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The Book of the Unwinding: A Witches of New Orleans Novel

Review

The Book of the Unwinding: A Witches of New Orleans Novel

Magic is dwindling in New Orleans, and the few remaining witches left standing after the massacre are slowly dying without their power. They are now banding together to find a book that they believe will offer them unimaginable power. The Book of the Unwinding is a mystery, and no one knows where to look or who to trust in the search. In fact, they aren’t even sure the book will help, but they don’t have much else to believe in at this point.

What little magic is left in the city begins to turn on the resident witches. Fleur Marin needs to renew her power to protect her daughter and is willing to join forces with Evangeline Caissy, her brother’s ex-lover and now a powerful witch, to gain control of the book. Evangeline is having problems of her own and would rather drink herself into a stupor than help Fleur or her family.

"All the characters have evolved in this series, which means that it’s thoroughly enjoyable as a reader to see how magic --- and the lack thereof --- has affected the witches and the city."

Then there’s Nathalie Boudreau, a woman with psychic talents and a penchant for showing up when and where she’s needed. She now finds herself inexplicably tied to the Marin family --- and one particular Marin named Alice. While Alice may have returned to her home city of New Orleans, she is about as far from home as she can get. Alice is now on the dreaming road --- a sort of purgatory where witches are slowly drained of their magic --- trapped by her father, who wants to use her power to return to the real world. Nathalie’s connection to Alice may be the only chance her family has to save her.

Lisette Perrault finally feels as though she understands her mother and her magic. Willing to accept the magical gifts that have been part of her life all along, she unknowingly gets pulled farther into the magical underbelly of the city she has always called home. But even Lisette’s newfound belief doesn’t offer strength when strange occurrences start to change the fabric of her family.

THE BOOK OF THE UNWINDING is book two in J. D. Horn’s Witches of New Orleans series. While this second volume can stand alone, it’s a much richer story if you read THE KING OF BONES AND ASHES first. Horn doesn’t spend too much time recapping previous events --- which I appreciate in a sequel --- but it does mean that certain plot points are left undeveloped for newcomers. There's a lot to like, so it's worth starting at the beginning.

All the characters have evolved in this series, which means that it’s thoroughly enjoyable as a reader to see how magic --- and the lack thereof --- has affected the witches and the city. Don’t expect magic to bring easy outs, either. Every witch in New Orleans is deeply entrenched and looking for more power at any cost.

If you have an affinity for stories set in New Orleans, the Witches of New Orleans books are for you. Gritty, unforgiving magic drenched in blood and tied to a centuries-old city is a perfect read for those interested in darker fantasy.

Reviewed by Amy Gwiazdowski on June 29, 2018

The Book of the Unwinding: A Witches of New Orleans Novel
by J. D. Horn

  • Publication Date: June 26, 2018
  • Genres: Fantasy, Fiction, Horror
  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: 47North
  • ISBN-10: 1503901092
  • ISBN-13: 9781503901094