Book Review: Blackwatch by Jenna Burtenshaw

Blackwatch is the second book in the Wintercraft series by Jenna Burtenshaw. The book is published by Headline with a release date of 14th April 2011. Blackwatch is 288 pages long. Thanks to the publisher for providing an ARC for review.

Kate has escaped the clutches of the High Council and Silas has left Albion for the continent. But their lives are forever linked and as the veil weakens, causing Albion's skilled to fear for everyone's safety, Silas and Kate find themselves drawn together by the mysterious and corrupt Dalliah Grey.

What I thought
One thing I loved so much about the first book in this series, was the fact that it was much darker than other YA books and the setting certainly helped that. This time around, Jenna Burtenshaw steps up her game and goes even darker and even more sinister. It all starts with the cover really, which is black and red. Having a cover with such strong colours not only makes it stand out against other books but also makes you want to know more about the book.

Blackwatch is told from the POV of main characters, Kate and Silas, who find themselves in very different situations. Kate has been captured by The Skilled and is imprisoned in the underground with very few options to escape and Silas is on the run after the end of the previous book. I liked how I still got to find out what was happening with each character throughout and was anxiously waiting for the two of them to finally cross paths again. Unlike many books with multiple POV’s, the chapters don’t state which character is telling the story but as their voices are so distinct and strong, it is easy to follow.

Due to Kate’s circumstances at the beginning of the book, I was unsure about where the story was going to, and could, take her. Stuck in an impossible situation, Kate doesn’t really have much of a choice about what is going on and sees no way out of her predicament but obviously, the book would have been quite boring if she had been stuck underground the whole time! Seeing as Kate is not the kind of character to take things lying down, she finds a way out, along with some help, and off she goes on a massive adventure again. The bravery and determination that she showed was admirable and I wish I could have some of that in myself. Also, she isn’t stupid. Kate knows when things aren’t going her way and she knows when to say enough is enough!

Silas is still my favourite character of this series. He’s dark, brooding and very mysterious. He is also cold, uncaring and a bit heartless at times but I think this is an act more than anything else as he is able to show that he really cares during other moments. Over the course of both books so far, I still don’t feel like I know everything I should about him. While this would normally be a bad thing, I loved this about his character and the way that Burtenshaw has written him. Maybe if too much was revealed about him, I wouldn’t have a such strong attraction to him. Maybe the mystery would disappear and I would end up disappointed and I don’t want that to happen.

Blackwatch is a very quick paced book and at just under 300 pages long, it needed to be. There is always so much happening and it was hard to catch my breath while reading. There aren’t too many slower parts in this book but that just added to the excitement and intensity of the story. The story isn’t all about the excitement though. Burtenshaw builds a completely fascinating world full of things I have never seen in a book before. The ideas of The Skilled, the veil and other things are truly original and I couldn’t seem to get enough of learning more about them all. I can see that the third (and final) book in this series is going to just as amazing as the other two and the world created is full of amazing possibilities.

Blackwatch is a great second book from Jenna Burtenshaw and I can’t wait for her next book! Highly recommended.


  1. I love this book! I can't wait for the third one. Silas is my favourite too.

  2. I've been thinking about reading this author! Great review

  3. I think Silas must be everyone's favourite character, I know he's mine. There's such complexity to him that I find fascinating. This one is pretty high up my TBR shortlisted pile, I can't wait to get back into this fab world.


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