Book 31: THE WATER WITCH Review

The Water Witch (Fairwick Chronicles #2) by Juliet Dark
ISBN: 9780345524249 (paperback)
ISBN: 9780345542427 (ebook)
ASIN: B008WOO7JQ (Kindle edition)
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Publication date: February 12, 2013

After casting out a dark spirit, Callie McFay, a professor of gothic literature, has at last restored a semblance of calm to her rambling Victorian house. But in the nearby thicket of the Honeysuckle Forest, and in the currents of the rushing Undine River, more trouble is stirring…

The enchanted town of Fairwick’s dazzling mix of mythical creatures has come under siege from the Grove: a sinister group of witches determined to banish the fey back to their ancestral land. With factions turning on one another, all are cruelly forced to take sides. Callie’s grandmother, a prominent Grove member, demands her granddaughter’s compliance, but half-witch/half-fey Callie can hardly betray her friends and colleagues at the college. 

To stave off disaster, Callie enlists Duncan Laird, an alluring seductive academic who cultivates her vast magical potential, but to what end? Deeply conflicted, Callie struggles to save her beloved Fairwick, dangerously pushing her extraordinary powers to the limit—risking all, even the needs of her own passionate heart.

Callie (Cailleach) McFay is still feeling guilty about exiling her lover Liam, an incubus, to the Borderlands (a Faerie no-man’s land). She’s also trying to learn more about her magical gifts as a Doorkeeper. All she knows is that she’s able to open and close the doors into Faerie, but she doesn’t quite know how that works. Worse still are the rumors that the Grove and the Institute of Magical Professionals (IMP) are meeting to decide to close the door to Faerie forever. If this happens all of the fey in Fairview and surrounding areas will need to decide whether to stay in our world or return to Faerie for good? The only problem with closing the door to Faerie is that all magical beings will be without the source of “aelves gold,” the original substance of Faerie and the main component of all magic. This substance is used to heal magical beings, remove signs of aging as well as slow down the aging process. How will the witches survive? Have they found an alternative source of aelves gold? If so, where is it coming from? 

Callie and her friends only have days to try and answer all of these questions before the meeting between the Grove and IMP. Before the meeting, Callie must gain control over her abilities. She also must gain control over her feelings for Liam. After escorting the undine young (the undine are magical creatures that must mate with humans once every 100 years) back to Faerie, she barely escapes from the Borderlands. In payment for Liam helping her to escape the Borderlands, she releases him and takes him to Faerie. She also unknowingly releases an undine, Lorelei, who’s desperate to mate with a human. Upon Callie’s return to her home she’s informed that she’ll be tutored by Duncan Laird, a ninth degree wizard. Callie learns from Duncan and is even attracted to him but she senses that something isn’t quite right. Will she learn to trust her instincts before it’s too late? Will she be able to capture Lorelei and return her to Faerie before she does harm to any human?

I found The Water Witch to be a fast read. Unfortunately since I hadn’t read the first book in this series, Demon Lover, there were references that I didn’t quite understand. I didn’t connect with this story and I’m not quite sure why. Perhaps it was because Callie felt attracted to almost every man she came into contact with, Liam the incubus, Duncan the wizard, and then Bill the handyman. Or it could have been due to the difficulty in keeping track of all the magical creatures introduced in the story: the undine, witches and wizards, brownies, satyrs, Norse Gods, Norse demigods, incubi, succubi, deer fairies, sprites, goblins, zombie beavers (yes . . . zombie beavers), and the mythical elves. Whatever the reason, I didn’t enjoy The Water Witch as there was a lot going on, there were too many magical characters to try and remember, and perhaps my prudish nature just couldn’t appreciate Callie’s sexual attraction to so many men. Although I didn’t connect with The Water Witch, if you enjoy fantasy and the paranormal then this may be a book for you. 

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book free for review purposes from the publisher via NetGalley. I was not paid, required or otherwise obligated to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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