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The Mist-Torn Witches by Barb Hendee
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The Mist-Torn Witches

by Barb Hendee

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I liked it well enough. Hated the relationship between Amelie and the dick soldier. ( )
  lythande | May 20, 2016 |
Quick & Dirty: Fast, engaging fantasy read about two sisters and how secrets almost tore them apart.

Opening Sentence: My name is Céline Fawe, and I am a Mist-Torn witch.

Excerpt: Yes

The Review:

The Mist-Torn Witches is a fantasy series that follows two sisters who have vowed to do whatever they can to protect each other. Ever since their mother died, they made a pact to put each other first in order to survive this terribly harsh world. Set in a dark fantasy world, with a hint of the supernatural, these two sisters only have each other and the hope that they may live in a better place. The town that Céline and Amelie is in bad shape. The villagers barely have food while Céline and Amelie are only a little better off because of Céline’s lucrative business. Céline fakes being a seer and pretends to read peoples futures by reading their body language. Her mom was a true seer and Céline just sees this as a way to keep the family business going. They also run an apothecary helping people with potions, ailments and medicine.

One day a woman visits Céline with an offer that she just can’t turn down, it comes with a lot of money that could help them. Céline finds that she can’t do the job after all. She hopes that she can explain herself but before she can do that Céline and Amelie are attacked and their home/business was burned down. Luckily for them, they are being watched by a potential ally and rescued. They are taken to Prince Anton’s palace. The surrounding town is already much better off than their hometown. Prince Anton agrees to let them stay only if they can solve the mystery of why young girls are found shriveled up. The sisters have to decide if solving this deadly mystery is worth the safety of living in this town.

Céline and Amelie have always put each other first but after Céline gets a real vision she hides her secret from her sister. They begin to grow apart as the story goes along. The sisters also get their first look into a possible romantic love interest. Céline has two guys vying for her interest, one who tries to keep his interest hidden and another who might be a little too interested. Amelie has the best love interest in Jaromir. This guy is pretty badass and people respect him. Jaromir is a little embarrassed by the amount of trust he gets from everyone.

The Mist-Torn Witches is almost a dark fantasy. The world isn’t good but there are some funny moments and Prince Anton’s is almost a nice, sunny spot in this dark world. Yes, girls are dying and there is something wrong with Prince Anton that nobody seems to notice. Céline and Amelie’s skills come into great use to help heal this town. I would recommend this book for the older reader. There are some adult situations. This story is also told through several third person points of view including Céline, Amelie and Jaromir.

Céline is the older sister who relies on her people skills and her good looks to get by in life. She hides behind her lies and doesn’t really open up to people except for Amelie. She really wants a life here and she is scared that she may not be able to solve the murders. When strange things begin to happen to her, she keeps things hidden and doesn’t tell her sister because she is scared of what her sister may think.

Amelie is the younger sister who is well skilled in swordsmanship and uses her skills to protect her sister. Amelie seems to be the quiet, shy one but she integrates with the people of the new town to find out what they think could possibly be the cause of these strange murders. Amelie is also more open to her possible romantic entanglement towards Jaromir.

I loved the writing style of Barb Hendee. She is descriptive and she doesn’t waste time getting to the meat of the story. I actually devoured this novel in a few short hours. I know this is a spin-off series from the Noble Dead Sagas, which I do have on my TBR pile and want to read more about this world. The only thing I was most disappointed in was the romantic relationships (I’ve been reading too many romances.). I wanted something definitive but I’ll just have to wait for further books in this series.

Overall, if you like fantasy that isn’t over 600 pages. I would recommend giving this one a try. It was a good set up book that didn’t feel like a world dump. I’m looking forward to The Witches in Red.

Notable Scene:

As he got the door unlocked and shoved it open, Inna came rushing out, gasping for breath. “She’s dead! Dead!”

Jaromir ran past her into the room, and Amelie followed with Celine at her heels.

There, lying in the bed, was the dried husk of what had been Sybil. Her lovely brown hair was spread on the pillow, but her face was nothing more than shriveled skin adhered to bones.

