Author: Trish Milburn
Publisher: BellBridge Books
Genre: YA paranormal
This is the second book in the Coven series by Trish Milburn and I loved reading it every bit as much as I did the first one. In White Witch, Jax leaves her mobster-style witch coven and tries to start an independent life. For a time she had what she wanted, a normal life, an amazing boyfriend and a best friend—until her family found her. Though she finds the strength to resist when they try to take her back, in order to protect the people they love, she and her cousin Eagon leave the town they had come to know as home.
Bane begins with Jax and Eagon in Salem, searching for information that will help them end the rule of the evil covens and help Jax control the power she absorbed from the earth at the end of White Witch. She doesn’t want to fall into the dark side like the rest of her family, but the power inside her urges her to hate and destroy.
In Salem, she finds the Bane, a secret group of witches dedicated to thwarting the covens. She desperately needs their help, but will they trust her enough, and can she trust herself not to succumb to the darkness? Jax is determined to make the world safe from the covens, but first she has to make the world safe from herself.
This story is a powerful allegory for everyone’s battle with their destructive emotions. As one of the Bane points out, the more she chooses the light, the easier it is to choose the light again and the more the darkness recedes. Of course, the opposite is also true, and the little things are as important as the big things. It’s easy to fall into hatred and desire for revenge when someone you love is killed, but what does giving in to that do to the darkness inside you? These are the kind of issues the story raises, along with themes of the power of friendship, trust and love.
Jax is a gutsy heroine with a strong sense of right and wrong but, like all of us, when her negative emotions take control, her best side can disappear in an instant. It’s a struggle that, not surprisingly, isn’t resolved in one book. The end is a cliff-hanger and the only thing that stopped me screaming in frustration (I really hate cliff-hangers) is that the first chapter of the next book was also included in the file I read. That chapter should have been the end of Bane. It would have been a satisfying ending that made a powerful point. As it is, the book leaves you hanging in an uncomfortable place.
I certainly want to read the next book. I give this one 4 stars—one off for the cliff-hanger ending. I highly recommend this series to all readers who like fantasy, regardless of their age.