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Crimson Wind (Horngate Witches Books) Mass Market Paperback – 28 Dec 2010

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Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 353 pages
  • Publisher: Pocket Books (28 Dec. 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1416598154
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416598152
  • Product Dimensions: 10.6 x 2.5 x 17.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 703,710 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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About the Author

Diana Pharaoh Francis has written the fantasy novel trilogy that includes Path of Fate, Path of Honor and Path of Blood. She has also written The Crosspointe Chronicles, which include The Cipher and The Black Ship. Diana teaches in the English department at the University of Montana Western. She is a lover of chocolate, Victoriana, and sparkly things. For more a lot more information including where to go to read her blog, maps of her worlds, updated news, and other odd and fun tidbits, visit DianaPFrancis.com or follow her @dianapfrancis. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By The Demon Librarian on 2 July 2011
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This was even better than the first book, and that's saying something!

The book picks up a few weeks after the events of Bitter Night. The Coven is on shaky legs and trying to get back to some semblance of order after the attacks that nearly buried them. Giselle is still weak and on the edge of her witchy control, and tensions are high for the Blades and Spears.

This isn't helped much by the addition of Alexander, whom no one- perhaps with the exception of Max- trusts further than they could throw him. Actually.... they could throw him pretty far, so that saying doesn't really work, but you get the idea.

Max is having an even harder time of it. As if ignoring the incredibly appealing Alexander wasn't trial enough, that damned pesky demigod, Scooter, keeps trying to snatch her away in her sleep. His nightly visits are causing her so much damage that her healing spells are about to lose their battle and one of these mornings, she might just not wake up.

She realises she has little choice but to go and see what the hell he wants. But she is in no way prepared for what he has to say...

I loved this storyline. As with the previous book it was both exciting and unusual. It reminded me in places of "A Journey to the Centre of the Earth". I find I enjoy urban fantasy that's quite heavy on the fantasy, like Kate Daniels, Cassandra Palmer, The Fever series, etc.

Give me weird creatures and people-eating plants and I'm a happy girl. Who knew?

I also loved all the sexual tension and emotional stuff. There was just enough to have you rooting for them, but not so much that you felt the need to wash your eyes. No gratuitous sex scenes as of yet.

Max is such a fantastic character.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 44 reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Crimson Wind 8 Jan. 2011
By R. Bogosh - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This sequel was even better than the first book in the series! We pick up where we left off with Max trying to get Horngate back on track and repaired from the recent fights that nearly destroyed it. Max though has been having trouble sleeping and is plagued by the bargain that Giselle and she struck with the unknown force she nicknames "Scooter". He wants what he was promised, Max, but first Max wants to go get her human family and take them to Horngate so they will be safe. She and Scooter come to the agreement that he can wait a week for her to get her family but once she gets back she's all his.

Max and Alexander set off to retrieve Max's family. Alexander has not one but two prophecies hanging over his head, one regards his place at Horngate and the other is about Max. I really enjoyed Alexander I thought he stepped up a lot in this book, and he really got to show more of his emotions. Along the way to Max's family they encounter new characters that we will hopefully see in the next book. Max picks up strays where ever she goes, and it was great to see that despite how cold and unfeeling she thinks she can be she has a big heart. This book was all about the trials to finally get to Max's family, at one point you wonder if they are ever going to make it. They encounter wild magic and witness the beginnings of the world changing, more ShadowBlades and Sunspears from different coven's, and we get to meet someone Alexander cares about and calls family. Throughout their journey these two grow closer and are trying to decide whether to act on their feelings or in Max's case not to because of her fate with Scooter hanging over her head.

