Monday, October 19, 2009

Once A Witch 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.

Tamsin has spent most of her life trying to get away from her family. It isn't much fun when you are the only one with no "Talent". She just feels like such a loser. When Alistair Callum confuses Tamsin for her talented sister Rowena she doesn't correct him. She knows she should, but it feels good to finally be wanted by someone. Little does Tamsin know Alistair has something sinister in mind and she has played right into his hands. Not only that she has delivered everything he wants including people she loves.

Also in this story is a budding romance between Tamsin and her childhood friend Gabriel. He had just come back into her life and will be her counterpart for the adventure to discover herself, her talent, and her family's history.

I enjoyed this YA novel. I think it ends with the definite possibility of having a sequel which I wouldn't hesitate to read. I do think the storyline was similar to other fantasy/witch books I have read before. One part (which I can't really tell you without feeling like I give part of the book away) even reminds me of Twilight even though there aren't technically vampires. If you read this and have no idea what I am talking about just ask. I think the mix of family, romance, fantasy, and adventure would appeal to many teens. Especially with all of the interest in witches, vampires, zombies right now.

You can find more information on the book at or This is actually Ms. MacCullough's third book and the other two look very interesting as well. If you visit her website you can read an excerpt of each of them.

Thanks to The Picnic Basket for providing me with this ARC. They do request that I provide a number rating on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being the highest rating. I would give this book a score of 3.75. It isn't a must have it now read, but I feel more than neutral about it. It had a nice fast pace and drew you into the story very quickly.