Review: Crimson Wind by Diana Pharaoh Francis ★★★★★

Crimson Wind by Diana Pharaoh Francis
Genre: Urban Fantasy (Fantasy, Witches, tough female protagonist, warriors, magic)
Series: Book two in The Horngate Witches series
Original Language: English
Publisher: Pocket
Country: United States
Publication Date: December 28, 2010
ISBN: 1416598154
Page Count: 368
My rating: ★★★★★

Summary

Max is a Shadowblade—a supernatural warrior created to serve and protect her witch, Giselle. She was made to kill and she’s very good at it. But there are some troubles you can’t solve with a gun and Max has run smack into one. Since the devastation of her covenstead four weeks ago and the revelation of the coming apocalypse, Max has been itching to bring her family back to the safety of Horngate. The only trouble is they think she was murdered thirty years ago, a belief Max has done everything in her power to cultivate. So she’s naturally a little worried about how they’ll feel when she tells them she’s alive and never bothered to get in touch. And oh by the way, mom and dad, she isn’t human anymore. As if that wasn’t enough to worry about, the Guardians have made a major move in their war against humanity and now it’s a race to save her family before they are swallowed by a a blood storm of wild magic. That is, if Max can even get off the starting block. First she has to deal with an enraged wannabe lover who can destroy worlds, a pissed off mage, and a pig-headed witch.

REVIEW

This was even better than the first book, and that's saying something!

The book picks up a few weeks after the events of Bitter Night. The Coven is on shaky legs and trying to get back to some semblance of order after the attacks that nearly buried them. Giselle is still weak and on the edge of her witchy control, and tensions are high for the Blades and Spears.

This isn't helped much by the addition of Alexander, whom no one- perhaps with the exception of Max- trusts further than they could throw him. Actually.... they could throw him pretty far, so that saying doesn't really work, but you get the idea.

Max is having an even harder time of it. As if ignoring the incredibly appealing Alexander wasn't trial enough, that damned pesky demigod, Scooter, keeps trying to snatch her away in her sleep. His nightly visits are causing her so much damage that her healing spells are about to lose their battle and one of these mornings, she might just not wake up.

She realises she has little choice but to go and see what the hell he wants. But she is in no way prepared for what he has to say...

I loved this storyline. As with the previous book it was both exciting and unusual. It reminded me in places of "A Journey to the Centre of the Earth". I find I enjoy urban fantasy that's quite heavy on the fantasy, like Kate Daniels, Cassandra Palmer, The Fever series, etc.

Give me weird creatures and people-eating plants and I'm a happy girl. Who knew?

I also loved all the sexual tension and emotional stuff. There was just enough to have you rooting for them, but not so much that you felt the need to wash your eyes. No gratuitous sex scenes as of yet.

Max is such a fantastic character. She has so much to deal with but even with her plate more than full she just can't walk by a person in need without trying to help. She just can't. She even gets accused of "collecting strays" by Alexander, much to her annoyance. I think it unnerves her that he can read her so well.

There is clearly a lot more to come for this series, and this book with have you salivating for the next one due to the abrupt ending. Make sure you have it nearby.

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