“Oh, no,” Amelie whispered.

None of this made sense. Céline walked to the bed and looked down at a yellow-and-red-checked quilt.

“Inna!” she nearly shouted. “Where did this come from?”

Amelie blinked. The quilt? Why would Céline care about that?

“What is it?” Jaromir asked, his eyes moving to the quilt.

“This wasn’t here before,” Céline said. “Where did it come from?” She sounded brittle.

One of the other soldiers dragged Inna back inside, and she simply pointed at a chest across the room. “We were cold. I took it out.”

Céline closed her eyes. “It wasn’t here before,” she whispered.

The Mist-Torn Witches:

1. The Mist-Torn Witches

2. Witches in Red

3. Witches with the Enemy

4. Cry of the Kettle Witch (May 2016)

crow4

FTC Advisory: I purchased my own copy of The Mist-Torn Witches. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review. ( )
  DarkFaerieTales | Aug 6, 2015 |
I don't use star ratings, so please read my review!

(Description nicked from B&N.com.)

“In a small village in the nation of Droevinka, orphaned sisters Céline and Amelie Fawe scrape out a living selling herbal medicines in their apothecary shop. Céline earns additional money by posing as a seer and pretending to read people’s futures.

But they exist in a land of great noble houses, all vying for power, and when the sisters refuse the orders of a warlord prince, they must flee and are forced to depend on the warlord prince’s brother, Anton, for a temporary haven.

A series of bizarre deaths of pretty young girls is plaguing the village surrounding Prince Anton’s castle. He offers Céline and Amelie permanent protection if they can use their “skills” to find the killer.

With little choice, the sisters enter a world unknown to them—of fine gowns and banquets and advances from powerful men. Their survival depends on catching a murderer who appears to walk through walls and vanish without a trace—and the danger grows with each passing night.”

This story takes place in the world of Hendee’s Noble Dead series, which I wasn’t aware of when I got the book. The only other books of Hendee’s that I’ve read are the Vampire Memories books, which I thoroughly enjoyed. Based on that liking, and even though I thought I might find things a bit confusing, I decided to give this one a try. And I’m glad that I did.

The best word for this book is “entertaining”. Hendee’s writing is clear and cleanly executed, and I find that her prose sucks me in from the first page. I actually can’t pinpoint exactly what it is about her writing that resonates so strongly with me, but I find her stories to be incredibly easy to fall into. Perhaps it comes from the fact that you can easily see all the common fantasy elements, but the author plays with them in ways that you don’t expect. It makes the story both comfortingly familiar and new and interesting at the same time.

I really liked the main characters, Celine and Amelie. They’re quite different personality-wise, but at the same time, you can definitely see the familial bonds between them. They’re strong too—both stand up for themselves and for what they truly believe in, and the author doesn’t shy away from showing what that means in a culture that’s male-dominated. The two show glimmers of interest in certain men in the story, but those are hints only, thus keeping the novel from heading into the all-too-familiar romance territory of many fantasies.

The novel’s mystery is well crafted. It has just enough supernatural activity in it to keep it from being too mundane, but there is some solid grounding in logical exploration of the crimes. There is a secondary story that runs alongside the main plotline, and they work together nicely. There are more than a few hints of medieval politics thrown into the mix, but again, Hendee balances everything so well that everything flows smoothly towards the novel’s conclusion.

The best praise that I can give this novel is that after reading it, I found myself thinking of picking up the related Noble Dead books and giving them a try. Given the size of my reading list, that’s saying something! If those stories are as interesting as this one was, I run the risk of getting too involved in them to read anything else.

This is one of those novels that I think would be great for getting people into the fantasy genre. It has lots of fantasy’s traditional elements, it has a clear and straightforward plot, the characters are engaging, and it’s well written. The Mist-Torn Witches is a perfect summer read, so take along with you to the beach or the park or wherever you end up.

This review originally appeared on Owlcat Mountain on June 14, 2013.
  shelfreflection | Jun 14, 2013 |
Alright I admit it, I was skeptical. I didn't think I would like MIST-TORN WITCHES. It didn't seem like a book I would enjoy, I was wrong. Not only did I like it, I'm excited to see what will happen next!

