Category: Urban Fantasy, Witchcraft, Earth Magic, Romance, Book Review
Although not a spellworker herself, magic had always been part of Jenna’s life, guiding and nurturing her childhood. Her mother, Nina was a member of The Order of Spellworkers and Druids, enforcing the laws of the magical community. But six winter solstices ago Nina was murdered. Six winter solstices ago the other members of The Order died or disappeared. And six winter solstices ago Jenna banished magic from her life, fleeing back home to Orkney.
Jenna Henderson, duty manager in charge of tourism at Maeshowe burial chamber, one of the Neolithic wonders of Orkney, was about to have a meeting with Dr Winston Grant, an archeologist working on a dig on the island…and, initially unbeknownst to her, also a druid. Jenna was distraught when evidence of a magic ritual was discovered in the burial chamber along with pages from a book written by her late mother Nina, that went missing the day she was found drowned.
After her mother’s death, and that of the members of The Order of Spellworkers and Druids six years ago, Jenna vowed to have nothing more to do with magic in any capacity. She returned to Orkney and thought she had built as tranquil and normal a life as possible under the circumstances, until she found the evidence in the burial chamber. It was obvious to Jenna by what remained that someone untrained was practicing dangerous magic rituals. Winston is sure what happened at the burial chamber and Nina’s death are connected and he needs her help. And just to add more confusion to the mix, ex-boyfriend Hal returns to the island.
Rachel Sinclair found it almost impossible to control the manifestations of heightened emotion and, as she read the notice of marriage in the paper, the result was extraordinary.
She pressed her hands flat against the surface of the water and looked up. Thick clouds, black and indigo, quilted the sky. Rain poured from them, each drop hitting the sea, creating a million tiny pinpricks on the surface. Gusts of wind battered her. Waves smacked against the shore, moving faster as the wind whipped them.
Rachel wondered if whatever she had unleashed at Maeshowe had removed her tenuous ability to control her power. Nina had helped her enormously but without her influence things were getting way out of hand and Rachel was scared. Even more so when something unprecedented occured at the church on the day of the wedding.
Storm Witch follows on from Beltane, focusing this time on Winston who was previously more of a secondary character. Both books conclude the main plot but the characters stories, development and the underlying story arc are continuous. Finn McCloud, also a druid and Winston’s good friend, along with Zoe Rose, his partner, who is a seer, join forces with Winston and Jenna after Zoe’s dreams forewarn of terrible events on Orkney.
Once again, Alys West has created a well written, compelling and visual story, full of magic as the theme of good versus evil plays out with a menacing atmosphere. It’s suspenseful and imaginative with wonderful, well fleshed out characters, set in a stunning location. I enjoyed how the plot unfolded, revealing more layers and surprising twists, not to mention the fact there is definitely scope for another book.
I chose to read and review Storm Witch based on a digital copy kindly supplied by the author.
Alys West writes contemporary fantasy and steampunk. She started writing when she couldn’t find enough books to read that had all of the elements she loved; fantasy, romance and suspense. Alys has a MA in Creative Writing from York St John University and teaches creative writing for the Centre for Lifelong Learning at the University of York. She’s also a book whisperer (like a book doctor but more holistic) and mentor to aspiring writers. When she’s not writing you can find her at folk gigs, doing yoga and attempting to crochet. She occasionally blogs at http://www.alyswest.com, intermittently tweets at @alyswestyork and spends rather too much time on Facebook where you can find her at Alys West Writer. She is also on Instagram at @alyswestwriter. To keep up with Alys’s news you can join her Facebook readers’ group ‘Druids, Spellworkers and Dirigibles’.