I’m thrilled to share the wonderful starred review (!) for The Witch Hunter from Publisher’s Weekly:

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Thank you, Publisher’s Weekly! I think the cupcakes beside the review say it all: it’s time to celebrate.

Publisher's Weekly, Trade Reviews

The trade reviews are starting to come in, and I’m happy to share this fantastic one from School Library Journal:

The Witch Hunter
By Virginia Boecker
June 2015/ Ages 15 & Up/ $18
ISBN 978-0-316-32700-8
Ebook ISBN 978-0-316-32718-3

In this fantasy adventure set in an alternative medieval England, witchcraft of any kind is illegal, even though magic practitioners were welcomed in the past. Employed by the Inquisitor, Lord Blackwell, 16-year-old Elizabeth, and her best friend, Caleb, hunt witches who will be burned at the stake. Elizabeth fully believes that all magic is evil and must be destroyed. But when Blackwell finds her with some herbs, Elizabeth is declared a witch herself and is sentenced to die. She is rescued by an unlikely ally, the notorious wizard Nicholas Perevil, who wants her to fulfill a prophecy to save him from a deadly curse. The teen is skeptical of the witches, pirates, healers, and other Reformists who accompany Perevil and is afraid of what will happen when they discover she is a witch hunter. However, she gradually becomes suspicious of Blackwell’s motives and must finally decide where her loyalties lie. Debut author Boecker’s first-person, present tense narrative creates a suspenseful mood by allowing readers to see Elizabeth’s secrets, doubts, and fears. Secondary characters are well realized and integral to the plot. The book has plenty of action—sword fights, battles with monsters, black magic, and betrayal—but there is also camaraderie and romance. The ending leaves room for a sequel. Fans of Kristin Cashore’s Graceling (Houghton Harcourt, 2008) will see similarities in this story of a girl with deadly skills who begins to question using her services to benefit a brutal ruler.

VERDICT: This action-packed tale will be a welcome addition to most YA fantasy collections.

Trade Reviews

I had the great pleasure of being interviewed by Publisher’s Weekly in their weekly podcast, talking about The Witch Hunter and my inspiration for writing it. (I also talk about wanting to learn to swear in German, but that’s a whole different story.) Enjoy!

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KidsCast, Publisher's Weekly

I’ve been sitting on this beauty for a while, but now I’m excited to finally share the UK cover for THE WITCH HUNTER (or, as it’s retitled for the UK market, WITCH HUNTER.)

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My lovely publisher, Orchard Books, and my fantastic designer Thy Bui did a wonderful job of conveying the ritualistic nature of the magic conveyed in the book, specifically the rune markings around the edge of the cover (which I’m told will be picked out in a gloss finish — lovely!). The stick figure in the center is symbolic of the main character, Elizabeth Grey, conveying the tension between her witch hunter and persecuted identities throughout the story. The overall effect is striking and original, and I just love it.

As an added bonus, Orchard is offering a free look at the first chapter of WITCH HUNTER. Go forth, enjoy, and I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Preorder WITCH HUNTER on Amazon.co.uk

Preorder WITCH HUNTER on Waterstones.com

Add WITCH HUNTER to Goodreads

Orchard Books, Witch Hunter


So, I’ve been sitting on this news for a while now, but today I was finally given the okay to share these wonderful blurbs from these wonderful authors for The Witch Hunter. It’s truly humbling to have authors — whose work you love and admire and covet and squeal over — say something kind about your own work. It’s actually enough to blow your mind (which mine currently is, all over my keyboard. Gross).

Thank you so, so much to April Tucholke, Kate Elliott, Emily Lloyd-Jones, and Beth Revis. You made this debut author’s heart very happy, and I am forever grateful.


“Boecker’s rich, witch-hunting, witch-burning world is filled with everything a good fantasy book needs: swords, poison, black magic, and betrayal. Elizabeth Grey is a tough, feisty protagonist whose fearless heart takes more twists and turns than the narrow city alleys in which the story opens. A fun, corpse-ridden, blood-drenched debut.”

—April Tucholke, author of Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea and Between the Spark and the Burn


“Crisp writing, a fast pace with bloody action, and the all-important monster rats make this story of a bold but more-vulnerable-than-she-realizes witch hunter a strong fantasy debut.”

—Kate Elliott, author of Cold Magic and Court of Fives


“Elizabeth is an endearingly flawed heroine, and the other characters are just as nuanced and delightful. With an immersive world and fast-paced, addictive plot, The Witch Hunter is perfect for those looking for their next fantastical adventure.”

—Emily Lloyd-Jones, author of Illusive


“Sassy and smart, this page-turning fantasy is full of action, wit, and magic. I ate it up in one sitting and demand more…now!

—Beth Revis, New York Times bestselling author of the Across the Universe and The Body Electric.

The Witch Hunter