This book was amazing, we got everything that was alluded to in the first book. Definite character growth for Max and Alexander, though I wish we got to see more of the side characters, the entire book was Alexander and Max on the road and at the end they reached the family. I wished we could have seen more of the side characters because they always bring comedic relief and you can really tell that they care deeply for one another. These was also a big surprise in this book, and a betrayal of sorts. It was something that I definitely didn't see coming and can't wait for it to be explored fully.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Must Read Series 29 Dec. 2010
By Addicted2Heroines - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I love, love, love this series!! Max is one of my absolute favorite female characters. I cannot come up with one single complaint about this book. I'm glad Alexander finally stepped up and became more aggressive. It was sexy as hell. Max definitely has to have a strong male who can keep up with her. There is a lot that goes on in this story. Max's ultimate goal is to locate her family and ensure their safety before having to surrender herself to a nameless and very powerful being that she has nicknamed "Scooter". She is sidetracked numerous times and she recruits several people along the way. There is also a lot of sexual tension and teasing between Alexander and Max. It was great ;) I also like that Tutresiel seems to be developing a crush on her. Maybe book three can end with Max in an Alexander and Tutresiel sandwich. I have my fingers crossed.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Meh! 15 Jan. 2011
By HHK - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
So, I really loved the first book in this series, Max is fierce and the world building really unique. I pre-ordered this book eagerly. However, I was somewaht dissappointed. The plot line is unnecessarily convoluted. There is no real movement in Max and Alexander's realtionship. I hate those teaser scenes, where they almost move beyond first base, but something interupts them and they have to ull away. When this happens 3-4 times over the course of the novel, it really feels like the author is stringing along the reader. I thought that the most interesting character was the dark angel. The ending of course is a big cliffhanger. I will still give the next book in the series a try.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Great sequel! 28 Jan. 2012
By Van @ Short and Sweet reviews - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Crimson Wind, is the second installment in the Horngate Witches series. The book picks up four weeks after the events from the previous book, Bitter Night. Max, Giselle, and the other shadowblades and sunspears are rebuilding their coven after being attacked by the guardians. On top on rebuilding the coven, max has become sleep deprive. Every time Max closes her eyes the creature "Scooter", that lives underneath Horngate keeps trying to take her in her sleep. Scooter keeps on mentioning that Max is his "gift", which no one knows what that means. Scooter then shows Max a glimpse of her human family in danger, and gives her about a week to retrieve them before he pulls her back to him (he attaches something to her arm, which is like an invisible leash). Max sets out to save her family with Alexander of all people to keep her watch her back and make sure that she comes back alive.

Crimson Wind, is an excellent addition to the series and even better than the first! The book captured my attention right away. The book opens up with Max having another dream, where Scooter is trying to take her away and shortly after that Max goes out to retrieve her family. There's never a boring moment in the book, it's jammed packed with nonstop action. The chemistry between Max and Alexander is scorching! I love their interaction as they try to fight their attraction to one another. The secondary characters such as the shadowblades (warriors who can only go out in the night time) and sunspears (warriors who can only go out in the day time) are a joy to read. They have a great sense of humor, are fiercely loyal, and all have their own distinct personalities. If you're interested in looking for a new urban fantasy with a strong heroine, and an amazing cast of characters look no further. This series will need to be read in order to get the full effect of the great world building and characters. The order of the books are as follows; Bitter Night, Crimson Wind and Shadow City. Many other readers felt like this book had nothing to do with the first book, that it was a filler book but I disagree. The book gives us another perspective into Max's life besides her being a shadowblade prime (leader of the shadowblades) and we get to meet her family and learn more about her.

I highly recommend this series to all urban fantasy fans. If you haven't read this series, you're really missing out! This is a truly great sequel and I can't wait to get my hands on the third book, Shadow City.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Liked It...But I'm Perplexed 21 May 2011
By Tracy - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
It's been four weeks since Max and the Horngate Witches, Shadowblades, and Sunspears fought off the initial attack of the genocidal Guardians, gaining two powerful angels as allies in the aftermath of the melee. Max suffers no delusions, though. She has no doubt that whatever the Guardians have planned next is going to make that battle seem like a picnic in the park as they rid the earth of humans and bring back the magic that has long since slipped from the world.

As Prime to the witch-bitch Giselle, Max is compelled by magic to protect Horngate and defend the Witch to the death. That job would be considerably less complicated if Giselle hadn't given Max over to the godlike entity Max calls Scooter, who is demanding in no uncertain terms that Max fulfill her promise to him and come with him to walk the web between worlds. Not that Max has any idea what that means...or what Scooter is, really. In fact, all she knows is that this is one promise she can't get out of alive...and one that may kill her by fulfilling.

