Born Wicked (Cahill Witch Chronicles #1) – Jessica Spotswood

Born Wicked (Cahill Witch Chronicles #1) – Jessica SpotswoodTitle: Born Wicked (Cahill Witch Chronicles #1) by Jessica Spotswood
Publishing Info: February 7, 2012 by Penguin
Source: Library
Genres: Alternate Reality, Fantasy, Historical Fiction, Paranormal, Young Adult
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // GoodreadsDate Completed: October 9, 2012

    Everybody knows Cate Cahill and her sisters are eccentric. Too pretty, too reclusive, and far too educated for their own good. But the truth is even worse: they’re witches. And if their secret is discovered by the priests of the Brotherhood, it would mean an asylum, a prison ship—or an early grave.
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.

Breaking It Down Further: Cate Cahill and her sisters are witches. When their mother (also a witch) died years ago, she left them begging them to promise to keep their magic a secret — from their father, from the staff, and especially from the Brothers. The Brothers overtook the witches when they were in power and are now on a constant witch-hunt, teaching the girls of the community all of the evils of magic. It’s now Cate’s duty to keep her younger sisters safe from being shipped off to a ship to work practically slave labor or to the mental institution, and she manages quite well. That is, until her life is turned upside down in a matter of days. Her father hires a governess named Elena who Cate cannot trust although she’s not quite sure why. Cate finds out she had a godmother who was a witch. And she begins to fall in love with their gardener and old friend Finn Belastra. Now Cate struggles even more to keep their darkest secret, keep their family from falling apart, and figure out if it’s possible for her to have a true love.


BORN WICKED was quite the interesting book! I think one thing I really liked was the fact that the story line wasn’t really good magic vs bad magic and their battle against each other. Of course, it did touch on the fact that magic can be used improperly or for the wrong reasons. BUT the main idea of the book is the fact that magic is seen as unnatural and morally wrong as a whole. Poor Cate has to keep her family’s secret from the Brothers for fear that they will all be taken away – her conflict is with the Brothers and their teachings, as well as the conflict we seen within her family and her magic itself.

Right away, we see that Cate doesn’t like her magic. It’s been a hardship for her and some of the last words said to her made her doubt that it could ever be a good things. We find out she has the ability to do mind-magic and is fearful to ever use it, but had to use it on her father once to keep him from sending her away from her sisters to go off to school. Magic is also a conflict between Cate and her sisters, especially Maura. Maura wants to learn to use her magic and she finds it exciting. It’s difficult for the younger sisters to keep their magic under wraps and Cate is the one who always has to scold them, creating a sort of rift between them.
I really liked the interaction between Cate and her sisters. Although they are at odds and their secret puts quite a strain on their relationship, it just seemed so real. I feel like it’s not often that I come across relationships that feel as real as this so it was really nice to see. It really pulled me into the book and I felt more involved in it.

I absolutely adored Cate and Finn. It’s such a bittersweet romance because you can tell they’re just perfect for each other, but Cate’s proper match would be Paul. She also can’t ever marry Finn because even though her family isn’t quite held in the highest esteem, marrying Finn would still be marrying below her class, and that would make matters for the Cahill family even worse. I just loved them together though.

The ending of the book was quite surprising and visually shocking (in the sort of “finale” scene – I could just picture the whole thing!) – After that ending, I can’t wait to pick up the next book and see what happens!


Cate Cahill: It’s kind of hard to say how I feel about Cate. It’s really hard for me to gauge a character who’s forced to keep the most important aspect of her life a secret. But I guess that is a big part of the story – No one really gets to know Cate who doesn’t know about her magic. Well, I guess until Finn. I do have to say though, it was so nice to see her loosen up around certain people! I could just feel the tension that she has to carry around with her all the time and you could tell it’s definitely not easy!
Finn Belastra: Oh, Finn! I simply adored him. He just seemed like the perfect match for Cate and cute and polite and sweet and strong – But at the same time, I also felt bad for Paul. Even though Cate doesn’t love Paul, she still does like him and he’s a perfectly nice guy.
Tess Cahill: I don’t know what it is, but there’s something about Tess that just made me love her like the little sister I never had. She seems really mature for her age (12) and she just seemed like such a real character. I absolutely adored her.
Elena: Oooh, this girl. I was with Cate — I didn’t trust her from the start. The story line following the entrance of this new governess was quite interesting!

book_recommendations1BOOKS LIKE BORN WICKED

Hi, I'm Brittany!
Hi, I'm Brittany!

I'm an avid reader, candle-maker, and audiobook lover! Here you'll find book reviews, fun blog posts, and my other loves of photography & craft beer!

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7 thoughts on “Born Wicked (Cahill Witch Chronicles #1) – Jessica Spotswood

  1. Zara D. Garcia-Alvarez

    I’ve had my eye on this book for awhile and haven’t had the chance to pick it up. Aside from loving the cover, I’m a great lover of books especially those about paranormal fantasy. Witches? Yes, please. Good magic. Yay! I would love to win a copy of this book from your birthday giveaway!!

  2. Candice

    Loved this book! I’m not gonna lie, I fell super hard for Finn. I loved his nerdy exterior and how super hot he could be! Overall, I really loved this book and can’t wait for the next one!

  3. Quinn

    I bought this book at the beginning of the year, but still haven’t read it. I did read a few pages of it, but it felt a little depressing, so I put it away for another day. I do want to read it, but I definitely need to be in the right frame of mind.

    The cover is ridiculously gorgeous!

  4. KateB

    This is one of those books that I’ve seen around but never had a clue as to what it was about. I think now I can say that I feel informed… 🙂

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