Sunday, February 13, 2011

Crimson Wind by Diana Pharaoh Francis

Crimson Wind (Horngate Witches)From Goodreads:
Max knows what trusting the wrong person can cost you. Her former friend Giselle, a powerful witch, enslaved Max years ago, turning her into a Shadowblade—a deadly warrior compelled to fight for Giselle. But there’s more at stake now than Max’s thirst for revenge. The Guardians, overseers of the magical world, have declared war on humanity and on any witches not standing with them. Max and Giselle have come to an uneasy truce in order to protect what’s left of Horngate, their coven’s home. Max would do anything for Horngate—even give herself over to a mysterious otherworldly creature in the nearby mountains in exchange for his help. But first, she intends to save the mortal family she left behind. And Alexander, the Shadowblade warrior who could be her closest ally or her deadliest enemy, is going with her. 
On a road trip into the unknown, Max and Alexander face wild magic, desperate enemies, and battles that bruise both body and soul. But the greatest challenge will come from unexpected revelations that test everything Max believes about who she is—and where her loyalties lie. . . .
Bitter Night: A Horngate Witches BookThis is actually the second novel in the Horngate Witches series. I had not read the firs one, Bitter Night. It wasn't necessary to read this one, but I would recommend it. I wasn't lost, but things were referenced that made me extremely curious. So, I know I'll be picking up the first one as soon as I can. I need to see how this all started. 

Max has a lot of trust issues and you can easily and quickly see why. She was betrayed in the most horrific way and everything she knew as a human was stripped away in one drunken decision. She is also has issues with a powerful creature who wants her, but she doesn't know why. If this isn't enough, family that she hasn't seen in a long time is in danger and she needs to get to them quickly. Her attraction to another blade who is under her command isn't helping things in her upside down life. In all this she learns that Guardians of magic have determined to extinguish human life and everyone is caught in the crossfire. Wild magic is everywhere threatening to end all life as we now know it. 

This was a fun ride and I found the characters interesting. Max is snarky mostly to keep others away, but it often has the opposite effect on others used to people obeying their every order. Alexander is a perfect compliment to Max and I loved them together. For example a quote where Max speaks first about wanting Alexander around:
"Yeah Slick. That's what I'm saying. You're like a boil on my ass that I've gotten used to."
"That's so sweet. Like a Hallmark card from hell." 
Yes, they do have good chemistry together. lol

This book ends with questions needing to be answered. The adventure she sets out does get solved, but the open ending makes you yearn for the next quickly. I for one will be looking out for that book. So, therefore, I give this book 4 stars and I recommend you read Bitter Night first and then bite your nails and wait like me for the 3rd in the series. :)

I received this book from the publisher and no compensation for my review was given.


  1. I need to stop coming to your blog Melissa, you're bad for my bank account:) The quote and your rating have sold me on this one, I love a couple that can say ridiculous things to one another and I think I'll definitely start with book one before then make my way to this one. Thanks for yet another fabulous recommendation!

  2. I really, really like the sound of this book - although I might try the first book first! :)

  3. I remember that when the first one came out I wanted to read it :) And after this I still do

  4. Oh I am not sure. Maybe. Max sounds nice...

  5. @Everyone... yes, I do say read the first one. Even though I haven't yet, this one lead to questions answered in the first.
    @Jenny... well we do that to each other! :)
    @anachronist... both work good together. :) Max is quite cynical. ;)

  6. I like that back and forth with Alexander and Max - none of that smushy, lovey dovey stuff for them I guess :)

  7. Oh, I've seen this around, but didn't know it was a second book. Thanks for letting me know! I now have to add the first one to my want list, thank you very much. ;P

    Great review and sounds like a fun great read.

  8. This sounds like something that I would enjoy although I would have to start with book one. Great review!!

  9. @Stephanie.. lol Good point! :)

    @Melissa.. you and me both. I need that first one now!

    @Samantha... If you like UF, I think you'll love this one. I see that book one has high marks too!

  10. Gah! How do you do that? I must learn the skill of not needing to read the books in order. Plus, I've been promising myself to read more books about witches. :D

    Max and Alex do sound like a fun team. Love that quote. But I don't know about the nail biting. I hate waiting. LOL

  11. @Missie.. I want to start series, and if I get a chance I usually jump in. It just depends on the series if I need the first or not. I find out either way. :)


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