Monday, December 19, 2011

Early Review : Shadow City (Horngate Witches, Book 3) by Diana Pharaoh Francis

The world is falling apart. The magical apocalypse has come. Now is the time to guard the covenstead against both raiders and refugees. But Max has been stolen by a powerful demi-god who is determined to force her to find a way to use a magical power she never knew she had—even if it kills her. Meanwhile, back in Horngate, a Fury is birthing. When the creature breaks free of the fragile bonds that enclose her, her rage will scour the covenstead from the earth.

Max finds herself in the Shadow City, a place of mysteries and magic, where she must battle for her freedom or become a slave to creatures of dreadful greed and power. Back in Horngate, Alexander must swallow his anger and pride if he hopes to defeat the Fury, a creature that no one has ever successfully fought before.

In the end, it will be courage, friendship, faith and loyalty that win the day. Or else so one will live to see tomorrow.

Another intense, action-filled installment in the dark and gritty supernatural world that Francis has created. 

Lethal angels, powerful witches and a group of warriors who are as loyal as they are fierce are all a part of what makes this series engaging and highly addictive. 

Max is no longer in Horngate, having been forced to leave Alexander and her fellow Blades behind, but the continuous shifts between Max and Alexander's points of view allow us to experience the troubles developing in Horngate while Max carries out her task for the demi-god she has been forced to serve. 

We are introduced to new dangerous supernatural beings along the way as Max's life and freedom, along with the life of every being in Horngate, is placed in danger.

The relationship between Max and Alexander strengthens despite (or maybe because of) their separation and our favorite hardened Shadowblades begin to show us a much softer side that I absolutely adored. And even though this story doesn't give us much Max and Alexander one-on-one time, when the couple does eventually reunite we are rewarded for our patience with a scene that's incredibly heated and intense. It was well worth the wait.

Before Max's final battle, there is somewhat of a twist that had me gripping the pages and shaking my head in denial. It's a disheartening predicament that I hope can be repaired and I'm anxious to read about how this unfortunate situation will affect Max's next adventure.

She remains to be one of my all-time favorite heroines and certainly one of the toughest that I've ever read about. If you enjoy high-paced, action-packed dark fantasy then I suggest you give Francis' Horngate Witches a try.



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