Title: The Water Witch
Author: Carol Goodman / Juliet Dark
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group – Ballantine
The Water Witch is the second in a series, the first being Demon Lover which I enjoyed very much—my review here—and it appears that there will be at least one more in the series because the end, though not a cliff-hanger, definitely demands more.
Ms Dark writes well, drawing the reader seamlessly into Callie’s experience. The story is set in an old house and the surrounding woods, and populated by witches, a succubus and an incubus, undines, Norse divinities, Scottish protectors and an intelligent mouse. We are also introduced to the Nephilem, in this case, elves that have been cast out of Fairie. These are not the good demon hunting nephilum of Cassandra Clare’s Mortal Instruments series, these are selfish beings who want control over the magical world, at least on this side of the veil.
Although I enjoyed reading the book, it wasn’t as original as the first one. The appearance of a new man in Callie’s life who isn’t what he seems was a major story device in the first book as well as this one. Callie does seem a bit thick for someone who is a college professor when she doesn’t question her rather quick attraction to Bill. Also the idea of magic being bound was thoroughly explored in A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness, so that theme, though evocatively and beautifully described in terms of the actual bonds here, was not a new one for me.
The story of the undines, however, was unique and their characters were quite delightful. I did find Liz’s willing recommendation of Duncan a little unbelievable. Even with the checks she supposedly made, the deal he struck with her should have been a red light to a woman as intelligent as she is supposed to be. As in the first book, my sympathies lie with Liam, and I found Callie decidedly slow in coming to the realisation that she does, in fact, love him.
Nevertheless, the story was well-structured and well-paced, and the sex scenes were elegantly written. If you enjoyed Demon Lover, you should read this one, and if you’re not sure about this one, then read Demon Lover. I’m keen to read the next in the series.
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 stream, 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.