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Witch Finder (Witch Finder #1)

3.54  ·  Rating details ·  745 Ratings  ·  195 Reviews
London. 1880. In the slums of Spitalfields apprentice blacksmith Luke is facing initiation into the Malleus Maleficorum, the fearsome brotherhood dedicated to hunting and killing witches.

Luke’s final test is to pick a name at random from the Book of Witches, a name he must track down and kill within a month, or face death himself. Luke knows that tonight will change his li
Paperback, 374 pages
Published January 2nd 2014 by Hodder Children's Books
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
Rating details
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3.5 stars

Witch Finder was another one of those that took me a while to get into it, but once the story got going it turned out to be pretty good.

It opens with Luke being initiated into a group of witch hunters, and drawing Rosa's name as his first kill. But there's a catch... If he doesn't complete his mission, then he will be the one that the brotherhood hunts down and kills. It sounds like these guys are hard-core assholes, but as the book goes on, you can see that they are probably just misgu
1 star

*exhales* First off, NO. I had to get that out of the way. I tried really hard to like Witch Finder. I went in with the lowest expectations possible, because several of my reader friends were reading it just before I did and warned me that it didn't look that good. A pity, because I still absolutely adore the cover. But, as it was a review copy, I went ahead and read it anyway. For the most part, I was not amused.


I received this review copy rather late and was in a bit of a reading slump,
Oct 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I loved everything about it! It was simply but satisfying. One of my favourite books about witches!
Ben Alderson
Nov 18, 2014 rated it really liked it
4.5 ! Really enjoyed it!
Jan 06, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: scifi-n-fantasy
A e-copy of this book was provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own and have not been influenced by any person, place, or event.

A lot of people have been really cracking down on this book because it’s really nothing special to them. So I am opting out to not be the harsh critic I know I can be and looking at this from a fresh perspective. (If I look at this from an adult-who-has-read-way-too-many-YA-books viewpoint, I think I definitely would be among those
Amanda G. (Nellie and Co.
Once again, I fell into the 'oh what a beautiful cover' trap with Witch Finder and, once again, it most definitely didn't live up to my expectations whatsoever. It was slow. It was unadventurous and lacking any entertainment value. The characters had no personality and were so unnatural most of the way through. I know it looks as though I'm seriously slating this book, but I've had a fair few let down books in the last few months, and I'm reaching my tether and maximum patience level. I had hear ...more
Nov 22, 2013 rated it did not like it
Shelves: just-no

Predictable. To say the least.
And suddenly they love each other- big shambang and it's over. umh. well. how to put this nicely? The plot.. not so good
World building mediocre.
The character building...What character BUILDING?!
The prose is the reason I rounded it up. Warburton's writing style is quite enjoyable.


This sounded so good. I was really looking forward to this, Really I was.
But within 10pages or so I could have told where this is going. Seriously I kid you not. It's that pr
Lucie Paris
Dec 05, 2013 rated it liked it
Not at all what I expected!

The synopsis drew me and I imagined myself reading about a hunt with magic spells and a lot of fighting. I was expecting explosions as if Van Helsing had crossed the road of the witches from Charmed in the London of the late nineteenth century.
Well my imagination is definitely too violent and too crazy ...

No much magic but I had the right to read about an initiation rite quite interesting but too short. A witch, with a big heart, who lives in a penniless aristocrat fam
Feb 10, 2014 rated it liked it
3.5 stars

Before I review this book, let me tell you a story from my childhood …

It was a warm day in early summer and I was 10 years old. Anticipation was in the air in my primary school as the summer holidays crept closer and closer. And instead of doing stupid maths in class we were reading a book – all morning! How great was that? And it was a pretty good book, I really liked the boy’s dog …

And then the dog got shot. And I cried. Not just welled up – burst into tears. Everyone stared. But I di
Book Review originally published here:

Witch Finder wasn’t at all what I’d expected. From the description, I imagined magic battles, spell-wielding, evil sorcerers, and the likes. What I got instead was calmer, but nevertheless interesting.

