(Review) Horngate Witches Series by Diana Pharaoh Francis

Book #1: Bitter Night

Book #2: Crimson Wind

Book #3: Shadow City

Book #4: Blood Winter

Description from Online (Just Bitter Night):

Once, Max dreamed of a career, a home, a loving family. Now all she wants is freedom…and revenge. A witch named Giselle transformed Max into a warrior with extraordinary strength, speed, and endurance. Bound by spellcraft, Max has no choice but to fight as Giselle’s personal magic weapon — a Shadowblade — and she’s lethally good at it. But her skills are about to be put to the test as they never have before….

The ancient Guardians of the earth are preparing to unleash widespread destruction on the mortal world, and they want the witches to help them. If the witches refuse, their covens will be destroyed, including Horngate, the place Max has grudgingly come to think of as home. Max thinks she can find a way to help Horngate stand against the Guardians, but doing so will mean forging dangerous alliances — including one with a rival witch’s Shadowblade, who is as drawn to Max as she is to him — and standing with the witch she despises. Max will have to choose between the old life she still dreams of and the warrior she has become, and take her place on the side of right — if she survives long enough to figure out which side that is….

I am in desperate need to talk about this series because it is so amazing and I don’t think that it got the credit it deserves. First off I’m mostly just going to talk about the first book Bitter Night because of course I wouldn’t want to release any spoilers.

While reading Bitter Night I found myself becoming attached to not only the main characters, but also the minimal little side characters because Max was so attached to them and her feelings felt like they weren’t just in the pages. Max’s feelings and her attitude really were the first things that jumped out at me when I started this book because Diana Pharaoh Francis didn’t ease you into them like most authors. Max’s emotions were already at full peak much like starting a epic love story with the couple already in love and at the climax of their relationship. Strangely enough; it was not a bad thing! I loved it!

Not only was this book brimming with spectacular characters, but it was packed with action. Seriously, if you love action you will definitely love Bitter Night. The action wasn’t bordering horror story gore (minus some pretty well detailed scenes), but most of the time it was your normal fight scene.

Now I know all fantasy/ urban fantasy novels have newly created monsters and other things. But this series had relatively normal monsters nothing too out there. Which is not what I was expecting. I also wasn’t expecting the story’s dabbling in romance between her and Alexander.

What I Loved:

  • Max’s relationship with her witch Giselle
  • Max’s spitfire attitude
  • Max’s attitude
  • The action sequences
  • Basically all of the characters because they were absolutely amazing. Although they weren’t human they still had human emotions.
  • Horngate
  • Later book things
  • How skeptic Max was and how Diana Pharaoh Francis kept that consistent

What I Hated:

  • How fast Alexander fell for Max
  • Sometimes this book felt a little too wordy

I truly recommend this series to anyone looking for something really good and to add to their collection of possible favorites because this series definitely made my list. 😉


Goodreads Rating: 3.83

My Rating: 4.1