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Friday, June 19, 2020

The Shadow Wand (The Black Witch Chronicles #3) by Laurie Forest.and The Liar by Jane Adams

It is best to begin with the first book.  One of the problems I had with The Shadow Wand is that the book begins with so many characters in so many different places--and it has been two years since I read  The Iron Flower.  I don't usually have a problem with multiple characters and subplots, but after two years, it took a while to get people and places in my head again, especially since everyone had separated by the end of book 2.

I loved the first two books and was eager for this one, and once I had wrapped my head around the various situations, I found myself engrossed once again.  Not as happy as I was with the previous books, but still eager to find out what would happen next.  Most of the story is with Elloren, but it seems to me she needed characters like Trystan, Tierney, Diana, Rafe, and Wynter to give her genuine substance, and although some of them are given a bit of space, it wasn't really enough to be satisfying.

It is a long book, and the pacing is erratic--not all sections really move the plot forward.  Elloren became a little annoying at times.  OK, more than a little and frequently.  I wanted things to move on.  I found the first two books compelling, but this one didn't feel as well-thought out.  In contrast, some readers like this one best.  

Will I read the next one?  Oh, yes!  I do hope the pacing is better though. 

The Black Witch
The Iron Flower
The Shadow Wand

NetGalley/Inkyard Press
YA Fantasy.  June 9, 2020.  Print length:  608 pages.  

Mike Croft, #4.  Retired DI John Tynan has been seeing a woman for several weeks when she is found dead in her room at a B & B.  It turns out that Martha Toolin was not even the woman's real name.

She'd approached  John Tynan saying she was looking into some family history.  John was initially reluctant; he had his own reasons for not wanting to revisit anything connected to his grandfather; however, Martha proved to be charming company, and John found himself looking forward to seeing her.

The truth becomes a matter of accumulation.  Martha could be easy and companionable--never revealing all of the lies that have made up her life.  A skilled con artist, Martha had a lot of schemes going and quite a few people who eventually regretted knowing her.

DI Mike Croft investigates what turns out to be a path with plenty of twists and turns.  The book is billed as a thriller, but it isn't the kind of suspense that has you holding your breath.  There are plenty of suspenseful moments, but they are the kind that keep you a little uneasy, not the kind that has you on the edge of your seat. 

Kindle Unlimited
Mystery/Police Procedural.  2019.  Print length:  259 pages.  

It's better to have your nose in a book...


  1. Have you read the others in the Mike Croft series? Is his character - and that of his inner circle - well developed? I tend to focus more on the characters than on the mystery after a while, and am always on the lookout for that kind of series writing.

    1. Yes, I've read the previous books. It isn't my favorite series, but I have enjoyed them.

  2. The Liar sounds like a good read, and a series that you can just jump into without having read the other books first. That's always good for me. :)

    1. It is always nice when a series book has a complete plot and doesn't require reading earlier books to understand what is going on!

  3. The Liar sounds intriguing to me, especially if it keeps a reader a little uneasy. :)

  4. Sometimes I can really enjoy a thriller that leaves you uneasy -- those can linger on.

  5. Perhaps it is better I haven't started the Black Witch series yet. Less waiting in between books! Haha. It is one I really want to read though and am sure I will eventually. I feel like such a slow reader . . . The Liar sounds good.