Ruby by Amanda Burke, published by Solstice Publishing on 29th June 2012
During the Salem witch hunts, an evil witch named Natasha Sullivan tricks a demon into confining himself inside an enchanted music box. She casts a spell that foretells that the demon will emerge in an unknown time in future after the birth of a child known as the Lumen Child. This child’s destiny is to bring light to the planet and Natasha knows that if he is killed then darkness will prevail. Natasha’s identical twin Sarah, discovers what her sister has done. Although she cannot break the spell she casts her own prophecy. It states that three witches known as the Triple Enchantresses will be born in the same time as the Lumen Child and they will be his supernatural protectors. The girls are not sisters, yet they will share a common destiny.
Ruby is the story of the first witch and how she very nearly dies before discovering her true identity. Having grown up unaware of her powers, she is rescued by her loving grandmother who is also a white witch and taken back to the family estate where she learns everything she can about what her future holds.
'Ruby' is about a young girl who travels to live with her grandmother after the deaths of her mother and father. Once there she discovers that she comes from a long line of witches and she is destined to follow the magical tradition passed down through her family.
This was a quick and easy read. At only 170 pages long, I would have liked the book to have been longer as it seemed a lot was crammed into a fairly short story. This meant that at times there wasn't enough development of the characters or the plot for my tastes. For instance, Ruby seemed very accepting of her new found heritage and powers. I would have liked to have seen more of a period of adjustment and change as she came to understand more about herself and her abilities.
There was also romance in the book between Ruby and Blaine but again, I thought that this developed very quickly, whereas I would have preferred to have seen their romance blossom more slowly and take it's time to turn into love. I found this one of the more enjoyable aspects of the story so it seems a shame that more of the book wasn't dedicated to the two of them. This is only the first of a four book series however so I wonder whether the author will focus more on this later down the line.
The prologue was intriguing but I thought this should have been linked more to the main story. There's mention of the Lumen child at the beginning but then this isn't really followed through which confused me a little. The story did get better as the book progressed and I particularly enjoyed the second half which was quite exciting.
There were some great characters including my favourite, Walter the house elf. He was so sweet! I also liked Ruby's grandmother and the bond which develops between her and her granddaughter.
Although not quite as good as I was initially expecting it to be, this was still a promising start to a series which I would like to read more of in the future.