Saturday, September 26, 2015

#Saturday Review - Witches In Red by Barb Hendee (Fantasy)

Series: The Mist-Torn Witches # 2
Format: Paperback, 325 pages
Release Date: May 6, 2014
Publisher: Roc
Source: Library
Genre: Fantasy

Céline and Amelie Fawe can see into anyone’s past and future simply by touching them. They have used their powers to secure sanctuary—and a fine apothecary’s shop—in the village around Castle Sèone. 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 Sèone and Céline 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 accept.

Together with the over-protective Lieutenant Jaromir, Célene 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

Witches in Red is the second installment in the Mist-Torn Witches series by author Barb Hendee. Sisters Céline and Amelie Fawe can see into anyone’s past and future simply by touching them. They have used their powers to secure sanctuary and an apothecary’s shop in the village surrounding Castle Sèone. If you haven't read the first book, The Mist-Torn Witches, I do believe that it is OK to proceed in reading this book since Hendee does a fine job of summarizing previous events, and how the sisters ended being saved from their home of Shetana thanks to Prince Anton and Lieutenant Jaromir. 

Although sisters, they are totally opposite of the other. Céline has learned her trade as a healer, spent 5 years as a fake seer, can mix concoctions that heal and take pain away. She's blonde, with lavender eyes just like her mother. Céline is more compassionate than her sister. She finds it extremely hard to turn anyone away when then ask for her assistance. Amelie doesn't have that problem. She also has lavender eyes, wears her dark hair short, loves to dress in breeches and male attire. She's quick with a verbal response as well as her knife and sword. Both sisters are on the cusp of romance, but Hendee hasn't fully committed to the idea as of this story.

Prince Anton once again requests that the sisters help with a problem HIS father is having with a particular silver mine in the Northern Droevinka. The soldiers watching over the silver mine are turning into vicious beasts that kill everyone in sight. Unless they are stopped, the mine will cease production and we can't have that! Anton's father who somehow learned about the sister's abilities, calls on them to use their abilities to solve yet another mystery. Together with the over-protective Lieutenant Jaromir, Célene and Amelie travel to the far off mining camp that has been tainted by fear, mistrust, and resentment. Some interesting new characters make their appearance. They are from the same clan as Célene and Amelie's own mother the nomadic Mondyalitko.

I forgot how much I like this author and this series since it's been several years since I read The Mist Torn Witches. I love sisters Céline and Amelie Fawe. I love that they are nearly inseparable and don't keep secrets from each other. I love that Céline is the caring one whose empathy brings people to trust her. I adore Amelie because she has spunk, fire, and determination, and she is as far from girly-girl as you can get. I liked he three Mondyalitko characters Mariah, Mercedes, and Marcus who is a hunter/shifter. I would like to read more about the group, and hope Hendee doesn't abandon them.

There is a definite twisted romance with the sisters and two particular individuals from Castle Sèone. Céline with Prince Anton (maybe) and Amelie with Lieutenant Jaromir (again, maybe). The romance isn't pushed on readers. In fact, I'd say this is one of the longest burning relationships that I've read in a very long time. The mystery of who was responsible for what is happening was well done, and thankfully, it was resolved to my satisfaction. It will be interesting to read the next book in this series, Witches With the Enemy. I expect to that Hendee will once again create a masterful mystery and toss the sisters in the deep in of trouble once again.

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