Adding to Max's angst is the need to save the human family that she was ripped away from thirty years ago, as well as her conflicting emotions for Alexander, former Prime of the witch Selange but now freely associated with Horngate and considered one of her Shadowblades. Yeah, nothing quite like being caught between about five different rocks and six hard places to really spice up her life.

Now she's got to make a deal with Scooter for a little more time, then take a road trip through hell - literally - to get her family out of California and back to the relative safety of Horngate. And according to Giselle, she's got to take Alexander along with her to watch her back. If she survives, she has to give herself to Scooter. If she dies, so do many people under her protection. Either way, she's going to end up losing that which is most important to her, her home and the people there. Especially one very proud, very virile Prime who looks at her with emotions in his eyes that terrify her more than Guardians, Scooter, and an impending apocalypse combined.

This strong second installment to the Horngate Witches series was actually a bit more enjoyable a read for me than the first. From a technical standpoint, it's free from several of the issues I had with Bitter Night, with a better balance between description, world definition, mythos, and action. The exposition was thoroughly but succinctly handled, refreshing the minds of readers familiar with the series without weighing them down with an excessive rehash of information they already have, but providing a comprehensive summary of the previous events for readers new to the series. I even found myself much fonder of Alexander, who I had some problems with in the previous book.

Action scenes were plentiful and brutal, and Francis isn't any easier on Max or Alexander in this one. The plot is a little more focused, narrower in scope and mostly encompassing the road trip Max and Alexander go on to get her family. We also get a clearer picture of who Max is and what drives her, and are awarded several tense glimpses at her inner demons. And those are some nasty little buggers.

I do wish we'd have fewer prescient or far-sight prophecies flying around as the series continues. As a reader, I don't like when results of vague prognostication is used as points of conflict or as glimpses of future events. It tends to decrease my emotional investment if I know what's coming - even if I don't necessarily know how it's coming - and it leaves a pall over unfolding events if that glimpse is less than favorable. It can be a useful tool, sure, but in this book it was a plot device used more than once and not always successfully.

At the center of the series is the complex and often conflicted Max, a bitter woman cloaked in barely caged rage at her circumstances, but a woman of strength and valor, with nearly suicidal heroic tendencies, who is just now starting to let some of the people around her in a little bit as she begins to realize how much she cares for them. She yearns for revenge against Giselle, which causes her physical pain, and often her loathing of what was done to her makes her downright frightful, yet her honor is unquestionable and her dedication unwavering.

It's clear from this book that while Giselle and Max may have reached an accord of sorts and agreed to a detente in the first book, neither forgiveness nor acceptance will be on the table any time in the near future. Their unique dynamic and the relationship Max has with her Shadowblades were the most compelling and unique aspects of the series premiere, Bitter Night, and is part of the cause for my perplexity in Crimson Wind, because the plot here precludes much interaction with Giselle or the Blades and Spears. There are several plot threads woven nicely into this book, and I was fascinated by some of the revelations about Max's family, but I'm left feeling a little confused as to the direction of the series given the events of this book, including a scene that introduces two characters that seemed rather superfluous in the big picture, and I'm unsure where the author is going with Max's character.

In fact, several times I found myself frustrated with Max, and wish familiar and fond secondary characters had a larger role to balance out some of the more annoying evidence of her emotional retardation. As much as I think the romantic subplot between Alexander and Max was much better defined and had a ton more emotion in it, the constant friction between them started to get to me after awhile and the rehashing of their different positions started to feel a little repetitive in theme. A bit more variety in characters and conflict would have been appreciated.

Crimson Wind is an odd book in that I enjoyed the story here more than I did Bitter Night, but was left with significant questions about the direction it seems to take the series and a drive to have those questions answered. With a long wait until the December 2011 release of the third book in the series, I'm going to have to be patient for those answers, because regardless of the issues and questions raised by either book, I can't argue that Francis has created a series that is original, fresh, and has a lot of promise. I'm highly motivated to see what comes next.

~*~*~*~
Reviewed for One Good Book Deserves Another.
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