PJV Quickie: It is quite confusing to have my brain screaming out all the inconsistencies of the story, while my heart yearned to read the next chapter. For pure enjoyment purposes, WITCHSTRUCK is a lovely book about a witch surviving in medieval times. It you can forgo the logic and lack of depth in the characters long enough to read the book, then it’s one I recommend for people who like a bit of magic in their historical settings. Otherwise, there are many better books for this genre.
Review: Having waited quite a bit of time between reading and reviewing, I found myself forced to re-read sections to figure out why I decided not to smack a one-star review on a book my notes hinted that I hated. I think bit by bit, the story was highly entertaining, but the moment I stepped back to look at the big picture of the story, I found that my suspension of belief had to be absurdly high to believe the both the events of the story and the characters’ reactions.
Much of the plot rested on how cruel and inhuman Marcus Dent was. The problem was that there lacked that moment where the reader felt his cruelty. Without being convinced that consenting to marrying Marcus would have put Meg in grave danger, it felt more like she was acting like a spoiled child and her avoidance to marry was a severe over-reaction of her wanting to retain independence.
I also read the book simultaneously with watching the TV series THE WHITE QUEEN and I couldn’t help but feel that WITCHSTRUCK lacked in comparison. I’m not a history buff, yet I do enjoy reading books written in Queen Elizabeth I or II’s era. Ironically, since it had magic-dealing characters, it lacked magic within its pages. The characters felt like shells of the ones portrayed in other novels and movies. Elizabeth, herself, felt like a pawn of the plot than the future queen.
If the book featured fictional characters instead of ones based on real people, I would be much more forgiving. The story is entertaining, although silly in its lack of realism. I can’t help but think that if Meg were a real character like her counterparts, she would have been burnt at the stake midway though the book for her stupidity and the stupidity of her companions. She survived because of Elizabeth’s out of character loyalty for a servant girl and the weird obsession that a priest-in-training had with Meg.
Like Marcus Dent, Alejandro de Castillo did not convince me of the character Meg said he was. Despite being a Catholic priest-in-training, Alejandro de Castillo was extremely accepting of Meg’s witchcraft. I felt like he was one step away from betraying her the entire novel, since his loyalty to her was against his core religious beliefs. Either he will make a very sucky priest in future novels because he can’t refuse the temptation of a pretty women or he will make a very bad Catholic because he tolerates the demon-magic Meg wields. I just can’t fathom someone in that time period who is tolerant of other faiths, without questioning the validity of his own.