An action-packed and suspenseful sequel to The Witch Hunter, perfect for fans of Graceling and the Grisha Trilogy.
"I think, in time, you'll either be my greatest mistake or my greatest victory."
Former witch hunter Elizabeth Grey is hiding within the magically protected village of Harrow, evading the price put on her head by Lord Blackwell, the usurper king of Anglia. Their last encounter left Blackwell ruined, but his thirst for power grows stronger every day. He's readying for a war against those who would resist his rulenamely Elizabeth and the witches and wizards she now calls her allies.
Having lost her stigma, a magical source of protection and healing, Elizabeth's strength is tested both physically and emotionally. War always means sacrifice, and as the lines between good and evil blur once more, Elizabeth must decide just how far she'll go to save those she loves."
[Filled] with everything a good fantasy book needs: swords, poison, black magic, and betrayal."April Tucholke, author of Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea, on The Witch Hunter
Virginia Boecker recently spent four years in London obsessing over English medieval history, which formed the basis of her debut novel, The Witch Hunter. She now lives in Portland, Oregon with her husband and spends her days writing, reading, running, and chasing around her two children and a dog named George. In addition to English kings, nine-day queens, and Protestant princesses, her other obsessions include The Smiths, art museums, champagne, and Chapstick.
Praise for The Witch Hunter:
A YALSA 2016 Teens Top Ten Nominee
* "An explosive cocktail of high-stakes adventure... The first-person, present-tense narration is rendered masterfully; coupled with the cinematic vividness of the descriptions, the whole makes for a page-turning delight."PW (starred review)
"Debut author Boecker's first-person, present tense narrative creates a suspenseful mood by allowing readers to see Elizabeth's secrets, doubts, and fears...The book has plenty of action-sword fights, battles with monsters, black magic, and betrayal-but there is also camaraderie and romance...Fans of Kristin Cashore's Graceling (Houghton Harcourt, 2008) will see similarities in this story of a girl with deadly skills who begins to question using her services to benefit a brutal ruler. This action-packed tale will be a welcome addition to most YA fantasy collections."SLJ
"In her debut novel (a sequel is planned), Boecker has created an alternate sixteenth-century world whose characters are as intriguing as the magical world they inhabit...Woven within the complex fantasy is a new understanding of friendship and a tenuous but sweet Romeo and Juliet-like love story that promises to blossom, along with the witchcraft, mystery, and bloodletting."Booklist
"Those who like their stories fast-paced will enjoy this mashup of historical and fantasy. Ghouls, ghosts, magic, and supernatural creatures all appear, lending humor and creepiness in equal measure."School Library ConnectionAt the start of Boecker’s The King Slayer, Elizabeth Grey, the former witch hunter who helped break the curse on Reformist leader Nicholas, appears before the council of the magical community of Harrow. In an effort to prove she is on the side of the Reformers, Elizabeth agrees to help remove Lord Blackwell from power. There is a problem, however: she no longer has the stigma that protects her, and she is not sure she can defeat Lord Blackwell and his magic without it. Adding to her trouble, John has been acting oddly ever since Nicholas transferred her stigma to him after the battle with Blackwell. He has been angry and violent, the opposite of the caring healer with whom she fell in love. In order to save him and the kingdom, she may have to betray him. A satisfying end to a series, this book is perfect for lovers of Cashore’s Graceling (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2008/Voya October 2008) and Maas’s Throne of Glass. The action moves at a brisk pace, and Elizabeth, now without her healing powers, is a much more likeable character, having to work for what she wants. Elizabeth’s relationships with the other characters continue to develop and bring the characters to life more fully, particularly the revenant Skylar. One of the book’s weak spots is the now-deposed King Malcolm, a spoiled young man who does not match the man described by Elizabeth in book one. Overall, The King Slayer is a solid and entertaining read. Reviewer: Jennifer Baker; Ages 11 to 18.07/01/2016
Gr 9 Up—The atmosphere of Boecker's series is perfectly reflected in the tagline from the first book, The Witch Hunter: "Your greatest enemy isn't what you fight, but what you fear." Elizabeth Grey lives in a world where witches are feared and hunted. She also happens to be one of the king's best witch hunters. However, her existence is turned upside down when she is accused of being a witch herself. Torn between the beliefs she followed for years and seeing through the eyes of the recently accused, Elizabeth is forced to redefine everything she once thought she knew. In the second volume, Lord Blackwell has usurped the king's throne, placed a large bounty on Elizabeth's head, and is growing more power-hungry by the day. With her new allies, Elizabeth decides to use her training and skills to make up for her past by becoming a king slayer. Perfect for fans looking for a fantasy world that is full of magic but with a hint of a Salem-esque society of people who fear the unknown.2016-03-30
Elizabeth Grey, titular protagonist of The Witch Hunter (2015), returns, having thrown her lot in with the witches she used to persecute.Elizabeth has taken refuge in Harrow, the witch-friendly territory that resists the rule of Anglia, now controlled by her former boss, the usurper and evil maniac Blackwell, whom Harrow—and Elizabeth—is determined to take out. She's operating at a disadvantage though, as she has given the magical stigma that protected her to her sweetheart, witch and healer John. But Blackwell seems to want it back, and moreover, John's formerly saintly affect turns blacker by the day. Can the newly vulnerable Elizabeth complete her mission and restore her sweet John? And what about deposed king Malcolm, Elizabeth's former abuser? Boecker begins her sequel with virtually no recap, so fans of the first book should do a quick skim to refresh their memories. Once they do, they are in for more of what the first book offered: a grim, first-person, present-tense narrative that seesaws between melodramatic exposition and violent, often confusing action. The rules of magic seem to change as the plot demands, and the equally arbitrary geography is difficult to navigate (readers will be grateful for the map). Witty banter under stress is both unlikely and a pleasant relief, as is the addition of sardonic witch Keagan, operative of a resistance group from neighboring Airann. Though the world is largely white, a couple of dark-skinned characters noted in passing ensure it's not monolithically so.Soapy faux-16th-century angst. (Fantasy. 12-16)