Jilly Proctor, the main character in Mark of the Witch by Jessica Gibson, has spent almost her entire life surrounded by magic. At age 13, she and her twin sister, Caroline, came into their powers, as most witches do around that age. While Caroline rebelled against her true nature, Jilly embraced it fully and spent years training with her mother. A tragic accident takes Jilly’s mom from her when she is just 18. Jilly and Caroline’s already strained relationship pretty much falls to pieces after that, and Caroline moves away from their Massachusetts home to become a New Yorker.
Years later, Caroline”s marriage crumbles, and she returns home to clear her head and repair her relationship with her sister. Meanwhile, Jilly has led a rather successful life as a hair stylist and local witch, along with her best friend Emily. She’s quite content in her life when William shows up and sparks (quite literally) an unexpected feeling within Jilly. Almost as soon as they meet, Jilly begins having strange dreams about the past, and sometimes they show her things she would much rather experience for herself.
Enter the Amaranthines
Forget vampires, if you’re going to live forever, do it as an Amaranthine! Unlike the blood suckers, amaranthines don’t need to feed off humans. They’re immortal in a different way. Alas, too many of them become corrupt and evil after a few centuries on the earth, like the villain of the story- Sabine. Sabine loves sending Jilly steamy dreams of her and William’ s past. Jilly is way more accepting and kind than I am, I’m not sure I could handle something like that with her grace! In fact, I know I couldn’t! William is also an amaranthine, but he’s managed to keep his humanity very much in tact.
Most amaranthines do not have magical powers of their own, with the exception of a small handful, so they need to enslave witches to do their bidding. Sabine has a very important use for Jilly, and she knows that taunting Jilly with dreams of William will do the trick to move her towards the end game. Fortunately, Jilly is surrounded by people who want to help her take down the evil Sabine, including her sister, who finally learns to embrace her powers.
Mark of the Witch was a quick read with likable characters. The beginning moves super fast, taking readers through a good 15 years of Jilly’s life in just a few pages. I felt that certain parts in the middle could have been fleshed out a bit more, and I think Jilly and William move a bit fast in some aspects (although not in the bedroom, since this is a pretty “clean” book), but overall it was a charming story about how the power of love can amplify any magic.
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Note: I received a copy of Mark of the Witch from Promotional Book Tours to facilitate this review. My opinions are my own.