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Born Wicked (The Cahill Witch Chronicles #1)

3.91 of 5 stars 3.91  ·  rating details  ·  11,088 ratings  ·  1,749 reviews
Everybody knows Cate Cahill and her sisters are eccentric. Too pretty, too reclusive, and far too educated for their own good. But the truth is even worse: they’re witches. And if their secret is discovered by the priests of the Brotherhood, it would mean an asylum, a prison ship—or an early grave.

Before her mother died, Cate promised to protect her sisters. But with only
Hardcover, 330 pages
Published February 7th 2012 by Putnam Juvenile (first published January 25th 2012)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Khanh (Clowns, Nightmares, and Bunnies)
Actual rating: 3.5. Rounded down for the pointless motherfucking love triangle.
Mother didn’t trust Father to fight for us. Truth be told, she didn’t do a very good job of it herself. She left me with a diary full of cryptic warnings and a responsibility that should have been hers.
I will keep my sisters safe...while I have breath left in my body.
I'm an idiot. This is what I get for not reading the summary. For some fucking reason, I thought this was an adult novel. It's not. I thought it was ma
Wendy Darling
Well, I read the first 150 pages of this novel and then skimmed another 50, but this one just isn't holding my attention, I'm afraid. The writing and mood are actually rather nice, and the language seems pretty appropriate to early 20th century New England (albeit an alternate history version) aside from some jarring words here and there.

There just isn't enough witchery in this book for me, however, since the book seems very heavily centered around the romance. And unfortunately, the romance wa
*2.5 stars*


Cate is sixteen. Three months before her seventeenth birthday, she has to choose, at the intention ceremony, if she’s going to marry or join the Sisterhood.

What is the Sisterhood?

The Sisters are the feminine arm of the Brotherhood, only without any power: they do not preside over legal disputes, or create addendums to the morality code, or judge the cases of girls accused of witchery. They live isolated in convents in the cities and dedicate their lives in service to the Lord, educat
Whatever I am going to write here will probably sound hypocritical in the light of the recent ramblings about genre/commercial/popular (whatever you want to call it) fiction that I started in my Angelfall and Under the Never Sky reviews, but here it is.

I've only read a couple of chapters of Born Wicked and thus far there are no objective issues with this novel that would justify my giving it a low rating or a bad review. It is written like everything else popular in YA right now, down to the 1s
Miranda Kenneally
This book is one you can't miss. I'm already dying to know what happens in books 2 and 3!

Jessica Spotswood is an enormously talented author whose prose is gorgeous and full and lush and makes me want to live in the world she's created, an alternate history of America in the 1890s. The author's style reminds me of Kristin Cashore's -- the imagery made me want to attend the tea parties and wear the dresses and hang out in the gardens. I seriously loved this book, and had a hard time putting it do
Poor Cate. This girl has far too much responsibility. She takes care of the household as well as her two younger sisters. On top of that she has to keep hidden the fact that all three girls are witches, less they be persecuted. Cate seems to be lost after the death of her mother and her father isn’t much help since he is often absent from the girls lives. I just wanted to bundle this girl up in a hug and tell her everything was going to be okay. Though I’m not sure that would have been the truth ...more

This is bit of a magical story about witches in a very difficult time - when they are hunted down, when they have to hide, to pretend to be ‘normal’ and not draw any attention to them. It's a story about a young girl that needs to protect herself and her sisters from all the dangers that might break them apart, a story about young love and oldprophecies, andeverythingin between.

... isn't it beautiful? I mean, I am not sure of the relationship with the book, as the girl’s dress d
This will definitely appeal to certain types of readers, but it's really not for me. Some parts were interesting, and it was compelling in the sense that it wasn't bad enough for me to give up on.

Cate Cahill and her two sisters, Maura and Tess, live in an alternate history 1870s New England, where a religious order called the Brotherhood extrapolates the Salem witch trial era. Except witches and magic are actually real (though quite rare, so we're told), and if they're caught, the Brotherhood wi
Kat (Lost in Neverland)
I met the author and got a copy signed. She's really sweet and genuine, and sounds a lot like me.

