Book: White Cat: The Curseworkers
Author: Holly Black
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Rating: 4 Stars
In a great series start, Holly Black summons up a fascinating Y.A. urban fantasy similar to Kelly Armstrong’s witch and demon cabals…where cursework..the ability to curse with your hands by mere touch is a talent that is highly stigmatized, feared, and yet revered. It is also illegal. But like so many things, cursework exists on the fringe. Black has managed to make it alluring to readers, especially when unraveling the secrets of Cassel Sharpe.
At Wallingford Prep, Cassel enjoys a popularity steeped in petty crime. Despite the stigma of his curseworker family he’s managed to fit in well at Wallingford where he’s found a place for himself. He’s the bookie of the school…respected. What else is he going to do? Cassel sticks out like a sore thumb: he’s not got a whit of the family’s magic. Or does he? When Cassel is lured out into the night, nearly plummeting to his death from the top of Wallingford’s towers, Cassel swears he was led there by a white cat. So what is the significance of this mysterious feline? The reoccurring dreams of a white cat continue to plague him, and in those dreams she is talking to him.
Black takes you on an adventurous journey where Cassel’s family, his home life, his friends…even his memories may not be his own. Getting one step closer and trying to backtrack over three years of twisted memories, Cassel is on the tip of something enormous. Black held me spellbound (and holding my breath) as she revealed Cassel’s secret.
Being a huge Holly Black fan, I instantly gravitated towards this new series. I am definitely going to pick up the rest of the series simply because I want to see how the story progresses and how far she can take Cassel. There are sinister repercussions to his family and Cassel has made some dangerous enemies in his kin. I am also very anxious to see how that turns out.
White Cat is very different from Tithe, Valiant and Ironside…and I think that might be because her curseworker story is told from a male perspective: that of Cassel. Sometimes it reads as less tangible, and that could be that it’s an urban fantasy kick…a different setting from her other works. Less luxurious. So it has elements of the real world and not that much of the fanciful. There is plenty of mystery and suspense that Black invokes and that is deliciously welcome. Overall, White Cat is a very enjoyable read that won’t disappoint.
A Fiendishly Bookish Review