Luke is a Witch Finder, which means he can spot witches right away – he sees their magic sparkling and cracking all around them. This gift may be the consequence of one fateful night, when his parents were murdered at th
Mlpmom (Book Reviewer)
3.5 Stars!
Stories about witches have always been my most favorite. My first foray into the world of paranormal and will always hold a special place in my heart. Who wouldn't want to be magical? To conjure something up with the snap of a finger or in the blink of an eye or the wave of a wand?

It just so happens, a good rich historical setting is also one of my most favorite things to read but also sadly one that is seriously neglected. It is so hard to find a good young adult read set in historica
I received a copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

There's no doubt in my mind that Witch Finder is going to be someone's five-star book. That someone loves to read about fin de siècle England, impoverished nobility, betrothals, and horses. That someone doesn't require for a witch book to have a whole lot of witch action. They don't mind that all witches are evil and abusive except for one of the main characters, who often serves as the personal punchbag for said evil, abusive
Nov 09, 2013 rated it did not like it
Took me long enough to read this one. I was closed to DNF-ing but I cannot, for the life of me, do that again to Deniz. >_< She finished it so I must suck it up and be done with it.

One reason I do not like historical setting was the mindset of the characters. Women are a whole lot weaker than men thing, the this is God's will (killing a witch) thing, I kinda hate the society back in early 17th or 18th century.

There is no way that God would want you to kill a human being and pass it as His
Stuti T
I couldn't bring myself to finish this book. This isn't through any major fault of the author's, actually, but because it was just not engaging enough.

The two main characters, Luke and Rosa, are nothing special. They're practically made from stereotyped moulds of YA characters: Luke is the strong, silent one with a traumatic past and revenge that he just can't bring himself to carry out, and Rosa is the typical fiery, beautiful, defiant girl who would rather be free in the country than stifled
BookOwl BookOwl

Sometimes there is beauty in simplicity.

The writing,the plot, the characters, and yet it was very satisfying.

From the beginning I knew that Luke was going to fall for Rosa. Yeah cliche but hey, I went ahead with it because I wanted to see if and how the author would entwine both these characters fates together.

How he would fall for her and why?

The author was more than able to show me, and in a way that was simple and beautiful.
Nov 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Next to BORN WICKED by Jessica Spotswood, this is one of my top favorties witch books ever. SO good!

Full review to come soon.
*Thea 'WookieMama' Wilson*
Jan 16, 2014 rated it really liked it
I've read some quite mixed reviews on this book but I must say that none of the more negative ones dented my enthusiasm for this book in the slightest and I'm really glad that I didn't let other people's opinions influence me in any way or I might have missed a little gem of a book!
Witch Finder is one of those books that gives you it's overall impressions in the first few chapters and the impression I got was that this was going to be a fabulous read and one I would quickly munch my through, an
Kirsty-Marie Jones
Actual Rating: 2.5

I would love to say I loved it. But I can't. I didn't. I would love to say I hated it. But I can't. I didn't. Though there are some aspects of both that I did love and did hate. Of which I'll discuss later on in detail, but one of the main thing Witch Finder has going for it is the fact it is very well done and authentic. Written in third person, and split into two perspectives you have two stories to contend with, that has to be seamlessly in sync with one another, which, for
Nov 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing
A tale of a couple more star-crossed than Romeo and Juliet ever were, Witch Finder was a brilliant YA read. It was thrilling, romantic, and full of surprises. I completely and totally loved this book! It was simply amazing.

Rosa was a heroine with very few choices left. Her family is on the edge of poverty and her neglectful mother and cruel brother have no qualms about forcing her into a marriage she doesn't want. Even when the prospective groom had a cruel streak a mile wide. But, even when she
Aditi ~ •A Thousand Words A Million Books

A huge thanks to the Publisher, Hachette Children's Books and NetGalley for giving me an arc of this book, in exchange for an honest review:

Smoke soars over the small, clustered houses in Spitafields, giving little light to the otherwise pitch black night. The Thames, with all its accumulated waste from the city of London, flows with a dirty yellow tint and yet, for Luke Lexton, its home. It always has been! Luke, a man haunted by the past so much so that is drives his future. The past, of a mem
Anna (Enchanted by YA)
Ruth Warburton lures us in to a captivating London in the 1880’s full of lies and deceit where even the rich and wealthy don’t always live to see the end of each other’s hidden agendas. Right in the middle is Luke. A boy looking to rid the darkness from the world the only way he’s been taught: by killing witches. Set on a task to kill a witch he doesn’t know, he faces more magic than he’s ever seen before and not just the magical kind...

