First Lines Friday – 11 March 2022

First Lines Friday is a weekly feature for book lovers hosted by Wandering Words. What if we judged a book by its cover, its author or its prestige instead of judging it by its opening lines?

This week’s First Lines Friday book is a YA historical fantasy that came out in August of 2021!

First Lines

“The East River smelled distinctly of death. The boy had not begged before he was thrown into its depths. It was better that way. Begging was so undignified. The boy hadn’t said much at all. Just the girl’s name, only once, right before he sank.”

And the book is…….

The Witch Haven by Sasha Peyton Smith!

Cover Image for The Witch Haven by Sasha Peyton Smith

Synopsis: In 1911 New York City, seventeen-year-old Frances Hallowell spends her days as a seamstress, mourning the mysterious death of her brother months prior. Everything changes when she’s attacked and a man ends up dead at her feet—her scissors in his neck, and she can’t explain how they got there. Before she can be condemned as a murderess, two cape-wearing nurses arrive to inform her she is deathly ill and ordered to report to Haxahaven Sanitarium. But Frances finds Haxahaven isn’t a sanitarium at all: it’s a school for witches. Within Haxahaven’s glittering walls, Frances finds the sisterhood she craves, but the headmistress warns Frances that magic is dangerous. Frances has no interest in the small, safe magic of her school, and is instead enchanted by Finn, a boy with magic himself who appears in her dreams and tells her he can teach her all she’s been craving to learn, lessons that may bring her closer to discovering what truly happened to her brother. Frances’s newfound power attracts the attention of the leader of an ancient order who yearns for magical control of Manhattan. And who will stop at nothing to have Frances by his side. Frances must ultimately choose what matters more, justice for her murdered brother and her growing feelings for Finn, or the safety of her city and fellow witches. What price would she pay for power, and what if the truth is more terrible than she ever imagined?

I’m a sucker for a good historical fantasy, and anything with ‘witch’ in the title inevitably ends up on my TBR. This debut novel popped up on my radar last year but got a bit lost in the influx of new books that fall. I stumbled across it again by chance, and I’m going to make an effort to bump it up on my To Read list for this spring!

Have you read The Witch Haven by Sasha Peyton Smith? What are you reading this weekend? Let me know in the comments!

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