Review: These Witches Don’t Burn by Isabel Sterling

These Witches Don’t Burn by Isabel SterlingPublisher: Razorbill
Author: Isabel Sterling
Released: May 28th, 2019
Received: Own
Rating: 4 kitties

These Witches Don’t Burn is both the debut novel for Isabel Sterling and the first novel in a new series (of the same name). So it had a lot riding on it. But based on the sales and how enjoyable this read was, I’m not worried about the future for this author or series.

This novel follows Hannah – a real witch living in Salem. And she’s not at all like the stereotypes might have you expect. She’s an elemental witch – giving her control over the elements around her. Her whole coven is, actually. There are also casters and blood witches, who probably fit more of the stereotypes about witches.

Along with being a fun and interesting read, These Witches Don’t Burn is delightfully LGBT friendly. The romantic subplot is not a hidden one – the cover alone kind of gives it away. But it was still a pleasant surprise in many ways.

Spoiler Warning

I really enjoyed These Witches Don’t Burn. This novel perfectly balanced a lot of elements (no pun intended) and emotions with the pages. It had a lot going on, from the personal tribulations Hannah was dealing with, to the larger threat targeted towards her coven.

These Witches Don’t Burn was fast-paced and a very speedy read. I think I got through it in just a sitting or two. But I didn’t feel pressured to rush through it. Instead, I simply enjoyed this novel for exactly what it was.

Sterling used some interesting storytelling techniques to get her point across, all while keeping us in the dark for as long as possible. There are events in Hannah’s past that are quite relevant to a huge chunk of her story – and yet we’re only told about it in bits and pieces. It succeeded in holding my interest, though I’ll confess I did stop reading for a moment and double-check that this was the first in the series.

I enjoyed trying to put the pieces of this puzzle together; trying to figure out who was the blood witch (if anyone) and who the witch hunter was. In the end, I had my suspicions, but I still enjoyed the twist.

Hannah had to deal with a lot in this novel. First, there’s the kind of crazy ex-girlfriend (whom I’m calling crazy because she was seemingly controlling and emotionally abusive), then there’s the potential love interest in her life, and finally the family drama and coven issues. But of course, none of those issues will stay in nicely formed segments of her life. It all has to bleed through. I think that’s what made this tale feel a bit more realistic for me.

I still have some questions about Morgan and some of the other (unnamed) characters. But I’m sure that later novels in the series will touch upon them. At least, I sincerely hope so! Until then, I’m just going to have to look forward to more news.


About Liz (AKA Cat)

I am an avid animal lover, photographer, reader, and much more. While my photography blog is feeling a bit neglected at the moment, the other sites I'm involved in are going strong. ✧I review books, comics, and basically anything else in the literary world over at Quirky Cat's Fat Stacks (of Books). ✧I review comics and books, as well as write content for Word of the Nerd. ✧I review comics for Monkeys Fighting Robots. ✧I write content for Screen Rant and CBR. ✧I write book reviews for The Review Crew.
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