Monday, December 19, 2011

Early Review of Shadow City (Horngate Witches, #3) by Diana Pharaoh Francis

      "What do you want from me?" she asked carefully. She didn't want to anger it. She didn't know if she could survive another bout with its webs.
    "Yes. You will come to me. You will walk the web roads with me. You will speak to me truth and you will share your fire with me."
     Max swallowed. She didn't know what any of that meant. What had Giselle promised this creature? Not that it mattered. At the moment she needed to fetch the others and get into Horngate.
     "Sure, Scooter. Whatever blows your dress up." she said, not knowing if she'd just agreed to bear its children.  (Bitter Night - Horngate Witches #1; Page 304)

In 'Bitter Night', we learned Giselle made a deal with the devil, or god as the case may be, to keep the hidden back door entrance to Horngate protected. In exchange, she agreed to give him Max--once again proving how much Max's former best friend, Giselle, has no problem giving her a raw deal. In 'Crimson Wind', Max was able to hold off on her commitment to the nameless being until she rescued her family. Upon her return to the Horngate, she was whisked away by Scooter, as Max refers to the otherworldly creature. In this book, we finally find out what the godlike being has in store for Max, and it is definitely not a walk in the park.

While Max is away, Horngate is threatened by the birthing of a Fury outside its gates. It is said Fury's, aka Erinyes, "are born from the souls of women who have been brutally betrayed on a level that prevents their spirits from moving on."..."Their pain and betrayal are so deep and so massive because they embody the suffering of all women. Literally. It's an eternal reminder of what created them, as well as the source of their power. Their whole being is devoted to delivering justice and vengeance for the women who can't get it for themselves." According to Tutresiel, "When they rise, they are--" He grimaced and shook his head. "It is going to be ugly."  

There is so much going on in 'Shadow City'. The story toggles between what is going on with Max and what is going on at Horngate. Every time one of the stories gets really interesting the next chapter switches to the other story line. I was so tempted to skip chapters. The suspense was killing me.

We're introduced to new creatures and a new "world" in Max's portion of the story. Chandaré is the magical city Max travels to in order to help Scooter. He's the victim of betrayal, and he needs Max with her unique abilities to open locks and travel through the abyss, to get parts of him back. Years ago he was betrayed by friends who were envious of his power. They stole parts of him--his heart, silk, and horn. He waited for years for Max to come to his aid and time is running out. He is dying and only has a short time left in which to avoid death. Max knowing exactly what it's like to have a friend betray you, vows to make Scooter whole again or die trying.           

On the home front, there is the mystery of who the woman is that is becoming a Fury and what happened to her. There is also the drama of how to stop her from destroying the covenstead. Plus, not everyone will survive this one.

Why is the book called Shadow City? Well, here is the dialogue that I believe gave the book it's name:
"What's Chandaré? Where is it?"
"It's inside the abyss. It is the city of shadows."

Lastly, Max and Alexander finally get together. Yay! It only took till the third book, but it was worth it. On the Lisarenee Romance Rating Scale, this one gets a rating of STEAM - too hot for a fan, but you still have a handle on things. You should use extreme caution when reading a book with this rating in public. People may inquire as to why you looked flustered and flushed. Overall, I gave this one 4 1/2 out of 5 roses and am loving the series.
Order of series:

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