It’s particularly hard to take being stabbed in the back close to home. There’s always a feeling of betrayal when people of your own group oppose you. – Catharine MacKinnon
You want to believe that there’s one relationship in life that’s beyond betrayal. A relationship that’s beyond that kind of hurt. And there isn’t. – Caleb Carr
It is said that those whom the gods wish to destroy they first make mad. – John Boyd Orr
Back in January of this year I received a copy of The Line by J.D. Horn as part of the Kindle First program. The Line is a story of Mercy Taylor, a magical “dud” born into a family of immense magical power. Shunted to the side and mostly ignored by the powerful witches in her family, Mercy enjoys her life leading “The Liars Tour of Savannah,” getting her customers a little buzzed, telling ‘some black and wicked lies about the people of her hometown,” and basically enjoying her life. It’s simple, and it is all hers. Well, mostly happy, except for the fact that she is loved by an apparently good man, yet loves the man who belongs to her twin sister – the twin sister who is in line to take a place as one of the ten who control The Line, the magical wall between this world and the world of demons.
Power and jealousy, mistakes and unforeseen consequences kept me reading The Line all through the night. Now, Mercy and her family are back, in The Source the second in the Witching Savannah series. But things have changed more than Mercy could have ever expected. Once thought a failure, now The Line is Mercy’s responsibility, and no one seems to want that – including the other witches who hold the line between this world and the next. Mercy is struggling to control her new powers, which is bad enough, but she is also pregnant, dealing with the tremendous betrayals first suffered in the first book, and generally having a horrible time of it. And if that isn’t enough, her mother, thought to be dead for years, is back on the scene, and begs Mercy to tell no one. Overall, it’s a lot to swallow for a girl who only a short time ago was a simple tour guide!
If there is one thing about Mercy that I really like, it is that she is compassionate and forgiving. If there is one thing I truly don’t like about Mercy, it is that she is TOO compassionate and forgiving. I want to sit her down, give her a glass of wine and chocolates and encourage her to realize that some people, like her evil, cruel and manipulative sister Maisy, absolutely do not deserve so much of her time and trouble as she tries to pull her twisted sister back from wherever she was deposited when The Line refused her, choosing Mercy instead. Things came to a head at the end of the first book when Maisy tried to murder Mercy, knowing that Mercy was supposed to be the line witch all along, but her powers had been purposely dampened so that Maisy could take over. Can we all say, “Dysfunctional Family?”
Mercy is powerful, without a doubt. Possibly the strongest line witch to ever have existed. But power doesn’t always bring happiness, and when you have no training, power can get you killed.
This is a truly well written, highly complex story replete with a stunning cast of characters all with their own agendas – most of which involve bringing Mercy down. Good and evil, and good old southern backstabbing, all wrapped up in a story that will keep you guessing, and reading well into the night.
I received this book from the publisher in return for a realistic review. I very much look forward to the next in this brilliant southern series!