J.D. Horn introduces us to the addicting series ‘Witching Savannah’ with ‘The Line.’ This book is set in Savannah, Georgia and the magic that lives there. Mercy is the daughter of a powerful family of society witches, but Savannah is also home to hoodoo root doctors and a bevy of ghosts. Residents are used to the unexpected and unexplainable.
Mercy has a fraternal twin, Maizy. When they were born their mother died bringing Mercy into the world. Mercy barely survived and was born powerless but her beautiful, loving twin was born with an extraordinary amount. While Mercy felt the sting of neglect she also had freedom. Mercy was openly called ‘The Disappointment,’ and Maizy was showered with attention but also expectation. It would have been easy for Mercy to be jealous but she found all the love she needed in her twin.
Minor romance drama leads Mercy to reach out to a dangerous, disdained, Root Doctor named Mother Jilo. Mercy has fallen in love with Maizy’s boyfriend, but she is not looking for Jilo to have him fall in love with her. She wants Jilo to cast a spell on Mercy to fall in love with her best friend who she knows would make her happy. Jilo explains the basics of magic and power, something her family never bothered to do. Jilo can cast this but only with sacrifice…not guilt. Mercy sees the mistake but Jilo won’t turn back warning her family and her trust in them is misplaced. The intrigue begins.
The next day her evil Aunt Ginny dies. More accurately, she is murdered. Mercy had been summoned to Ginny, the families seat of power and anchor to The Line. As Mercy enters the room she sees her Aunt has just had her head severed. Like a normal human, she doesn’t call the police she screams drawing her family to the scene. The search for the culprit begins and opens doors to many family secrets and questions. Mercy learns her Aunt was an Anchor to The Line, a magical barrier created by thirteen witch families and held in place by thirteen witches to protect the world from demons. Demons that would enslave us. Ginny’s seat of power is empty and the vacuum must be filled. The families descend.
Horn has given us good YA fiction. It’s loosely YA, as Mercy is twenty, but it is coming of age. The romance is minimal and secondary to learning to deal with your family as adults, and finding purpose and a place in the world. It just takes place in a beautiful gothic construction of Savannah with witches. It passes the Bechdel test, and it’s a good mystery. I listened to an audible version narrated by Shannon McMannus. She has a beautiful southern accent that made me feel like I was in Savannah. She also did well with character differentiation. If you enjoy audible books this is a good series to listen to. It is lighter fare but well worth your time. I’ve picked up the second in the series.