Received from NetGalley for review.
The Witch’s Kiss tells the story of sixteen-year-old Merry, an untrained witch. When a century’s old oath is awakened, however, she must find a way to harness her powers and defeat the dark wizard Gwydion and his King of Hearts, Jack, who has a nasty habit of cutting out people’s hearts. It’s a fairly cheesy concept – Gwydion wants to kill people in love because he was spurned by the woman he loved – but it is a lot of fun, especially in the beginning.
The narrative switches between Anglo-Saxon times, telling the story of Gwydion and Jack (and Merry’s ancestors), and how the oath came to be, and modern day Surrey, where Merry has to grapple with unpredictable powers, strange visions, and inconvenient feelings for Jack. This was definitely my favourite aspect of the story and I enjoyed getting to know the characters from the past. The modern day characters weren’t quite as interesting – Merry spends a lot of time in conflict over her powers and has past issues with magic, but she is quite a likable character, and her brother and Gran were a bit more interesting.
This is definitely a book for easy summer reading – it’s fairly light and fast paced, with a smattering of silly romance between Merry and Jack (because it’s always a good idea to fall for an unpredictable century’s old boy that might kill you). I enjoyed this book for the most part and I really liked when the story switched between Anglo-Saxon and modern times, but I found the middle very slow and tedious and felt that it could have been easily cut down – there’s a lot of sitting around and avoiding the obvious solution to a problem, which became very dull.
Read: August 13th-17th 2016