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Saturday, August 04, 2018

The King of Bones and Ashes by J. D. Horn

From Goodreads:

Magic is seeping out of the world, leaving the witches who’ve relied on it for countless centuries increasingly hopeless. While some see an inevitable end of their era, others are courting madness—willing to sacrifice former allies, friends, and family to retain the power they covet. While the other witches watch their reality unravel, young Alice Marin is using magic’s waning days to delve into the mystery of numerous disappearances in the occult circles of New Orleans. Alice disappeared once, too—caged in an asylum by blood relatives. Recently freed, she fears her family may be more involved with the growing crisis than she ever dared imagine.

Yet the more she seeks the truth about her family’s troubled history, the more she realizes her already-fragile psyche may be at risk. Discovering the cause of the vanishings, though, could be the only way to escape her mother’s reach while determining the future of all witches.

The King of Bones and Ashes is an atmospheric story filled with mystery, voodoo and different types of magic. There is a lot packed in, and I can't help but compare it to Anne Rice's The Witching Hour, which is what I was hoping for, though not quite what I got. This story builds slowly, with a lot of character set up, starting in the past to set the stage and moving to the present where family rivalries and grudges are in full swing. Most of the action happens towards the end, so I expect that book two will not have the time dedicated to set up that this first book had. While I did enjoy it, some elements were confusing, and I feel that some were not as fully fleshed out as they needed to be. While the write up leads you to believe Alice is the main character, it really skips around between several stories, and Alice isn't as strong of a character as I would have liked. I'm mildly interested to see where it goes next, but I'm not sure I was as drawn in as by the author's Witching Savannah series of which I've read The Line and the Source, which I do intend to continue.

There is a lot of interest here, it may just be a little slower to get going. 3/5 stars.

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