Review: The Witch Haven by Sasha Peyton Smith

Hello friends!! I have such a cool book to share with you all today! Keep reading to learn more and hear all my thoughts.

About the Book:

The Last Magician meets The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy in this thrilling and atmospheric historical fantasy following a young woman who discovers she has magical powers and is thrust into a battle between witches and wizards.

In 1911 New York City, seventeen-year-old Frances Hallowell spends her days as a seamstress, mourning the mysterious death of her brother months prior. Everything changes when she’s attacked and a man ends up dead at her feet—her scissors in his neck, and she can’t explain how they got there.

Before she can be condemned as a murderess, two cape-wearing nurses arrive to inform her she is deathly ill and ordered to report to Haxahaven Sanitarium. But Frances finds Haxahaven isn’t a sanitarium at all: it’s a school for witches. Within Haxahaven’s glittering walls, Frances finds the sisterhood she craves, but the headmistress warns Frances that magic is dangerous. Frances has no interest in the small, safe magic of her school, and is instead enchanted by Finn, a boy with magic himself who appears in her dreams and tells her he can teach her all she’s been craving to learn, lessons that may bring her closer to discovering what truly happened to her brother.

Frances’s newfound power attracts the attention of the leader of an ancient order who yearns for magical control of Manhattan. And who will stop at nothing to have Frances by his side. Frances must ultimately choose what matters more, justice for her murdered brother and her growing feelings for Finn, or the safety of her city and fellow witches. What price would she pay for power, and what if the truth is more terrible than she ever imagined?

My Review:

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

This was a highly anticipated book of the year for me so I’m grateful that I was so kindly sent an early copy to review!

My favorite part of this book was the setting! 1910s New York was such an interesting time period to be in, especially contrasted with the popular 1920s setting we see so often. It’s not glamorous; in fact, I would say it was downright grim for the most part. The magical school setting was not quite as gripping, which was really surprising. I usually love an academic setting, but I feel like the sanitarium/school just projected bad vibes from the start that made me instantly distrust everyone and everything. I guess that was the point of the school setting, so I’ll give the book props for that.

As a character, Frances was complicated to like to say the least. I loved her ambition, but it led her to make some really stupid decisions that took the book in directions I didn’t love. She rushed to conclusions and acted on impulse, which left all the side characters to deal with the consequences. I also felt like everything happened a little too conveniently for her and it made the plot a bit boring. I did guess the plot twist, but the end was action packed that I still felt engaged and cared about the stakes.

Overall, I enjoyed myself when reading The Witch Haven. If you don’t read too much into the plot holes, this could be a fun and quick paranormal mystery to pick up!

Thanks for reading and let me know if you’re going to pick this book up.

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