Description: The year is 1915 when sixteen-year-old Eliza Williams arrives at the Billings School for Girls in Easton, Connecticut. Her parents expect her to learn the qualities of a graceful, dutiful wife. But Eliza and her housemates have a dangerous secret: They're witches.
Review: I have been with the Private series since it first came out thirteen (thirteen!!!) books ago. I love everything about them: the romances, the mysteries, the parties, the boarding school. The whole entire Private series is appealing to my interests.
I was pretty curious about The Book of Spells. In the last Private book(I'm awfully sorry, but I cannot keep track of the titles), the Billings girls find the Book of Spells in the chapel basement. So, it really tied in nicely. Overall, The Book of Spells is a great prequel for the Private series.
The Book of Spells tells the story is Elizabeth 'Eliza' Williams. Eliza is sent to Billings School for Girls so she can meet a gentleman and get married like her sister, May. Eliza is the perfect heroine: She's a bookworm, hiding books that are 'rot', since 'modern novels are not proper for a young lady'. Being courageous, pushing down the fear of going through the tunnels into the boys school. Being headstrong, knowing what she wants. She was very admirable as a main character.
As the reader knows, the book mainly deals with witchcraft and power, and what that power does to a person. Ultimately, one of the main characters dies due to too much power. However, something positive does come out of the death: The ten girls form a strong bond, being that they were in the same coven. I thought that was very beautiful, the relationship between these girls and the risks they would endure for each other.
Of course, any Private book has its share of romance. In The Book of Spells, Eliza falls for an engaged boy of one of her friends, Teresa Billings. Yes, as in the Billings School for Girls. So, Eliza messes with the wrong girl. She tries following her heart, and the quotes between her and Harrison (the beau) are adorable, but she has to decide in choosing romance, or staying true to a covenmate.
Overall, Kate Brian beautifully writes a historical novel, introducing us to admirable characters, magical moments, and secret romances, all of which are common in the Private series.
"There was a brief moment of total silence, during which Eliza was certain they were all on a fool's errand-that nothing could possibly come of this. And then a whipping wind tore through the windowless chamber. Bia screamed. Alice grabbed Eliza's arm and buried her face in her shoulder. A few of the other girls gasped as every last on of the candles flickered out. The tiny room was plunged into complete darkness, and without the light of the candles, it seemed even colder than before. Just as quickly as it came, the wind died, leaving behind an unnatural stillness.
Terror flooded Eliza's veins."
-pg 114;The Book of Spells;Kate Brian