Monday, November 15, 2010

Bitter Night by Diana Pharaoh Francis

Back of the book blurb:

The ancient Guardians of the earth are preparing to unleash widespread destruction on the mortal world, and they want the witches to help them. If the witches refuse, their covens will be destroyed, including Horngate, the place Max has grudgingly come to think of as home. Max thinks she can find a way to help Horngate stand against the Guardians, but doing so will mean forging dangerous alliances — including one with a rival witch’s Shadowblade, who is as drawn to Max as she is to him — and standing with the witch she despises. Max will have to choose between the old life she still dreams of and the warrior she has become, and take her place on the side of right — if she survives long enough to figure out which side that is….

I'm a huge fan of DPF's traditional fantasy works, especially her Crosspointe series. Her literary tone really suits the sub-genre. So, I was hesitant to try the urban fantasy. I'm glad I did.

I confess that the first quarter of the book had me confused. To be fair, I think that was more about me not being well read in urban fantasy, as opposed to it being the author's fault. I'm a newbie reader to the genre and I found that I had a lot to consume in a really short period of time. After about the mid-way point, I found I had adjusted to the information and was able to really get into things.

The heroine, Max, and I have a hate-love relationship. I didn't warm up to her until mid-book. The hero, Alexander, well...let's say that I took a shining to him immediately. In many ways, he made the book for me. I was unable to put the book down because of Alexander. And, eventually, because of Max. I'm glad Alex was included so early on; he gave me the anchor I needed to keep reading.

I really recommend lovers of urban fantasy to purchase this book; you'll have a blast as Max chows through 45 hamburgers and kicks ass in tight leather the next day (yes, that happened, but there is a very good explanation why she was able to pull off both). If you haven't read much urban fantasy, get a copy from the local and see if it's your thing. If not, I recommend "The Cipher" instead.

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