Review: Bitter Night by Diana Pharaoh Francis

17 Dec

Bitter Night by Diana Pharaoh Francis
Mass market: $7.99
Pocket Books (November 2009)
ISBN: 978-1-4165-9814-5

Favorite Line: “The yearning in the creature’s voice made Max want to weep for its pain, even as fear thrust skeletal fingers around her heart.” (p. 304)

Thirty years ago, Max’s best friend Giselle asked her a few questions which changed her life. Would she like to live forever, never grow old and be superhumanly strong? A drunken Max answered in the affirmative, then awoke no longer human bound to her witchy friend.

Today she is bound to the witch Giselle as a Shadowblade, and not just any blade; she is the head of the night forces charged with protecting Giselle’s life. But never in the daylight, as it is poison to Shadowblades.

One night Max allows her curiosity to drag her into another witch’s territory, an action which alerts her and the coven she protects to a deadly scheme which could rid the world of humanity.

There are tons of great urban fantasy series on the market right now, and I’m here to say Diana Pharaoh Francis’ Horngate Witches series is one of them. The first book in the series is Bitter Night. It introduces the world building and the main character of the series, Max. It is told in third person and bounces between Max’s point of view and that of a Shadowblade of equal statute who she is brought into contact with, Alexander.

It’s a dark, bloody world filled with betrayal, and I loved every minute of it. I was pissed with Max at the unfairness which fills the world and I felt betrayed with her as she remembered her life before her best friend turned on her.

Bitter Night is a story which gathers momentum as it’s told. New characters are continually added to the story, and most are drawn to Max. Despite the dark world and her ability to only be outside at night, she is a ray of sunshine and hope. Mainly due to her intervention and influence several problems have been solved by the end of  the story, but I have a favorite part which includes the quote above. That quote takes place at a pivotal moment and involves a character introduced toward the end of the story. As I closed the book I knew I was hooked, because there was something I needed to know…

Books in the Series What others think about Bitter Night:
Bitter Night (The link will take you to an excerpt) The Good, The Bad and The Unread
Crimson Wind (December 2010) Dirty Sexy Books
??????? (It better be coming!!!) Preternatural Reviews
Urban Fantasy Investigations

4 Responses to “Review: Bitter Night by Diana Pharaoh Francis”

  1. janicu December 18, 2010 at 2:23 am #

    OK. This book has been on the TBR for a while. I clearly need to get to reading it!

  2. scooper December 18, 2010 at 10:39 am #

    I read it last year and love it; then, I got the second book in the series. OMG it has a kick butt action and a killer ending. Before I reviewed it I figured I better post something on this one so everyone knows where I stand on the series. You gotta read it so you can tell me what you think!


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  2. Review: Crimson Wind by Diana Pharaoh Francis « Scooper Speaks - December 20, 2010

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