This Coven Won’t Break by Isabel Sterling
“It turns out surviving a murderous Witch Hunter doesn’t exactly qualify as a summer vacation, and now the rest of the Hunters seem more intent on destroying Hannah’s magic than ever.“
This week we return to the realm of contemporary YA fantasy, and to a book world I’ve reviewed before! This book is the sequel to These Witches Don’t Burn, a duology following Hannah, a teenage Elemental Witch in Salem, Massachusetts.
Much like the first book, This Coven Won’t Break is filled with as much magic, mayhem, murder, and twisty plots as can be. Another too-close-for-comfort betrayal tops off the climax of this book, though I’m glad to say a certain Blood Witch survives the encounter better than some others who fell under Sterling’s pen. The plot continues from the threads started in book one, but some of those threads end in very unexpected ways. This book, much like its predecessor, leans strongly into its mystery elements.
More than the first of the series though, this book brought in events and characters from a prequel novella called “This Spell Can’t Break,” which came out a month before This Coven Won’t Break. I have yet to read the prequel, so I can say that this book definitely explains the relevant details well enough for the reader to get along even without full knowledge of the novella. However, I did feel my immersion in the book might have been better if I hadn’t been distracted by wondering what little threads and details from the prequel I was missing out on. (This is entirely the fault of the reader.)
Speaking of memory gaps, I have never been a fan of amnesia in books. Lead character(s) end the book with having their memories of the book’s events wiped from their minds? Not my cup of tea, thank you very much. I like my characters to remember all their pain and suffering. So, when one of the main characters in this book got a dose of memory wiping potion, I was in turmoil. I wasn’t as disgruntled about it as some amnesiac plots I’ve read in books, but I spent a good amount of time mourning the character’s memory loss. But by the end of the book, I found reason to gleefully applaud how things turned out for this character. No spoilers, but I do love the ending of this book.
All in all, This Coven Won’t Break was an epic sequel to an equally epic debut. The two books of this series compliment each other beautifully, with both shining in equal brightness to the other. I’m sad to see the end (at least for now) of Hannah’s story, but I loved the ride. And I loved the happy ending, as usual. I’m also excited to see what Isabel Sterling writes next, now that she’s moving on to new story worlds. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️