J.D. Horns third installment of the Witching Savannah series gets released tomorrow November 18, 2014. If you have been waiting you will not be disappointed. If you haven’t been waiting you can pick up all three books and read them without interruption. I was pleasantly surprised at how well Horn handled this book. ‘The Source’ is the second in this series, and was not nearly as strong as his debut novel ‘The Line.’ I admit I was a bit concerned about this book, but my worry was unfounded. The books focus on Mercy Taylor. She descends from a very powerful family of witches. The family is one of the 13 families that founded and control The Line. For most of her life she was the twin who had no power and was the disappointment. Poor Mercy is certainly put through the ringer. All joy and those she loves get stripped from her. We witness loss after loss, but Horn has a purpose for this other than to drive us and her to distraction. There are plenty of twists and turns. Several I didn’t guess. This is a story of a woman and a family trying to hold themselves together.
‘The Void’ starts with Mercy pregnant, married, and an anchor. The rest of the anchors view her and all Taylor’s as a liability that need to be mitigated and controlled. They are purposefully stifling Mercy’s powers. She should have been taught from birth about the line. That didn’t happen and as a result she is left ignorant of what she needs to know. In some ways this is a blessing. The anchors don’t know everything and their actions to protect the line are misguided. Mercy has a connection to it that is not hampered by years of misinterpretation and misunderstanding. She is their best hope. You have to believe the anchors are smart enough not to believe an old and foolish prophecy Mercy will be the line’s downfall.
When I was a child I spent some time in Savannah, Georgia which is where this clever story is set. Horn makes you feel as though you are there in its muggy beauty. Savannah is full of history. Horn ties it into his Witching Savannah series from Mercy’s liars tour to the purposeful locations of murders. The magic is also tied to Savannah’s history with magical practitioners of Hoodoo which has roots in the American South. It’s not a detailed history but Horn explores it enough that you have a basic understanding of the practice. It is enough for the purposes of this series.
This is my favorite of Witching Savannah. Horn did a fabulous job wrapping the story up. There is even potential for Horn to continue it if he wants too. I encourage anyone who has interest in the American South, interest in magic systems both historical and unique concepts, and family dynamics to read this book. The series is a coming of age tale but this third novel is all about being an adult and the hard choices one has to make for the greater good. At one point I felt Horn was taking notes from Robin Hobb. This is an odd connection as their stories have next to nothing in common other than both authors know how to inflict and extraordinary amount of pain on their characters for larger purposes. That being said it is a truly enjoyable novel and series.
I received ‘The Void’ from Netgalley and Amazon Publishing in return for an honest review.