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Friday, May 17, 2013

The Mist-Torn Witches by Barb Hendee

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Terrance McArthur

Details on how to win a copy of this book at the end of this post.

It was an easy job. All the herbalist-“seer” had to do was tell a noblewoman that her marriage was a good idea, and she would be well paid. When the pretend fortune-teller suddenly receives a horrifying vision of the young woman’s future, she and her sister find their apothecary shop and gardens burned, their lives in danger, and their safety and fortunes in the hands of rugged strangers.

The Mist-Torn Witches is the first in a new set of books by Barb Hendee, author of the Vampire Memories series (Ghosts of Memories) and co-author of the Noble Dead Saga (The Dog in the Dark).

The never-before psychic Céline and her weapon-wielding, breeches-wearing sister Amelie find themselves whisked from their downtrodden, warlord/Sub-Prince-ruled village to a cheerful castle-village and access to the kind-but-sickly Sub-Prince Anton, where the mysterious deaths of young, lovely women are baffling Anton and Lieutenant Jaromir. As Céline’s true powers begin to manifest themselves, she uses her curiosity to explore, interrogate, and search for clues. Is this all part of a plot to keep Anton from inheriting the princedoms, or is there something more sinister happening?

Image source: Penguin

This is not a hero-and-villain fairy tale. Good characters will lie, steal, sneak around, poison, and kill, if they think they should. Villains operate for the greater good. It is interesting to see Céline’s transition from play-acting mystic to someone with great abilities. There are the beginnings of romance (the traditional I-hate-you-and-fight-with-you-but-am-strangely-drawn-to-you style), a very interesting murder weapon, and a world that Barb and her husband had previously developed for another series.

The penchant for lengthy flashbacks at the drop of a raindrop shown in the Noble Dead books seems to be more controlled, here. Their causes are better explained by the situations, and they give background without looking like information dumps, piles of information that the author is certain you need to know. I really liked the Vampire Memories series, but I think I like this set-up even more.

Even though this is the first installment in a new series, it does not end with a cliffhanger. The mystery is solved, evil is punished, and good is rewarded…for now. There are issues that still need to be resolved, powers yet to be explored, and readers to be enchanted.

To enter to win a copy of The Mist-Torn Witches, simply email KRL at life@kingsriverlife[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “Mist”, or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen May 25, 2013. U.S. residents only.

Terrance V. Mc Arthur is a California-born, Valley-raised librarian/entertainer/writer. He lives in Sanger, four blocks from the library, with his wife, his daughter, and a spinster cat.


  1. Sounds like a story I would like to read!

    1. You are the winner of "Mist-Town Witches" by Barb Hendee. Can you please send me your mailing address? Send to the email posted above in the contest info.
      We need to hear from you this week or another winner will be chosen
      Lorie Ham, KRL Publisher

  2. I like to read about witches and werewolves and whatnot. Fantasy is the best!

  3. Sounds like an interesting read :)

  4. We have a winner!
    Lorie Ham, KRL Publisher