Once a Witch (Witch, #1), 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.
Why I Read This Book
Honestly? The gorgeous COVER was what lured me into this book! I had been eyeing it for a while and the cover mixed with its witchy subject made this a must-read for Witch Week.
While I picked this one up solely for the cover, I was surprised by how much I loved the story WITHIN the outer pages. Once a Witch was one of those stories kind of like House of Night or the Drake Chronicles, but with WITCHES and lots of magic. The witches and wizards in the book have “talents,” which I thought was a unique spin on the whole magic thing, and they only have ONE talent. So if you’re in this world and you want to do ALL THE SPELLS, then you might be out of luck.
However, the spells are very cool. Some of the witches in the book are QUITE powerful and real integral parts to the story. I adored the main character, Tamsin, and how she was supposed to be this ALL-POWERFUL person in the world of witches, but on her eighth birthday — the day when a person’s talents will be revealed — absolutely nothing happens. I could just feel her pain as being the person who is around all these POWERFUL beings, who are talking about magic and talents all the time, and just feeling like you don’t fit in.
MacCullough is a great writer, too — the story started off quite quickly and was full of mystery and intrigue, magic and secrets. I was instantly hooked and wanting more, more, more! The mystery part, especially. I honestly had no idea who did what or who was going to fix it, but it was such a fun ride to find out all the answers.
One of the wonderful things about this book was that there was even ROMANCE! Though, it wasn’t one of those in-your-face kind of romances, but one that just seemed natural and made me smile. I loved all of these parts in the book and really hope that there’s more in the sequel. There was also plenty of SIBLING RIVALRY, which just seems like a given in a book like this where ALL of Tamsin’s family has their talents, but Tamsin does not. Her relationship with her sister, Rowena, was one I especially enjoyed.
Definitely an intriguing book, MacCullough has me wanting more and I will for sure be checking out the sequel, Always a Witch — as well as some of her other works.
If you like a witchy tale with time travel, romance, family relationships, and evil villains, try this one out!
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