Series: Horngate Witches #4
Published by Simon and Schuster on December 26, 2012
Genres: Urban Fantasy
NEW GAME. SAME RULES. SHE FIGHTS. THEY DIE. Max always does her job, no matter how brutal and bloody. That’s how it’s been ever since she was enslaved by a witch, turned into a supernatural warrior, and assigned to protect the coven of Horngate. But her job just got harder. . . . Waves of wild magic have returned much of the world to a time when fairy tales were real and danger now lurks behind every tree and bush. As winter descends and food, heat, and water are harder to come by, many have turned to Benjamin Sterling for protection. Leader of the Earth’s Last Stand cult, Sterling claims to be the Hand of God, but his power and charisma secretly come from a dark and terrible source. With devout followers eager to do his sadistic bidding, he has his eyes on Horngate and its magical inhabitants. To save those she loves, Max will knowingly walk into a trap. But when the cult strips Max’s soul bare for all to see, will even Alexander—her lover and her strength—remain? And if she were to lose him, what does it matter if she gains the whole world. . . .
My Initial Reaction…
I continue to devour this series, my only disappointment being that there this was the last book in the series.The story is far from over IMHO and I won’t lie, I’m VERY upset that it’s over! In all seriousness, I think this may be the main reason I can’t give Blood Winter 5 stars – it’s not a satisfactory ending to a series, as much as I loved every minute of it.
In Blood Winter Max, Alexander, Kyle, Tory, and Carrie are preparing to go into town to see how the townsfolk have been dealing with the Change when disaster strikes. An unknown witch has gathered followers around him, making himself into the next Jesus – but his self-proclaimed work as “the right arm of God” is to wipe out the evil among them, namely Witches and those who consort with them. He brings his mission to Horngate’s doorstep – passing through their wards with four “witches” nailed up to burn. Of course Max and her crew resolve that something must be done about the unspeakable horrors he’s perpetrating against the helpless, but the more they work to defeat him the more powerful they realize he is and the more hopeless the situation seems. The Angel’s are still out and the Grimms (and Spike) take off, leaving the Coven ill equipped to fight without losing more of their family. Not to mention their still reeling from the loss of Niko. All the stress threatens to tear Max, Alexander, Tyler, Thor, Giselle, and the entire coven apart.
Like the rest of the series, Blood Winter was non-stop action, complete with painful descriptions of every horrible blow Max, Alexander and the rest of the crew took. For me, Blood Winter surpassed the others in the added element of mystery. Who was this preacher-dude and what hope did they have to defeat him? There were so many twists and I really never knew what was going to happen next, keeping me perpetually on my toes. Diana does an amazing job of capturing the feelings of despair that Max and really everyone were feeling and I definitely had a few teary eye moments. And watching this haphazard family come together at such a depressed moment to fight was arm-tingly, goosebumpy at times. Did I mention I loved this book?
A really wonderful read. Diana Pharaoh Francis continues to weave incredibly unique fantasy with heart-wrenching and painful detail. I’ll be keeping my eyes peeled for deals on any other books she’s written for sure!