Crimson Wind ~ Diana Pharaoh Francis

  • Title: Crimson Wind
  • Author: Diana Pharaoh Francis
  • Series: Horngate Witches #2
  • Genre: PNR, UF
  • Format: eBook
  • Source: Own Copy
  • Rating: 3 out of 5

Description:  THERE ARE GOOD GUYS. THERE ARE BAD GUYS. AND THEN THERE’S MAX. 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. . .

*Potential Spoilers*

Review:  I’m divided on what to rate this book. On one hand, I want to give this one 4 stars. On the other, 3.5 stars for a few elements that throw the story off a bit for me. I figure I can decide what the rating is once I finish my review.

Max is the Prime. She is the leader of the Shadowblades and Sunspears of the Horngate Coven. War is riding the winds, witches are being recruited to fight a battle between Guardians who want to thrust magic back into the world and Humanity. Horngate barely survived the fight on its grounds, and Max has worked hard to rebuild. She’s determined to bring back her family to the coven for safety and to fulfill the promise she’s made to Scooter. For what she believes in, Max is willing to fight with everything she has and bleed until her very soul is bare before she gives up anything or anyone she cares for.

Main peeve! From the setup of the story in the beginning, I thought the main plot lines were the following:

– Max has to walk the webs with Scooter.
– Max’s family will be picked up and brought back to the holding.

Instead, it’s mostly about introducing new characters as they travel to save Max’s family, moving forward the chemistry between Max and Alexander and saving Max’s family.

I’m totally interested in the new characters and love the development between Max & Alexander! However, I felt totally cheated when I got to the end of the book and realized that the plot line with Scooter is the next BOOK! Lame!

The Angels are awesome and I hope they show up more in the series. I liked getting to know the Blade Angel in this book. Figure we’ll learn more about both of them in the next one–I hope!

I’m not buying this near invincible healing from everything bit or the fact that the Angels are basically indestructible but they HAVE to serve? What’s up with that?

Knowing body mechanics, it’s hard for me to read the fight scenes or battles and not roll my eyes. Certain injuries are going to make certain body parts incapable of movement no matter what.

I like the world building as the Wild Magic turns and twists the world into something new. I like the fact that it’s not all roses and peaches when Max finally gets to her family. The author doesn’t write huge paragraphs to describe the side characters and what’s going on but it’s enough to give you a solid feel for who they are and what “may” happen. Max’s family is going to drive her nuts. But that is what family does best!

The sight is not entirely reliable. I think it’s silly that there are so many prophetic seeings that are being thrown around like candy to make important moments happen in the story. It’s a bit redundant that way.

It’s great to see Max realizing how much she has changed and accepting who she has become. To take in that she has a new family, life and a reason to do whatever she can to keep it all safe. There’s a lot of character growth with Max and that is wonderful.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book. Bitter Night built a fun foundation to delve into and this novel has been a nice ride. I’ll be moving onto the next book in the series. I really want to know what Max does in the webs with Scooter.

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