Book Review: Witches in Red, by Barb Hendee

18110063

Mist-Torn Witches #2

Book Length: 325 pages

Time to Read: Approximately four days of moderate-intensity reading (more than two hours a day)

I’m gonna call this ‘Mystery Fantasy

Adult Fiction

According to the Blurb on the Back:

Celine and Amelie Fawe can see into anyone’s past and future simply by touching him. They have used their powers to secure sanctuary – and a fine apothecary’s shop – in the village around Castle Seone. But their continued safety has a price…

Far to the north, the men of an isolated silver mining community are turning into vicious “beasts” that slaughter anyone in sight. The mines belong to the noble family of Prince Anton – ruler of Castle Seone and Celine and Amelie’s patron – and Anton’s tyrannical father has ordered his son to solve the mystery as a test of his leadership. He has no choice but to send the witches into the perilous north to use their abilities to discover the cause of the transformations. Given how much they owe the prince, the sisters have no choice but to go.

Together with the overprotective Lieutenant Jaromir, Celine and Amelie enter the dark world of a far-off mining camp tainted by fear, mistrust, and enslavement – and haunted by men turning into massive mad wolves without warning. Now the two must draw upon strength and cunning they never thought they possessed not only to solve the mystery, but to survive…

Review:

Goodness, Barb Hendee can tell a good story. Straight up, I loved this book. I’m a sucker for that romanticised medieval period, like the Merlin television series, where it’s not at all obvious just how awful life had been even for the rich, let alone the poor. That was my trail of thought through the first couple of scenes, but it quickly became apparent that the beginning of the book was perhaps the one truly happy and safe moment in Celine’s and Amelie’s lives. These girls are tough, each in her own distinct way.

The book’s written in third person where the perspective switches largely between the two sisters and sometimes to the Lieutenant Jaromir, and all three of these characters are wonderfully fleshed out. No cardboard cut-outs here. The supporting cast is also wonderful and by the end of the book I really got a sense of the world around them being fuller and more interesting, with some very interesting characters expected to become main cast members for the sequels. Again, I read this book before the first one in the series (which was The Mist-Torn Witches) and I had no trouble engaging with the characters and the plot. I will be definitely going back to read the first book.

Upon looking up the author on the internet I found that the book is actually set in a fantasy world already established in The Noble Dead Saga, which Barb Hendee wrote with her husband, J. C. Hendee. The first book in that series is Dhampir, so I’ll definitely be giving that a look too.

In conclusion, I found a new author to love! I give this book my first heart rating ❤

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