Favorite Lines: “She sagged, slumping over onto her side. She felt oddly warm and comfortable, and though her compulsion spells flogged her like whips, telling her to fight, she didn’t move.” (p. 44)
Bound to the witch Giselle, Max is battling for her coven and humanity. The Guardians have had it with humans trashing the world and plan to eliminate them. Any witch who doesn’t agree to help exterminate humans are being attacked. Giselle has agreed to let Max bring her human family into the Horngate coven for safety, but Max is nervous as hell. She hasn’t spoke to her family in 30 years and they believe her to be dead.
Crimson Wind takes place four weeks after the events in Bitter Night; it is book two in Diana Pharaoh Francis’ Horngate Witches series. If you haven’t read Bitter Night do not try to read this book. It is not a stand alone.
Max is ready to gather her family, but has been waiting for Giselle to strengthen the shields surrounding Horngate before she leaves. During that time, the supernatural creature she met toward the end of Bitter Night has been prodding her to join him. His attempts to get her attention have progressively gotten life threatening leaving Max with no other option than to face him before gathering her family.
That creature (who shall remain unknown to avoid plot spoilers) is awesome. He is extremely mysterious. Even more intriguing is his need of Max. Why does he need her? If she were to go to him, would she come back? Will Max go to the creature? He is a pivotal character, just like possible love interest Alexander.
Alexander is hoping to be accepted at Horngate, but the transition isn’t going as smoothly as he had hoped. He’s pretty much been ignored, until Giselle tells him he will be helping Max collect her family. Giselle also lets Alexander in on a little secret which has the ability to change everyone’s life forever.
During the journey Max shows why she is so loved by all surrounding her. She goes out of her way to help the under dog. Even when she knows she can safely walk away or risk her life assisting others, she helps other people. I swear the journey to get her family took forever. I felt the tension rise as time seemed to get away from her. I was worried with her as one problem after another impeded her ability to rescue her family. But her reaction to her family is what I felt most. (Cue dramatic music…) Expect it to be realistic and believable.
Overall, I loved Crimson Wind. It is one of those books with an ending that makes you wail in despair…despair of waiting for another year to know what happens. The book is dark and gritty. To me, it is urban fantasy at its best. I look forward to reading more books in Francis’ Horngate Witches series.
Special shout out to the artist who created the cover. It is perfect. I can relive the story by looking at the art, from the chain wrapped around Max’s arm to the knife sheath attached to her other arm. Wonderful work. This is the way all covers should be.
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