I received this book for free from my own shelves in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Demon's Dance by Keri Arthur
Genres: Paranormal Fantasy
Published by KA Publishing Pty Ltd on February 12, 2019
Source: my own shelves
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Also by this author: Fireborn, Wicked Embers, Flameout, Blood Kissed, Hell's Bell, Hunter Hunted
Fourth in the Lizzie Grace paranormal fantasy series and revolving around a witch and her familiar working hard to stay under the radar. The story is set in Castle Rock, Australia.
Demon’s Dance continues to push the prejudice of tradition through the blinders Monty wears that says Lizzie can’t be powerful or useful. And it’s a reminder for us to keep an open mind in this fascinating take on witches with Lizzie and Belle on the run, desperate to hide from Lizzie’s nasty father.
Lizzie continues to evolve, the wild magic embedding itself within her. She’s beginning to see and understand exactly what magic is in this action-packed hunt. And I am so curious to see just how evolved Lizzie is when she does finally encounter her father!
We finally find out what happened when Lizzie’s sister died. And why her father is so determined to get her back! What. A. Jerk! What’s scary is that Arthur has stepped up the fear of Lizzie being discovered when we learn who the new reservation witch is! And when we hear about some of Lizzie’s prophetic dreams. Pins. And. Needles.
Romance-wise, it’s been a sweet evolution from the damning and prejudiced Aiden to the man who now cares for Lizzie, only Arthur revs up that “he’ll never marry me” meme. Oy. Lizzie’s whines about it were rather irritating. It’s that first person protagonist point-of-view that really cranks up that annoyance factor.
It is a little too easy how the elders and rangers have accepted Lizzie and Belle’s help. Which is rather hypocritical of me, since it only shows they’re smart, lol.
Trapped on the reservation due to her ties with the wild magic that so intrigues the council, Lizzie fears who will take on the reservation witch mantle. Whether they’ll recognize her and force her back to her father, is the question, for it’s too easy to see that it’s a magic wound throughout Lizzie’s spells.
It’s her worst fear come to life when the new witch arrives just as an evil fire entity attacks. And as the body count grows, Lizzie, Belle, and Aiden struggle to find — and stop — whoever or whatever is behind the atrocities.
But as bad as it is, there’s an even greater danger on the horizon.
Lizzie Grace is a psychometric witch with the ability to sense evil. On the run from her family, she gets prophetic dreams of doom, worse, the wild magic has embedded itself within her. The telepathic Belle Kent, a Sarr witch with spirit guides, is her best friend, a fellow witch, and Lizzie’s familiar.
Her blueblooded powerful family is embarrassed by her for her low-level powers and that she has a human for a familiar. Part of the reason Lizzie is on the run is her guilt over not saving her brilliant sister, Cat. Charlie had been Cat’s husband, and he also held Lizzie responsible. “Juli” is Lizzie’s conceited twit of a brother, and he has four kids. Clayton, a disciplinarian and a friend of Lizzie’s father and a powerful member of the council, is trapped, unable to move on until Lizzie is found. Edward.
The Faelan Werewolf Reservation is…
…based around Castle Rock and is one of seven such reservations but the only one that refused a reservation witch. Marin werewolves have brown hair with a tinge of red. O’Connor werewolves are mostly gray. Maelle Defour is a vampire who owns and runs the Émigré nightclub. Roger is her thrall.
The Psychic Café is…
…Lizzie and Belle’s business. Penny is a waitress; Frank is a kitchen hand; and, Mike is the chef. Their regulars include Mrs Potts, who founded the Castle Rock gossip brigade which loves the café, and Kash Kennedy, who is an IT guy and part-time trainer.
The Rangers are…
…the police force on the reservation elected by the elders. Aiden O’Connor is the head ranger and in a relationship with Lizzie. Fellow werewolf rangers include Tala Sinclair as second-in-command, Byron, Mac, Duke, Jaz (married into the Marin pack), and Maggie as the station receptionist and a ranger-in-training. Ciara is Aiden’s sister and the reservation coroner. Luke is from the Raine pack and is Ciara’s new assistant.
The still-recovering Ira Ashworth, a witch from the Regional Witch Association, had been sent to suss out an earlier wild magic incident. Eli is Ashworth’s partner, a retired RWA witch. They’ve decided to move permanently to Castle Rock.
Frederick Montagu “Monty” Ashworth is Lizzie’s cousin and the new reservation witch. His father, also Frederick, married Lizzie’s aunt and holds a seat on the high council. Jamie is a friend of Monty’s in Canberra.
Wild magic must…
…be protected lest it draw evil in. There are two wells of wild magic in the Castle Rock area. The one Canberra doesn’t know about is protected by Gabe Watson, the previous reservation witch, and the soul of his werewolf wife, Katie (Aiden’s younger sister).
Ms Jenkins called it in. Kyle Jacobson is human. Alice Dale is a potential client of the café; her mom is missing. Marilyn is a friend of her mom’s. Marilyn Jones went missing a few days before Mrs Dale. Jason Harding lives in Louton, a small gold mining town nearby. John Baker’s ghost is worried about Elsie. Charles runs a storage facility.
There are different families at different status levels. The Marlowes are high up in the witches’ council. Belle’s family are those lowly Sarrs. Nell had been Belle’s grandmother with valuable books that even bluebloods wanted to consult. Their council requires each werewolf reservation to have a reservation witch, one who is the government’s mouthpiece
A soucouyant is a demon who is an old woman by day but sheds her skin and takes on a fire form or that of a gorgeous woman at night.
The Cover and Title
The cover is black with highlights of red-violet in Lizzie’s below-the-shoulder hair blowing in the breeze, highlighting her black-clad body, and as a glow behind her. The same glow that lights up the ground behind her of this barren landscape with its tree silhouettes and rock-lined path.
The title is the Demon’s Dance performed when she takes a skin.