SERPENT’S KISS picks up where the first installment of the Witches of East End concluded. This twisting, turning novel features many familiar characters from WITCHES OF EAST END, including all three daughters of the Beauchamp family: Joanna, who possesses the ability to raise the dead; Ingrid, a healer with magical powers; and Freya, who specializes in matters of love.
"Melissa de la Cruz does a superb job of drawing readers into the story with richly developed characters. She also has a lot of fun creating characters who are ancient witches living in modern times... If you haven’t picked up this book yet, I recommend that you run to the bookstore or download it now. It makes for a perfect summer read."
The first book in the series introduced readers to Freya’s brother, Freddie. In SERPENT'S KISS, Freddie is back from Limbo with one goal on his agenda: to prove that he didn’t take a trident that was a powerful object in WITCHES OF EAST END. Freddie tells Freya that her boyfriend, Killian, is responsible for sending him to Limbo. He believes that Killian caused the collapse of the Bofrir bridge, an event that diminished the gods’ powers. Freddie accuses Killian of framing him for the accident, claiming that when he arrived at the scene, the bridge had already been destroyed. Freya feels hopelessly conflicted: she loves Killian but is loyal to her brother. No matter how painful it is for her, however, the question must be answered: Who is responsible for taking the trident?
The Beauchamps are helped along their way by bands of pixies. The pixies prove to be expert thieves, although the clues they divulge about the perpetrator of the Bofrir bridge incident and the missing trident are somewhat misleading. Meanwhile, a benign spirit named Anne Barklay contacts Joanna. However, the spirit is unable to protect Joanna, as Anne was accused of witchcraft in the late 17th century.
Joanna sends Freya back in time to help Anne, but Freya gets into trouble while trying to rescue her. Freddie arrives on the scene to help them travel back to the present day. Weakened from time traveling, he is approached by Valkyries who try to take him back to Limbo. Will he be framed again for a crime he claims he didn’t commit? SERPENT'S KISS ends with a cliffhanger that left me eagerly waiting for the third book in the series.
Melissa de la Cruz does a superb job of drawing readers into the story with richly developed characters. She also has a lot of fun creating characters who are ancient witches living in modern times: they have jobs, romances and lead interesting lives. The story slowly unpeels complicated layers of the history of witches while unveiling clues about the trident mystery. Be sure to reference the family trees and the author's listing of the "nine worlds," both of which are useful reading tools. If you haven’t picked up this book yet, I recommend that you run to the bookstore or download it now. It makes for a perfect summer read.
Reviewed by Kathleen M. Purcell on July 6, 2012