After Finishing

Unfortunately, I was immensely disappointed with this book. I especially despised the ending. This was such an obvious attempt to make a series, it's not even...UGH.

2.5 Stars

Cate and her two sisters are witches. They strive to keep their secret from the strict, religious Brotherhood who they have to display obedience to, despite their hatred toward witches and women alike.
In a few m
I stayed up till 3:00am finishing this book. I thought it was a fast read. I couldn't wait to see what would happen and now I'm dying for the next book in the series! DYING to read more.

I didn't even read the back of this book before I read it. I saw the lovely package that the publisher sent and decided just to go for it. So the alternate history and some of the other aspects were a total surprise. Alternate histories are my current favorites! I love the combination of magic and romance. The w
Stephanie (Bookfever.♥)
Born Wicked was a perfect example of a book that has both good as bad qualities to it. I really did like the book but in the end it wasn't enough to make me love it. This review will be a little different from my usual reviews because there was 50% of good stuff and 50% of bad stuff, in my opinion.

The good:

The setting - I absolutely loved the setting. I think it may be the best part of the book. I didn't actually know this book was historical until I started reading it. It's actually an altern
I tried so hard to finish this book but after chapter five this became an exercise in withstanding torture. The pacing of this book is ridiculously slow. I swear, I would read one page and start searching for something else to do.

The problem stems from the main character, Cate. She is such a dull sponge - one that'll suck all the fun out of life. There is no vibrancy to her, no spark. She is completely devoid of anything that incites excitement or empathy in me. She's also extremely passive, pre
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Can not wait to read the sequel!
After the death of her mother, Cate Cahill had to take on the responsibility of caring for her two younger sisters. Her father is rarely home and even when he is, he's not exactly the most reliable of men. Not to mention he knows nothing of his daughters whispered spells. Only their mother knew of their magic and urged them against telling anyone, father included. So for years, Cate has had to act as mother more often than sister, and while they've had their many ups and downs, inviting anyone i ...more
When I found this among a pile of early releases at work, I chalked it up to destiny. Due to recent bad luck in the YA department, my grabbing Born Wicked was akin to a freebie 30-day trial on a steamer from Home Shopping Network. It might explode in my face, but I could still mail that sucker back -- no money lost, just the fleshy bit of my cheek & one eyebrow.

Onto the book, then. ;)

Looking past the lovely cover, the first thing I noticed was first-person present tense. *sigh* (Authors of t
Nov 28, 2014 Liz rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: witches
I love books about witches and vampires and evil creatures in general.
This was another read I really enjoyed.

Cate, Tess and Maura are sisters. Moreover they are witches and they have to hide their abilities because the ruling Brotherhood is hunting witches down. After the death of their mother Cate has to take care of her sisters and watch over them so they are more careful with their magic. At the same time, Cate has to decide whether to join the Sisterhood or to marry and both possibilities
Steph Su
There’s no good way for me to start this review except to just come straight out and say that this book disappointed me. With a pretty cover and interesting premise but lacking in world-building, solid pacing, and full characterization, BORN WICKED seems to exemplify all that is characteristic of recently published YA that are big hits but technically weak. So what follows is probably going to be more of a what-not-to-do essay for YA writers, and I hope to God that future writers and publishers ...more
I was lucky enough to win an arc of this from the author's blog, and wow, am I so glad I did. The prose was lush and evocative, beautifully painting the world Cate lives in. The idea of a world where women, and witches especially, are supressed by an all powerful "Brotherhood" was compelling, and the worldbuilding felt genuine. All the characters had their own personalitites and issues,and I never felt like the secondary charactors were just a backdrop to the action. The main romance of the book ...more
Yo, I swear Jessica Spotswood must have read my brain or something, because you guys alternate fantasy history about the Salem Witch Trials is EXACTLY the sort of book I want to read and what is delivered by Born Wicked — Spotswood’s debut novel and the first of a trilogy –The Cahill Witch Chronicles.

Read the rest of my review here
Cate Cahill promised her dying mother that she would protect her two younger sisters, Maura and Tess. It's not an easy promise to keep. The three Cahill girls are powerful witches - and magic is illegal. They live in late nineteenth century America, but not the one we'd find in our history books. In this America the Brotherhood rules after overthrowing the witches. They maintain strict control of the population, particularly the female population. Once a girl comes of age, she must either marry ...more
to be honest I had my problems getting into the story but eventually I did! and it was worth my time!

born wicked is a very enjoyable
story with great characters and cool time setting !

