The Tattooed Witch by Susan MacGregor
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I picked up the Tattooed Witch because it's a product of my own publisher, Five Rivers Press, and I wanted to give a read over one of my fellow writer's works. Honestly, going into this book, I was a little wary; it came across as a "woman's book" and, well, I'm a guy. Two or three pages in, I realized I was wrong, wrong, wrongity-wrong. This is a fantastic book for anyone to read (okay, perhaps not for some younger readers, as in some places, the book--if not actually explicit--is pretty clearly treading into mature places involving violence and/or sex). The author has drawn some extremely compelling characters, and placed them in a well-constructed, consistent and richly-textured world that resembles our own Medieval Spain). Miriam, the main character, is both strong and vulnerable; she is far more than the dreary old female tropes that plague most speculative fiction i.e. "the guy with boobs" or "the shrinking flower/damsel in distress". If I have any criticism, it's that the villain, the Grand Inquisitor, is a little on the moustache-twirling side and could a redeeming feature or two...but that's pretty minor in the overall scheme of things in the book, and he IS pretty detestable, making him a guy we love to hate.
I have no hesitation recommending this book, and can't wait for the sequels/next books in the series!
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