Celine has been taking care of Amelie since their mother died. She fakes being a seer to make money and put food on the table. She has a good reputation as a seer and when someone pays her to tell a client something she has no problem agreeing, only when she touches the client she actually sees her future and can not lie to her. Even though Amelie is the youngest of the sisters she is the protector. She is fierce, determined and loyal. The two sisters are the opposite of each other but fit together perfectly. They both have their issues but a lot of situations that present themselves in the book for them to grow and change. There are a few love interests but no real romance in MIST-TORN WITCHES. I'm sure things will develop in a later book though. Lets talk about the cover. The setting is great and Celine I could picture spot on but I had a hard time picturing Amelie looking like the model. She just didn't fit with what I had in my head.

MIST-TORN WITCHES was a great mix of introduction, mystery and conclusion. There was plenty of story to read and plot to build on for future books. The characters were easy to follow and invest my time in. I was not disappointed and I'm confidant you won't be either. ( )
  STACYatUFI | May 15, 2013 |
Our Review, by LITERAL ADDICTION's Pack Alpha - Michelle L. Olson:
*ARC provided by the Author in exchange for an honest review

Let me just start out by saying that the writing of Barb Hendee never fails to amaze me...

Mist Torn Witches combines the same type of incredibly vivid characters and heart that I've come to know and love from Barb's Vampire Memories series, with the superb fantastical world, danger & action that I seek out & devour in Barb & JC's Noble Dead Saga. The combination in this series debut was an utterly compelling & captivating new Fantasy with characters I can't wait to follow for a good long time, & an intriguing & mysterious world I will happily get lost in again & again!

Our leading ladies, Celine and Amelie, are exactly what I love in my heroines - they're independent, strong, perfectly flawed, and despite the fantasy, undeniably 'real' and relatable. Following their journey as they each followed their head and/or their heart, as they made mistakes and learned from them, as they loved and lost and grew as people was wonderful. You couldn't help but feel what they felt and root for them at each turn.

The story was steadily engaging with the perfect arc and never a lag. It had just the right amount of twists and turns, a wonderful number of surprises, and plenty of action. And while it is a fantasy series, there was no cliffhanger. It wrapped up nicely, but left a world of possibilities for the next books; exactly what a good serial debut should do!

LITERAL ADDICTION gives The Mist Torn Witches 5 Skulls. I am so happy to have another Hendee obsession to follow. :) ( )
  LITERALADDICTION | May 5, 2013 |
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Book description
Two orphaned sisters-one an apothecary, the other a fighter-who discovery they are more. One pretending to be fortune teller, is hired to by a Prince to find a killer. But they discover that it is not all pretense--one can see the future and one can see the past. Not a bad skill set for uncovering crimes and political intrigue if they can, literally, keep their heads.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0451414152, Mass Market Paperback)

National bestselling author Barb Hendee presents a dark, fascinating new world and the story of two sisters who will discover they have far more power than they ever envisioned….

In a small village in the nation of Droevinka, orphaned sisters Céline and Amelie Fawe scrape out a living selling herbal medicines in their apothecary shop. Céline earns additional money by posing as a seer and pretending to read people’s futures.

But they exist in a land of great noble houses, all vying for power, and when the sisters refuse the orders of a warlord prince, they must flee and are forced to depend on the warlord prince’s brother, Anton, for a temporary haven.

A series of bizarre deaths of pretty young girls is plaguing the village surrounding Prince Anton’s castle. He offers Céline and Amelie permanent protection if they can use their “skills” to find the killer.

With little choice, the sisters enter a world unknown to them—of fine gowns and banquets and advances from powerful men. Their survival depends on catching a murderer who appears to walk through walls and vanish without a trace—and the danger grows with each passing night.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:10:18 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

In exchange for protection under Prince Anton, orphaned sisters Celine and Amelie Fawe agree to use their skills as seers to solve a series of bizarre deaths, forcing them to navigate a dark and mysterious world where they discover they have more power than they could have ever imagined.… (more)

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