The Last Witch
by Debbie Dee
Publication date - September 12, 2012
available in paperback and epub
available in paperback and epub
*Ebook obtained directly from the author for review*
Synopsis Via Goodreads:
For generations the Incenaga Witches have been forced to use their power to fulfill the wishes of others until they are drained of their magic and left to die. Desperate to protect his infant daughter - the last surviving witch - Emmeline’s father escapes with her to the forests where he vows to keep her hidden from the world and from the truth. Sixteen years later, Emmeline is discovered and finds herself in the grip of a traitor who will stop at nothing to get what he wants, even if it means abusing her power until she dies. She is taken to a distant country and told she must marry the Crown Prince or her own country will be overtaken, its people slaughtered. But what sort of prince would marry a witch? And why would she be the difference between war and peace? As she fights to regain her freedom, she is faced with a choice between a prince who offers a lifetime of security and a common gamekeeper who has no idea of her power, but offers his heart. But who do you trust when your power can be used against you?
About the Author
Debbie Dee recently moved to southern Idaho with her husband and three children where she is learning how to be a country girl in her favorite pair of blue heels. She adores fairy tales and happy endings, but secretly crushes on the bad guy now and then. As a dedicated musician who practices way too much, she never expected writing would sweep her off her feet until she jotted down a scene from a daydream, which turned into two scenes, which turned into a messy house and her first novel. Since then she hasn’t been able to let a day go by without writing. Her website is www.debbiedee.com.
**Small Spoiler Alert**
Can I just say... WOW.... I fell in love with this story. From the front cover (which is absolutely stunning!!) to the very last page! From the start, the story caught my attention. I loved that is set in more medieval times - a king, prince, swords, knights, and a "palace" that sounds like a castle which has secret passages. Plus witches. I was honestly in literary heaven with this read.
The characters are so well written and the female lead, Emmeline, is an amazing character. She doesn't get on your nerves like a lot of female leads in books today - although, I have to admit, I realized who "Erick" really was about 200 pages before she did - but instead of that being annoying, it was like I knew the dirty little secret that she was clueless about. :)
I'll be honest, I was very skeptical of the fantasy aspect of this book. I've read several other books involving "witches" and they're generally the same=spells, books, incantations, candles... it's true I enjoy a good "witch" book but I never really thought about anything different... This BLEW me away! I never thought about witchcraft characters in the sense that they can manipulate power without the use of spells and the general craftiness you think of when you think of a witch. Emmeline's power was magnificent! Completely unexpected! It was far from what I expected... the fact that she gains power from fire is brilliant. The world that Debbie Dee created is quite intriguing.
Emmeline is such a wholesome character. She's naive but not annoyingly so. For someone who grew up in a solitary environment with only her father as her companion, she handles being thrown into a whirlwind full of people as well as a treacherous predicament well - much better than I would have had I been in her shoes. She's brave, despite everything that is thrown her way. She's selfless, willing to sacrifice herself for the good of her people (whom she's never even interacted with), her father's life and Erick's safety. Watching Emmeline unfold and constantly being on edge, determined to make the right decision, you fall in love with her as the female lead. For me, this is a difficult thing for the writer to accomplish - normally I lean away from the female leads and more towards the males because so many female characters annoy me in one way or another. Emmeline did not. I enjoyed reading from her POV throughout the entire read.
From their very first meeting, Erick, the "gamekeeper," aka Crown Prince, is someone who automatically finds a place in your heart. The little things that he does for Emmeline make you love him and trust him as a character. Of course Emmeline doesn't know that the precious gestures like the harp and horse are from Erick. She's lead to believe that they're from her Crown Prince whom she's never had the pleasure of meeting (*snicker - we knew something she didn't know*). It's heartwarming to know that Erick wants her to love him as HIM and not as the Crown Prince. You can almost SEE in the pages the determination and honor seeping from Erick.
The writing style that Debbie Dee brings to this novel was so precise that my eyes simply flowed across the pages without any effort. For someone like me who reads at least 3 books a week, this is quite an accomplishment. I've seen writing of every style and Debbie Dee's is one of the most comfortable yet poised style I've come across.
This story is full of nail biting, heart pounding, nerve-wracking action and dilemmas for Emmeline & Erick to face. This book really has it all - good guys, bad guys, fights, death, adventure, mystery, sweet romance (perfectly YA) and the fantasy aspect of witches. I didn't want it to end and I look forward to the story continuing! I can't wait to see what's next & what the "bad guys" come up with next!
Can I just make note that I WANT her eyes!! I mean... really... how awesome would it be to have eyes that turned silver at night...
My Overall Rating: 5 Stars
Cover Rating: 5 Stars
Main Characters: 5 Stars
Plot: 5 Stars
Climax: 5 Stars (I was on edge so many times in this book! I don't have any nails left!)
Ending: 5 Stars
Okay - so 5 stars all around... that's RARELY seen for me...
For a YA novel, I honestly LOVED this book and couldn't get enough of the characters.
Praise for The Last Witch...
"The characters kept popping into my head during the day, and I couldn't wait for my nighttime reading. This book will result in late nights and lack of sleep!" - Brenda on Amazon.com
"I was totally sucked into this story and can't wait for more to come out." - Michelle on Amazon.com
"The book is a good read, especially for young adults. The characters are wholesome, but intriguing." -Kimmie from She Really Said It
"A great love story with exciting adventures and unexpected twists and turns." - Marsha on Amazon.com
"I rushed home from work to finish reading The last Witch and was actually sad when I turned the last page. But it was the kind of book where you sigh and say, 'Ah. That was a good book.'" - Rae on Amazon.com
"I love fantasy books and this is one fantasy/fairy tale that anyone would love to read." - Amy on Goodreads.com