Céline and Amelie Fawe can see into anyone’s past and future simply by touching them. They have used their powers to secure sanctuary—and a fine apothecary’s shop—in the village around Castle Sèone. But their continued safety has a price…
Far to the north, the men of an isolated silver mining community are turning into vicious “beasts” that slaughter anyone in sight. The mines belong to the noble family of Prince Anton—ruler of Castle Sèone and Céline and Amelie’s patron—and Anton’s tyrannical father has ordered his son to solve the mystery as a test of his leadership. He has no choice but to send the witches into the perilous north, to use their abilities to discover the cause of the transformations. Given how much they owe the prince, the sisters have no choice but to accept.
Together with the over-protective Lieutenant Jaromir, Célene and Amelie enter the dark world of a far off mining camp tainted by fear, mistrust, and enslavement—and haunted by men turning into massive, mad wolves without warning. Now, the two must draw upon strength and cunning they never thought they possessed not only to solve the mystery, but to survive…
Witches in Red, the second book in Barb Hendee’s The Mist Torn Witches series finds sisters and witches, Céline and Amelie Fawe being sent to the far north, to an isolated silver mining community where men are turning into ‘beasts.’ Their patron, Prince Anton has received orders from his father to figure out what is happening in order to test his leadership. In spite of his misgivings, Anton has to send the witches northward, so they can use their abilities, including the talent for seeing the future of anyone they touch in order to solve the mystery.
As they journey north, accompanied by Lieutenant Jaromir, who tends to be overprotective, sometimes with good reason, other times, inconveniently so, Célene and Amelie find a town rife with mistrust, slavery, and men who transform into enraged wolves.
This book includes many of the same story devices as the first one, including the sisters using their gifts on various suspects, of which there aren’t many, and revealing a few secrets in the process. If a fairly straightforward sort of narrative is your thing, then this won’t be a problem, but others may prefer a more complex plotline.
Although Célene is more comfortable with her gifts, Amelie is learning to use them with greater confidence, and by looking into the past, is able to sort out some important aspects of the mystery. This makes things feel more equal between the sisters, while at the same time, keeping their maturity levels believable.
As a whole, the story is fairly simple, and the villain may stand out for those readers paying close attention, but most will enjoy the further worldbuilding, and the story of two sisters learning how to use their powers and find their way in the world together.