft, she discovers that the only thing that might save her is allying with the very witches she once fought against.
The premise is great: high stakes that were borne out in the strong pacing. I liked Elizabeth, who struggles to reimagine her place in a world that no longer values her, but who remains strong and determined. But I loved her friends, and the tentative threads that bind them as their adventures unfold. Her growing relationship with a handsome healer was particularly strong, and I look forward to seeing where Virginia takes their relationship in the sequel.