Book Review: The Mist-Torn Witches by: Barb Hendee

Publisher: Roc

Publication Date: May 7, 2013

Origins:  From Publisher for Review

Synopsis: In a small village in the nation of Droevinka, orphaned sisters Céline and Amelie Fawe scrape out a living selling herbal medicines in their apothecary shop. Céline earns additional money by posing as a seer and pretending to read people’s futures.

But they exist in a land of great noble houses, all vying for power, and when the sisters refuse the orders of a warlord prince, they must flee and are forced to depend on the warlord prince’s brother, Anton, for a temporary haven.

A series of bizarre deaths of pretty young girls are plaguing the village surrounding Prince Anton’s castle. He offers Céline and Amelie permanent protection if they can use their "skills" to find the killer.

With little choice, the sisters enter a world unknown to them — of fine gowns and banquets and advances from powerful men. Their survival depends on catching a murderer who appears to walk through walls and vanish without a trace — and the danger around them seems to grow with each passing night.

Review: THE MIST-TORN WITCHES is the first book in a new series by Barb Hendee, half of the writing team behind the Noble Dead series. The orphaned Fawe sisters, Céline and Amelie, sell herbal remedies (such as tisanes, infusions, macerates, tinctures, and elixirs) in the apothecary shop left to them when their mother died. Their mother was also a Seer, something which Céline now must pretend to be when a distraught young man comes calling. Years later, Céline is paid to ‘See’ a particular outcome for a client by a maniacal warlord prince, but when she can’t go through with it she and Amelie must run. They’re taken in by the prince’s brother…for a price. Céline must use her skills as a Seer to solve the strange wasting deaths of young, pretty village girls. THE MIST-TORN WITCHES is a very character driven novel which draws you in quickly. Céline and Amelie appealed to me in different ways and I was glad they weren’t carbon-copies of each other. All the characters stood out to me distinctly, the solution to the mystery was surprising, and I enjoyed the supernatural elements. It was gratifying to see how much the characters evolved over the course of the book. THE MIST-TORN WITCHES is an excellent start to a new series. Bravo!

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