Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Review: Burn Mark by Laura Powell

Burn Mark by Laura Powell
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Released: June 7th 2012
My Rating: 3.5 stars our of 5
Find it on Goodreads

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 . . .
 (from Goodreads)

Burn Mark was an intriguing book, set in modern day and revolving around two witches. I was surprised by a lot of things, the society that everyone lived in especially. To think that witch burnings still happened – even if they were supposedly in a humane way and only for witches who’d committed the worst of crimes – was a bit scary. I mean, currently, the death penalty is only allowed in very few places, so the fact that these burnings were just accepted was a little shocking. I was taken aback at how so many people seemed fine with them – I would hope that if witches did exist, humanity wouldn’t be this cruel. It seemed a bit unfair to me that human murderers were imprisoned whereas those guilty of such witchcrimes were burnt at the stake. The fact that some people considered them a public spectacle as well – it was almost disturbing.

Lucas was an interesting character. When he found out he was a witch (I loved that he was a witch by the way. It wasn’t the simple hunter falls in love with the hunted story that I expected) he was shocked. But having twelve generations of Inquisitor blood, he was determined not to let his own witch status prevent him from fighting witchcrime. There was so much prejudice against witches, and the fact Lucas was a witch meant he would no longer be able to join the Inqusition, who were responsible for hunting down criminal witches. I think he took the whole thing pretty well. While I wished he would have embraced his witch status, I understood he’d been brought up to view things in the opposite way, and so the fact that he didn’t just sit and mope around about how his whole life was messed up was quite admirable. Instead he wanted to use his abilities to help catch criminal witches. I also thought it was very clever the way he hid his true powers from the people testing his abilities. He was a bit arrogant though, and refused to accept that perhaps he was too young and inexperienced to be involved in preventing witchcrime. He looked down on Glory when they first met and had a bit of a pompous attitude, but as they got to know each other, I think he learnt that maybe the way he’d been brought up was affecting his judgement, and he started to change a little.

Glory (or Gloriana) was not what I was expecting at all. At first I struggled to like her, because she was so obsessed with becoming a witch - the most powerful witch, the strongest witch, the most amazing witch.  I just thought she wanted power and glory, but as the book went on, I realised it was more than that. As well as carrying on the Starling legacy, I think she maybe wanted to feel closer to her mother, or be more like her. She had a very closed off attitude, and found it hard to trust people – but then she lived with the fear of being hunted or attacked and so I could understand why she was that way. I loved that she was pretty capable of protecting herself and hated other people trying to look after her. She was clearly strong and not willing to put up with being bossed around and forced to do things. I did wish we could have seen more of her power – we saw a lot of Lucas’s, but as Glory was hiding the fact she was a witch, we saw little witchwork from her. Hopefully in the next book we’ll see more! I also want to find out more about her Aunt Angeline, whose actions in this book I never really understood.

Plot-wise, Burn Mark felt very much like a starter book. It seemed to be building up things to come, leaving unanswered questions and increasing tension and suspense. There were some unexpected revelations and quite a lot of action, but overall I felt like this was just the beginning for Lucas and Glory, just a taste of what was in store for them. It was slow at parts, and there were a lot of characters to get used to, but by the end, I definitely found myself wanting more. Don’t expect much romance in this book, however. There were a few hints here and there, but romance was not really what Burn Mark was about. It was more about the conflicts and mysteries than lovey dovey stuff.

Overall, I enjoyed Burn Mark, and would recommend it to fans of slightly darker books. If you like witch books, definitely give it a go.  


  1. This looks really interesting... The lack of romance definitely seems up my street. You've definitely made me want to read this a bit more!

  2. Ooh, very interested to see how I respond to Lucas and Glory! They both seem a little iffy but I hope I'll come to like them. Sounds like there's some good character growth in this book :) I'm glad you found it enjoyable, even though the true adventure hadn't started yet! Will hopefully read this within the next couple of weeks... Great review!

  3. I wasn't a huge fan of this book but it was an okay read for me. Nice review!

  4. I DEFINITELY love witch books (why thank you, Hogwarts), so I'm always grabby-hands at any new stories with witches and magic. Though it felt more like a starter book, I'm still glad by the end you're lefting wanting MORE. Which can be a blessing and a curse, sometimes!

    The lack of romance doesn't bother me too much. I love it when it's there, but I don't always miss it when it's not. Anyway, eager to dive into my copy and see how I like it now! Fab review!


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