Author: Laura Powell
Retail Price: £6.99
UK Publication Date: 7th June 2012
Glory is from a family of witches and lives beyond the law. She is desperate to develop her powers and become a witch herself. Lucas is the son of the Chief Prosecutor for the Inquisition – the witches’ mortal enemy – and his privileged life is very different to the forbidden world that he lives alongside. And then on the same day, it hits them both. Glory and Lucas develop the Fae – the mark of the witch. In one fell stroke, their lives are inextricably bound together, whether they like it or not …
Burn Mark is an intriguing and detailed read set in a world that is unbelievable and yet real both at the same time. Laura Powell has obviously spent a long time thinking about the world she wanted to create, a parody for the reality in which we live. In Burn Mark, Glory Starling lives in London, and although it is a London that is recognisable, it is one in which witches are part of everyday life. Laura Powell has taken elements of our gory history, of witch burnings and drownings and other beliefs linked to the fae, and has woven them into a rich and exciting story that looks at prejudice and discrimination and the fear of power.
Witches have lived amongst us throughout history, it mostly runs in families but a person can develop the seventh sense (fae) when it is not expected. In Powell’s alternative world, witches are seen as lepers in the community, a second-class citizen, and are treated in ways that are disturbingly reflective of the way we have treated minorities in our own societies. Witches must register when they develop the fae and are bridled so that they are unable to use their magic. But this doesn’t just give equality to those who are not gifted with this unique ability but instead gives them a power over the witches, one that not everyone is happy with.
Lucas, whose father works for the inquisition, has always believed that he will follow in his families’ footsteps but when he unexpectedly develops the fae, he must reconsider his position and where his loyalties lie. Glory however has always believed that being a witch is her birth right and that she can help her family to regain the status they once had when her grandmother was alive, but as Lucas and Glory’s world’s collide, they both come to realise that not everything is black and white, and that not all they have been lead to believe is true.
I really like the world of Burn Mark. It was so detailed and interesting and I loved the way that the author was able to link elements from history to the world she has created. I thought the characters and setting were well described and developed and I particularly liked Lucas and the dynamic between him and his father. Glory is an enjoyable heroine who isn’t a walk over and doesn’t just believe everything she is told. She is feisty although her roughness is at times a little distancing.
The plot is intriguing and at the end of the book I was left with a lot of questions, which I hope will be answered in the sequel. Although I really liked the storyline, characters and setting, I did feel there were a few parts where the book dragged and it lost momentum. If you can persevere through these parts, it is well worth the read and it makes you wonder why a story hasn’t been set in a reality such as this before. I did want to see a little more magic, but I think that will come in the sequel.
For anyone who likes witches, the supernatural and fantasy set within the realms of our own society (or at least a very close version of it), this is a must read.
I give this book 4 out of 5.
If you like this book, you may also like:
- Hollow Pike by James Dawson
- Tempest by Julie Cross
- Pure by Julianna Baggot
- The Gathering Dark by Leigh Bardugo
- The Gone series by Michael Grant
Review by Jen