This Coven Won’t Break is the sequel to 2019’s These Witches Don’t Burn by Isabel Sterling. With International Woman’s Day today, I wanted to take the chance to scream about a series I really loved. Not only is it written by a female, but has LGBTQ+ female main character, and a whole bunch of magic you wish you had.
I’d initially been worried about reading the sequel book. In part because of my insane level of love for the first book, but I’m so glad I bit the magic because I had nothing to worry about.
I rated This Coven Won’t Break 4.5 stars out of 5.
(AF – Amazon and Waterstones purchase links at the end)
This Coven Won’t Break Book Summary:
Hannah must work alongside her new girlfriend to take down the Hungers. Who just happen to be desperate to steal her magic—and the cause of her losing someone close to her. While she wants a normal life, especially as it’s her senior year, Hannah knows everything is far from normal. Especially after surviving a Witch Hunter over summer vacation.
With witches across the country losing their magic, Hannah believes she’s the best person to stop them and will stop at nothing to do so.
Compared to the first book, this time around Hannah has a lot to contend with. There is a lot at stake for the Coven; Hannah also went through a significant amount of grief and struggle in the first book. Oh, and her magic is on the blink.
This concept, and how well the first book was executed, was the main reason for my initial worries. I feared all that Hannah had been through would be quickly forgotten. I didn’t need to worry.
Hannah’s PTSD battle is handled with so much care and her emotions are at the forefront of this book throughout. Something different compared to the last, but something I’m so happy to have. Often, this actually left me close to tears at several points. The brilliant thing Isabel Sterling does is centres as much as she can around this. She doesn’t allow you a second away from the trauma Hannah has been through, making her a heroine you not only root for but feel for.
I loved the first book because it’s rare to find a contemporary witch book set in today’s times. However, my love for it only grew with its sequel. The little mentions here and there; the nod to Wicca. Even the return of the shop which Hannah worked in previously. All of it felt like a place I was returning too—a place similar to home.
I’m glad to see Gemma, Hannah’s best friend, just as much by her side as ever. Mainly because she was such a central pivot in the first book; I feared she’d be left to the side with Hannah’s girlfriend, Morgan, becoming more of a leading star. I had nothing to fear, though. Gemma, Morgan and Hannah became the girl gang we all wanted. I’m also really glad Hannah remained in contact with her ex-girlfriend and on good terms with her after all they had been through.
My only complaint about This Coven Won’t Burn is that in this book we did move location a lot more than the previous. On occasion, it lost some of the magic of Hannah’s hometown, and the charm of it all weakened. It lost the feeling of it all being very close-knit and even then some of the action-packed parts of the story felt thinner as we were bouncing around. Thankfully, though, we were never far from it for too long, and with as much at stake as there was, it made sense the book expanded out of the town.
The beautiful thing about this book is that it sticks with you. Even though I originally read this when it came out, I’ve read the series a further two times since. The feeling that magic can be as close as within your town, the relatable characters and emotions keeps pulling me back. The fact its all wrapped up in two easy-to-read and enjoyable books makes it the reason I continue to keep going back.
Do I wish there were more books in the series? Hands-down yes! I’m also really happy with how things have been left. It’s satisfying, and with an ending that could lead to more makes me hopeful. But, even if that never comes, we as the reader can move on. I do know that anything Isabel writes, I’ll be first in line. All the while hoping for more of Hannah, as I’m just sad her story is over.
So, if you, like me, was nervous to step back into Isabel’s world, don’t be. The characters are just as 3-dimensional, and if anything, the emotions are far more raw and rich, allowing even those who feel very little for literary characters, to be close to weeping.
If you’re new, and are after a book with young witches in the real work, with grit, heart, and magic are the forefront, buy this series.
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