Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Book Review: The Water Witch

The Water Witch (Fairwick Chronicles, #2)Author: Juliet Dark
Publication Date: February 12, 2013
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Series: Fairwick Chronicles # 2

Perfect for fans of Deborah Harkness and Elizabeth Kostova, The Water Watch is a breathtakingly sexy and atmospheric new novel of ancient folklore, passionate love, and thrilling magic.

After casting out a dark spirit, Callie McFay, a professor of gothic literature, has at last restored a semblance of calm to her rambling Victorian house. But in the nearby thicket of the Honeysuckle Forest, and in the currents of the rushing Undine River, more trouble is stirring. . . .

The enchanted town of Fairwick’s dazzling mix of mythical creatures has come under siege from the Grove: a sinister group of witches determined to banish the fey back to their ancestral land. With factions turning on one another, all are cruelly forced to take sides. Callie’s grandmother, a prominent Grove member, demands her granddaughter’s compliance, but half-witch/half-fey Callie can hardly betray her friends and colleagues at the college.

To stave off disaster, Callie enlists Duncan Laird, an alluring seductive academic who cultivates her vast magical potential, but to what end? Deeply conflicted, Callie struggles to save her beloved Fairwick, dangerously pushing her extraordinary powers to the limit—risking all, even the needs of her own passionate heart

“‘You need me to open a door?’ I had learned in the past year that I was descended on my father’s side from a long line of “doorkeepers” – a type of fairy that could open the door between the two worlds. By a lucky – or perhaps unlucky, depending on how you looked at it – coincidence, the last door to Faerie was here in Fairwick, New York. So far my unusual talent had brought me nothing but grief and trouble.” – Finished Copy pg. 8

“It was the iron bracelet I had clamped onto his wrist four months ago to banish him. Once the bracelet was on his wrist all I had had to do was turn the key to the right to send him into the Borderlands, but at the last minute I hadn’t been able to do it. Touching that cold iron now I remembered how I’d chosen to dissolve into the shadows with him rather than lose him. I had begun to merge with him – a piece of me had merged with the shadows – a piece that still felt like it was a part of his dark matter. I looked up into his face and saw that his eyes were on my chest.” – Finished Copy pg. 36

“As I approached the group, the blond woman lifted her head and shook her long hair back from her face, revealing strikingly beautiful features. At the sight of her, I heard hells and felt slightly woozy – invariably my reaction when in the presence of Fiona Eldritch, the Fairy Queen.” – Finished Copy pg. 64

“That’s what he was made of – leaf shadow and mountain stream, moss and Faerie light. Once he had been flesh and blood, but over the centuries his body had filled with Aelvesgold, the substance of Faerie. I wanted to pull that thick gold light into me, to feel that rush of wild water moving through me. I looked into his leaf green eyes and asked a question I didn’t know was on my lips.” – Finished Copy pg. 71

I have been a fan of Juliet Dark since the first book in this series was published. I was immediately captured by the dark, gothic elements that are infused in her writing. Being an English teacher myself, I have a rich appreciation for literature like this book and this series as a whole. In the second book in this series we follow Callie McFay, our heroine, and her newly discovered powers. Callie has just recently learned the secrets of the small town called Fairwick, which she now calls home, and is beginning to learn the secrets behind the grand Victorian manor she has just purchased as well. Callie is trying to recover from the loss of her incubus lover, Liam, but doesn’t know that in the magical world things never get better; they only get worse.

Callie is an even stronger character in this book than she was in the first book in this series. She is starting to come into her powers and becomes more comfortable with the magical community. Callie is the doorkeeper to the Faerie, which I find just fascinating, because of her specialized abilities and connections with the magical realm. The magical community that she associates with also grows in this book as well. Being a lover of all things literature and hoping to be a college professor one day myself, I simply adore the fact that the women she works with, her colleagues with the college, are in fact magical as well. This speaks to the world building as well, which could not be more in depth and more perfectly infused with elements we find frequently in gothic literature.

Mimicking traits of gothic literature, the novel is full of beautiful imagery that allows readers to transport themselves into the magical life of Callie. The action and the pace of this book also move at a nice pace and the suspense builds more in this book than it did in the first one. Because of the complexity of the story line, I would suggest that you read the first book in this series first. Do not mistake this for complaining; I simply want readers to enjoy the series in its full form. This truly is a wonderfully developed magical world and I honestly believe the second book was even better than the first! I am so excited for the third book in this series, and I hope it releases sooner rather than later.

***A big thank you to the publishers at Ballantine Books for my copy of this book, which was given to me in exchange for my honest review***

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