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Witchfinder (Magical Empires Book 1) by [Hoyt, Sarah]
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Witchfinder (Magical Empires Book 1) Kindle Edition

4.6 out of 5 stars 73 customer reviews

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Length: 414 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Product Details

  • File Size: 1612 KB
  • Print Length: 414 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Goldport Press (April 4, 2014)
  • Publication Date: April 4, 2014
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00JHNZXZS
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #319,640 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I admit I was a bit hesitant. Sarah writes great SF, but my experience with SF writers who cross over to fantasy hasn't been great. I shouldn't have worried. The plot is complex but not convoluted, the action starts from the first (ok, the second) page, the main characters are interesting and three-dimensional, and the plot twists are, well, twisty. (The one twist I spotted early on gets resolved about halfway through the book. It was like Sarah was saying, "Yeah, this one's so simple, I won't leave you hanging.") Not every writer understands the reader this well. There's light romance in varying favors, but no steamy scenes, thanks very much.

Very basically, the book is an interesting take on the "many parallel worlds with differing levels of magic" idea. A young woman from our Earth gets pulled to an alternate of much higher magic, the British empire is the dominant political entity, magicians abound, fae and other magical creatures hatch plots, aristocrats have varying degrees of ethics, and the good guys and bad guys have tea like civilized people. Nicely, Sarah didn't get into overmuch detail on the world building; we get a feel for the complexity of the universe without being dragged through endless details, with a hint of steampunk.

I'm very much hoping this is the beginning of a series.
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Format: Kindle Edition
The back-story behind Witchfinder, essentially, is this: Due to a major magical event, the earth has been split into an infinite number of alternate worlds in which magic is present - or not - in varying degrees. We have, for example, modern-day Earth as we recognize it, where magic is severely attenuated but technology has developed to fill the gap. We also have Avalon, where magic is an everyday fact of life. And we have Fairyland, which is not an "Earth" per say but a strange sub-universe in which "reality" is determined by the thoughts of the perceiver. Travel between these alternate worlds is possible, but may be illegal depending on the laws of your point of origin. (Avalon, for example, has proscribed such travel on grounds that resemble the Prime Directive.)

This may sound rather convoluted, but despite having to juggle several settings at once, Sarah never really lost me in her execution. Her plot - in which the protagonists must unravel a conspiracy that threatens both Avalon and Fairyland (and possibly the other worlds as well) - is complex but well-constructed, and her world-building is clear without being pedantic. Aside from her primary villain, who struck me as a bit flat and a little too obviously evil, her characters are strong as well. I like that Sarah allows her heroes to be flawed without completely vitiating their heroism.

The other thing I like about Witchfinder is the overall message. The story is lightly sprinkled with certain ideas that mirror themes found in Sarah's award-winning Darkship series.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
If like me, you grow anxious waiting for Ms. Hoyt's next Darkship novel or another story from The George (Shapeshifters), she has given us this first story in a new fantasy series to enjoy as consolation. Recommended.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I bought this because I like Sarah Hoyt's writing. I was not disappointed. I never know what to write in a review. I do not want to spoil the story for you.

The story moves quickly with characters that are likeable and believable. The storyline is interesting with a nice blend of romance and action. You can definitely see the influence of the regency romance time of Sarah's past here. She blended it well.

The story starts in a regency type of world. A modern USA woman with magical powers was transported to this world and was being blackmailed by the baddie to spy on the hero. Here is where I have a problem with reviews. I enjoyed it, but to tell you more, would ruin your joy in reading the book.

I will tell you that this is not a book with sex scenes in it. In fact, I think the worst word used with was s***. So if you are looking for a book that has that in it, this is not it.

I would highly recommend this book. It is a solid fantasy story. I would love another story in this universe.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I like much of Sarah Hoyt's writing but... for some reason I found myself putting this book down and wandering off to do something else over and over again. And that's not like me, I have a tendency to gobble books I enjoy—reading a 500 page book in a day and a half isn't unusual for me yet it took me nearly four days to read this 400+ page book.

I'm not saying this book is bad or poorly written... it isn't. The story line is well done (the interlocking magical worlds is a neat idea), the characters are well written, the overall writing is well done and the editing is professional. And I did, for the most part, enjoy reading it.

But, at least for me, there's something missing, something flat that I can't quite put my finger on. Perhaps it's because, after finishing the book, I have the feeling that the characters are cut from cardboard. Or perhaps it's because so much of the plot seems improbable even within the world Ms. Hoyt built... I don't know (shrugging...) I just know it left me feeling a bit empty and with no intention of buying the next one.
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