Cate and her sisters have a very realistic relationship which reminds me of my own relationship with my sister sometimes...
I liked how the story develops through out the book bc some aspects took me by surprise and so I'm looking forward the sequel as soon as possible!
Kitty (I solemnly swear that I am up to no good)
Born Wicked is a historical romance/fantasy novel set in a dystopian version of the beginning of the twentieth century...and I really almost liked this book. I can at least say that there is potential, but this was my reading face:

With a very large stretch of the imagination I could almost visualise Spotswood's world.

The story evolves around three sisters, each gifted with magical powers, in a country controlled by misogynistic men who fear nothing more than a woman with power. For the siste
Elizabeth Norris
I stayed up all night reading this book. I could not put it down. Everyone should read this book.
 ᴍɪᴄs *that kind of girl*
"Una rabia violenta y fortalecedora me me invade por dentro. Yo me pertenezco a mí misma".

Que grata sorpresa. Tenía pendiente este libro hace un montón y para ser sincera creí que iba a ser otra copia barata de Twilight pero estoy feliz de decir que no tienen NADA en común.

Lo bueno:
Kate: La admiro. Para que me entiendan Kate viven en una sociedad patriarcal donde las mujeres solo tienen dos opciones casarse antes de los 17 años o convertirse en Hermanas. Y ella tiene que estar TODO el tiempo mor
Oh, my god.

Oh. My. God.

What is this book, even? I'm unable to cope with this book, I just really can't even. Look at my eloquence. I mean, I used to possess a semblance of it, and now look at me, all unfinished sentences and using "even" every five words or so.

Born Wicked is amazing. It's the kind of book that translates perfectly to images in your head and always has you on the edge of your proverbial seat, anxious to know what's coming next. I think a movie of this should be made, and then act
Dear Cate,

Let's talk, you and me. We're both women, we'll definitely have no problem finding at least one topic to find common ground in. We started off as friends, you and I. I quite understood and empathized with the horror you felt concerning the chauvinistic bastards who organized themselves as the Brotherhood and whose main aim was to ensure that women did not move out of their place in the supposed "natural" order of things. I was quite disgusted and I dare say, felt your anger at the crim
Born Wicked was a novel that I was sure I was going to love since it has a historical setting, witches, and romance. While all three of those things are done extremely well, I felt the novel's slow pace and lack of intensity really hurt the story.

One of my biggest issues with the story begins with the protagonist Cate. Although I liked Cate, I didn't love her. She's actually quite judgmental and overbearing. She thinks very little of the other girls in town, despite the fact that she doesn't rea
I really, really liked this book. The writing was so well done, and the characters, especially the sisters felt so real. And the issues were so conflicting. And then the was just the right type of cliffhanger. The type that had every plot thread end in such a way that you need to know what would happen next in their lives.

*Proper review to come.*
Saleana (Triquetra Reviews)
I think I've found the book that is going to pull me out of my reading slump! Read this beauty in a day and I can't wait for the second in the series. Pulled me in right from the start, I fell in love with the Cahill sisters, and Finn, and even Paul. All are carving their ways into my heart!
Spotswood's enchanting debut is instantly addictive! It features a strong female protagonist (my favorite!) and plenty of forbidden romance and dark magic. Don't miss out on this sensational new series!
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I heart books, yoga, tea, cardamom cookies, the color pink, board games, theatre, twirly dresses, and bells chiming the hour. I’m frighteningly enthusiastic.

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More about Jessica Spotswood...

Other Books in the Series

The Cahill Witch Chronicles (3 books)
  • Star Cursed (The Cahill Witch Chronicles #2)
  • Sisters' Fate (The Cahill Witch Chronicles, #3)
Star Cursed (The Cahill Witch Chronicles #2) Sisters' Fate (The Cahill Witch Chronicles, #3) Petticoats & Pistols Wild Swans Dear Teen Me: Authors Write Letters to Their Teen Selves

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