Sunday, November 4, 2012

SUNNY: BOOK REVIEW - "Bitter Night" by Diana Pharaoh Francis


Max is a Shadowblade Prime, the leader of the the Shadowblades who protect the witch Giselle at night.  She is a warrior with heightened strength and skills and a remarkable ability to heal.  She is great at her job. She is under a compulsion spell to protect Giselle but it doesn't dictate how she does it. Some would call her reckless, even a risk taker, she does whatever it takes to get things done.    Her secret?  She hates being a Shadowblade. She hates Giselle for making her into one.  She feels like she has nothing to lose.  Until...  Her home at Horngate is threatened by the Guardians want to the witches to help them wreck havoc on humanity for destroying too much magic on earth.  In the quest to protect Horngate, Max will use any and all resources available to her, including the help of a very attractive rival Prime from another witch.  Sparks fly as well as the blood, guts, and tears.  

This is just my cup of tea.  I love Max.  She is strong, focused, loyal, and caring despite herself.  She is a take-no-prisoners kinda gal. She thinks she is so hard-ass when in reality she is a softy.  When her home is threatened, she realizes how her crew has become her family.  Her tough exterior does not diminish the care she has for the people in her coven.  

Then there is Alexander.  As a rival prime, there is a lot of positioning between Alexander and Max, and they are like dry kindling just waiting for the spark to set them off.  Because he understands her, her responsibilities and struggles as a Prime, he manages to get under her skin (and sometimes under her clothes).  I have a difficult time saying this is a romance because it feels more like a fantasy with a theme of romance, but it is not the story itself.  It rolls out slowly and I appreciate that this is not a insta-love story.  The development reminds me of Kate and Curran in Ilona Andrew's  Kate Daniels stories. So far, it is deliciously drawn out!  Undoubtedly, there will be many stops and starts in this relationship, and I can't wait to see how it ends!

This takes place amidst some hard core kick-ass action.  It is graphic, brutal, bloody, and sounds awfully painful.  All of which gives this book it's gritty and dark appeal.  

What a wonderful start to a new series!  I can't wait to get on to the next book and I encourage you to get this one onto your reading shelf!

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