Monday, March 28, 2011

Always a Witch by Carolyn MacCullough

Always a Witch by Carolyn MacCullough
Release Date: August 1, 2011
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

The adventures of Tam and Gabriel continue with more time travel, Talents, spy work, and of course, the evil Knights. Since the gripping conclusion of Once A Witch, Tamsin Greene has been haunted by her grandmother's prophecy that she will soon be forced to make a crucial decision—one so terrible that it could harm her family forever. When she discovers that her enemy, Alistair Knight, went back in time to Victorian-era New York in order to destroy her family, Tamsin is forced to follow him into the past. Stranded all alone in the nineteenth century, Tamsin soon finds herself disguised as a lady's maid in the terrifying mansion of the evil Knight family, avoiding the watchful eye of the vicious matron, La Spider, and fending off the advances of Liam Knight. As time runs out, both families square off in a thrilling display of magic. And to her horror, Tamsin finally understands the nature of her fateful choice.

Carolyn MacCullough continues the fantastic witch adventure in this sequel to Once a Witch.  This sequel does what a lot of sequels fail to do, and that is outdo the original.  The original had some moments of raw emotion in it that had me feeling so sorry for Tam, or her sister, or other characters.  This book surpasses that with another touching but adventurous story that will have readers enthralled.

Tam is stronger in this story, more sure of herself, which was something I loved to see.  She's more able to stand on her own, and through a great portion of the book, she is completely on her own.  She shows herself to be very resourceful, working toward figuring out how to change the past in order to save her family and keep their legacy safe.  Although Gabriel does appear in the book about a third of the way in, their romance is, by this time, established enough so that the story doesn't ride on it.  It's not the central focus, but somehow I didn't miss it being front and center.  I was happy with the fact that their development had already occurred.

When the final moments of this story come, I was shocked, saddened, nastolgic, and a million other things.  Tamsin's sacrifice, especially in light of the first book's events, was sad, heroic, and poignant.  Yet I knew that despite it, she was going to be happy.  I don't want to ruin it for anyone so I won't say more.

This was a very entertaining read that kept my interest from the very first page.  I can't wait to see what the author has coming in future!

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