This is my first Holly Black novel, after hearing such good things about both the Curse Workers series and her Tithe series I think my expectations were a bit too high. That is not to say I didn’t thoroughly enjoy White Cat it just wasn’t what I expected.
White Cat follows Cassel who is the only non-worker in a family of Curse Workers. Curse work is basically a kind of magic and each person can wield a certain type whether it be luck, emotions, or even death. While his brothers are out hustling and working for a crime boss Cassel attends a Boarding school where he has his own little gambling operation. That is until he has a strange nightmare and starts noticing that his brothers aren’t telling him the entire truth.
I loved the entire idea of Curse Work and the alternate reality that Black creates. It was very realistic and similar to what happened during prohibition in the 1920’s. Curse work may be illegal but people still seek out Curse Workers for good luck in marriages and are willing to deal in organized crime. I loved how completely shady Cassel’s family is. They were all kinds of dysfunctional and total liars but I still liked every one of them. I would have to say that after Cassel (who is a terrific lead) his two brothers were my favorite characters. I don’t think we are meant to care for them but I found myself liking them because they are quintessential mob members doing what the boss says, lying, cheating, and killing. The brothers really added some realism to the story.
The one downside I had with this book is that there is no real love interest. I’m not saying that I don’t like books without romance but, for me, it is like that little added bonus that really makes me love a book. Overall, White Cat was an excellent read I originally rated this 3 stars but upon further reflection and months after reading this book still thinking about it decided to give it 4 stars. I’m hoping the sequel, Red Glove, is even better then White Cat!