19 October 2011

Once a Witch by Carolyn MacCullough

Tamsin Greene comes from a long line of witches, and she was supposed to be one of the most Talented among them. But Tamsin's magic never showed up. Now seventeen, Tamsin attends boarding school in Manhattan, far from her family. But when a handsome young professor mistakes her for her very Talented sister, Tamsin agrees to find a lost family heirloom for him. The search—and the stranger—will prove to be more sinister than they first appeared, ultimately sending Tamsin on a treasure hunt through time that will unlock the secret of her true identity, unearth the sins of her family, and unleash a power so vengeful that it could destroy them all. This is a spellbinding display of storytelling that will exhilarate, enthrall, and thoroughly enchant.

Where to start with such a great book? Tamsin is delightful and her story is great. It flowed well, jumping around like a good mystery but never going overboard. Tamsin is a great character and she seems like any conflicted teenager in a bad situation. I like her reactions to the plot, she is proactive but she doesn’t always have the right answers (which, really, is half the fun!). My only complaint would be the scope of the world. It was a little hard to keep all of the family members straight as well as remember what time period Tamsin is operating in. Perhaps that is because the book didn’t really have any lulls to catch your breath, which is not entirely a bad thing. The action kept coming and I never felt bored or rushed. To be honest, the bare bones of the plot seemed a lot like Holly Black’s Curse Workers books. It doesn’t seem like the same book, though. MacCullough deals with the same premise in a totally different way, so if you liked White Cat I’d recommend this series as well.

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