My Rating: 5/5
Author: Francesca Pelaccia
Title: The Witch’s Salvation
Genre: Historical Fantasy
A witch who demands humanity. The immortal families who denied her of it. Two mortals commanded to right the wrong. That is the fate of the urban princess Anasztasia and the renegade prince Matthias, born shockingly mortal to two immortal families. If they go back in time and restore the witch’s humanity, she will grant them immortality. She will also break a 550 year-old curse that imprisons Matthias’s family in their ancestral homeland and exiles Anasztasia’s family from it. But to make their lives their own, the heirs must return to the most dangerous day in their families’ past, Easter Sunday, 1457. This is the day Vlad III, aka Dracula, massacred all nobles and their families involved in the death of his father and older brother. How can Anasztasia and Matthias reverse the past when their families will not speak of their wrongs? How can they refuse when the witch owns their lives? An expansive and immersive fantasy novel, The Witch’s Salvation takes readers on a remarkable journey through immortality, time travel, family curses and one of history’s most nefarious figures.
The Witch’s Salvation is a story about righting the wrongs of the past between century-old families. Over 500 years ago, a witch cursed two families – the Barbats and the Senestis. One was banished out of the border while the other was trapped within. The witch also made the families immortal. And, no. Not vampires or werewolves. Just immortal. Until two children were born – one to each family: Anasztasia to the Senesti family and Matthias to the Barbat family. Their mortality surprised their immediate families who kept this secret to preserve the honor and pride of the royal names. They are thrown together and meet the witch who gives them two choices to remove the curse. One is to combine the two families through marriage. The other is to go back in time (only mortals can travel to and from the past) and bring back a golden chalice that belonged to her people. For the second choice, they only have one day – until sunset of Easter. However, this is the day that Vlad III (yes, the one that Dracula was based upon) massacred their families. It is a dangerous mission if they choose to accept it.
The story is written in third person, following Anasztasia and Matthias. Anasztasia considers herself a goody-goody who does what her family – especially her grandfather – says. She was raised in New York but taught all the protocols of being a royal princess (in name only) of the House of Senesti. She travels to Romania for her eighteenth birthday, where she is presented to other nobles. Being back in Romania, her family wants to seek out the witch who cursed them to see if she can make Anasztasia immortal. Anasztasia is a strong female character. She is later called a “warrior princess.” But, she has a great heart and compassion for people. Through this adventure, she discovers what it is like to be free. For the first time in her life she believes that she is living. Matthias is from the House of Barbat. His father went to the witch and made a deal to go back in time to help reverse Matthias’s mortality. However, he never came back (two years ago.) Matthias wants to find him and bring him back. He is bitter towards his own grandfather and family. He is also the only one in his family that can leave the border as he pleases. IN addition, he is the one who starts the ultimatum with the witch. Going back in time, he helps saves some gypsies while seeking out his father. He also learns how to live and learns more about his family. The other characters were well-written and took on a believable quality.
The plot moved along well. There is adventure and mystery throughout the book. The curse and the story of the families become more complicated as the characters move forward. They discover themselves and form alliances with relatives that have long been dead. Anasztasia and Matthias discover the true horrors of what happened to their families in the 15th century, and the cruelty of Vlad III and his commander. The story was original and kept my interest as I read.
The Bottom Line:
Overall, I really enjoyed this book. It had magic, time travel, adventure, and mystery. If you like these things, then you should try this book.