Thursday, April 30, 2015

Witches & Witchcraft Reading Challenge: April Reviews The Mist-Torn Witches

Here are the reviews for April for the Witches & Witchcraft Reading Challenge.

This month I only got a couple of books in.  Been very busy with work and the A to Z Bloghop.  But I got two quality books!

The Mist-Torn Witches Series by Barb Hendee
I took on the first two book of Barb Hendee's Mist-Torn Witches. I had heard a lot of good about this series and the author so they had been on my TBR pile forever.  I am glad I finally grabbed them and got into them.

The books deal with sisters Céline and Amelie Fawe.  Céline can see visions of the future and is a knowledgeable apothecary.   Amelie is the younger sister and sees images of the past and is just as hand with a sword or dagger.

The Mist-Torn Witches (Book 1)
We are introduced to the Fawe sisters in their small home and shop.  They have been orphaned but have been making well on their own.  Tragedy strikes and sends them on the run.  At the same time their emerging powers places them in deeper harm.  They now are working for a prince that they don't know if they can trust and his lieutenant at arms (who has a shady past) to solve a supernatural murder.
I will admit this book grabbed me from the very, very start. I immediately liked Céline but Amelie might end up becoming my favorite before too long.  There is some world building in this, but only enough to keep the plot moving.  The characters are instantly compelling and Hendee gives you plenty of reasons to like them.  The sisters are just coming into their powers, but even so there is an investigation here. Strip away the magic and the fantasy elements you have a compelling murder mystery here. I would LOVE to say I figured it out early, but I didn't.  Oh the clues were there, but the mystery is very well crafted and you, like our main characters, will just have to figure it out as you go.
I also liked that while the girls are powerful, they can make mistakes and they have very human failings.  There is a hint of romance here, but no awkward hook ups and no bending the rules of logic to get characters together.  I will not spoil the end but if this were a movie it would pass both Bechdel test AND the Mako Mori test.
This is a great start to a series.
I am reviewing both the Kindle ebook and the Audible audio-book.
Witch Count: 2 (maybe 4)

Witches in Red (Book 2)
This book takes place soon after the events in book 1.  Céline and Amelie are settling into their new lives when they are summoned to the castle by their Prince.  A series of murders has been going on at his father's silver mine. Murders committed by men that become giant wolf-like beasts.
This is another supernatural-based murder mystery, but in addition to learning the who we need to learn the how.  In this book in particular we see Hendee's deft skill and weaving a mystery plot, but also doing so with wry sense of humor.  While this could have ended up as a fairly unimaginative pastiche of werewolf lore and "Little Red Riding Hood", it didn't.  Not so much that it didn't do it is how well it didn't do it.  Again we see some great character development here. Unlike the last book where the sisters were in survival mode, here they have a feeling of belonging that makes them want to help the Prince. It is a maturity.  We learn more about the Prince's Lieutenant, Jaromir and he turns out to be just as interesting as I hoped.
As before the girls use their extraordinary sight to find the who is behind the killing, but that only gets them so far. Detective work and intelligence has to get them to their goal.
There is more world building here as well. We learn more about the world-travelling Móndyalítko, the gypsy-like "children of the world" and Céline and Amelie's bloodline.
I am reviewing both the Kindle ebook and the Audible audio-book.
Witch Count: 4

I should point out that Book 3 Witches With The Enemy will be out next week.  Preorder if you can because this is a fun series.



Hopefully I will have a review of Book 3 up next month.

Books read: 10
Current Level: Maiden: Read 6 – 10 Witchy Books

4 comments:

Moonie said...

Im surprised you got any books in this month - you have been all over today commenting.
I hope you had a great A to Z challenge. Your keyboard must be worn out.

Moonie said...

Im surprised you got any books in this month - you have been all over today commenting.
I hope you had a great A to Z challenge. Your keyboard must be worn out.

Timothy Brannan said...

That's why I only got in two!

Glad you stopped by.

Livia Quinn said...

Sorry I didn't get here more but I'll be back. And so glad I popped in to see your reviews on Henlee's books.

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