Shelf Control #193: Witchmark by C. J. Polk

Shelves final

Welcome to Shelf Control — an original feature created and hosted by Bookshelf Fantasies.

Shelf Control is a weekly celebration of the unread books on our shelves. Pick a book you own but haven’t read, write a post about it (suggestions: include what it’s about, why you want to read it, and when you got it), and link up! For more info on what Shelf Control is all about, check out my introductory post, here.

Want to join in? Shelf Control posts go up every Wednesday. See the guidelines at the bottom of the post, and jump on board!


Title: Witchmark
Author: C. L. Polk
Published: 2018
Length: 318 pages

What it’s about (synopsis via Goodreads):

In an original world reminiscent of Edwardian England in the shadow of a World War, cabals of noble families use their unique magical gifts to control the fates of nations, while one young man seeks only to live a life of his own.

Magic marked Miles Singer for suffering the day he was born, doomed either to be enslaved to his family’s interest or to be committed to a witches’ asylum. He went to war to escape his destiny and came home a different man, but he couldn’t leave his past behind. The war between Aeland and Laneer leaves men changed, strangers to their friends and family, but even after faking his own death and reinventing himself as a doctor at a cash-strapped veterans’ hospital, Miles can’t hide what he truly is.

When a fatally poisoned patient exposes Miles’ healing gift and his witchmark, he must put his anonymity and freedom at risk to investigate his patient’s murder. To find the truth he’ll need to rely on the family he despises, and on the kindness of the most gorgeous man he’s ever seen.

How and when I got it:

I picked up a copy last summer on a visit to a beloved neighborhood bookstore.

Why I want to read it:

I’ve heard such good things about this book! I love the sound of the witchcraft elements mixed with the historical setting. And now seems like a good time to read Witchmark, as the sequel will be out in February.

What do you think? Would you read this book?

Please share your thoughts!


Want to participate in Shelf Control? Here’s how:

  • Write a blog post about a book that you own that you haven’t read yet.
  • Add your link in the comments!
  • If you’d be so kind, I’d appreciate a link back from your own post.
  • Check out other posts, and…

Have fun!

13 thoughts on “Shelf Control #193: Witchmark by C. J. Polk

  1. Sounds interesting- a magic in a historical setting book I enjoyed was Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell, and then I also read Illusion by Stephanie Elmas via NetGalley last year which was also pretty engaging, again similar-ish setting

  2. I picked it up recently, sounded right up my alley, but I quit 1/2 way through. Perhaps I didn’t give it enough time, but just couldn’t get into the writing and story. It starts as a mystery, but that aspect doesn’t seem to go anywhere.

      • I always wonder when I don’t care for a highly popular book, is it me or the book? Is it just the wrong time in my life for relating to this particular book? You never know! When I considered not finishing, I checked in on Goodreads as I often do in that situation; looking for insights to support continuing. Lots of people loved the book, and some people who had the same issues I did were able to put those aside for one reason or another, and some did not. I decided to go with the third group because those comments were ringing true for me, (and I was at the library-loan renewal decision point 😀).

        • It happens. I’ve definitely felt like the lone dissenter for certain popular books! And mood/timing ends up being a big factor for me as well. I try to take that into account when I write reviews for books that I didn’t end up loving as much as everyone else. Sometimes, it really is the book… but it may also be that I picked it up at a time when my mind needed something else.

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