Luke is an easy character to imagine, and both Luke and Ros
Michelle (Much Loved Books)
Jul 15, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: signed-by-author
I went into reading Witch Finder with some trepidation, while I do like books about witches I don't tend to read books set in the past. But the minute I began reading I was hooked in this world. We are immediately drawn into the world of Witch Hunters with Luke facing the Malleus Maleficorum with the aim of becoming one of them by taking tests, and then having to select the name of a witch he has to hunt down and kill. That witch being Rosa. The tests are not for the faint of heart and how Luke ...more
SJH (A Dream of Books)
Oct 19, 2013 rated it really liked it
Sticking to a winning formula of witches and magic, 'Witch Finder', the first book in Ruth Warburton's new trilogy, was a wonderful read which quite literally swept me away. I finished it in one evening because it was impossible to put down. I loved the Winter series and so I enjoyed getting to see events unfold through the eyes of not only Rosa, a young witch, but also Luke, a witch finder who has sworn to kill her and become part of the Maleus Maleficarum.

What makes the story really interesti
Jun 11, 2013 rated it really liked it
A quick review today for a book I quite literally flew through as I was hooked from the very start.

Witch finder is Ruth Warburton's newest offering set in Victorian London. I was hooked from the start. Witches in the east end of Victorian London! What more could you possibly want I ask you. The story revolves about Rosa a young witch who is being forced to marry an unpleasant man for money and Luke the stable hand employed to work at Rosa's house who is secretly there to kill Rosa in revenge fo
Jan 18, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: has-read, first-reads
I received this book through NetGalley for an honest review.

There was a few things I didn't much care for in this book, but there was also things that I loved.

The beginning of the story was rather slow. I understand that the author was doing their best to develop the characters, however they just kind of fell flat. You learned about a society that kills witches and we find young Luke being indoctrinated into this society. He passes his first two tests, the last test is to kill a witch.

We find s
Michelle Hauck
Jan 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
I received Witch Finder from Net Galley in return for an honest review.

This is one of those books that just clicked with me. One of those rare things, the reasons can be hard to explain. Mainly, it was the reactions of the two main characters, Luke and Rosa. There wasn't an instant love at first sight reaction from either of them. They grew on each other, and the reasons for their change of heart was clear and apparent. Nor did they spend the entire book mooning over each other like sick puppies
DNF at page 3. Yep! Page 3!

I just could not carry on. The narrative voice was bland and I spotted so so so many mistakes within 3 pages. Not only were there grammar errors, but the historical context just played on my mind because it was all wrong.

Nov 05, 2017 rated it did not like it
Shelves: fantasy-ya
I was quite excited to read this story...

Historic London. Witches. Falling in love with the one you’re supposed to kill. It’s a recipe for a great fantasy YA!

But I felt it was slow. Boring. Lack of excitement or adventure. I haven’t fallen in love with the characters. I didn’t root for them to get together and survive against all odds.

Quite a disappointment if I must say.
Melissa (i swim for oceans)
View the full review here:

There's nothing quite like a forbidden romance unless, of course, you're talking about a forbidden romance in which the stakes are much higher, much more dire and play along a life-or-death balance. The beautiful and haunting thing, however, is that Witch Finder takes ups the ante even more, giving us a new take on the age-old witch hunts and sending us into what is inevitably a dark and terrifying spiral of lies and deception. Ru
Lu (Sugar & Snark)
Mar 20, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: have
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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Hello goodreaders! What can I tell you about myself... well, I love coffee, hate tea.

I prefer cheese to chocolate (but would eat either, if you're offering).

I grew up on a reading diet of my mum's classics (Wuthering Heights, Pride and Prejudice) my dad's sci-fi/fantasy (A Wizard of Earthsea, Dune) and the Jilly Cooper novels passed around school at break time. I always wanted to be a writer but
More about Ruth Warburton

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“I am not yours, she thought. I am my own.” 2 likes
“I accept the task. I’ll kill the girl. And there’s an end.” 1 likes
More quotes…