The lush and pulse-pounding sequel to the New York Times bestselling The Witch Haven follows Frances and her fellow witches to the streets of Paris where family secrets, lost loves, and dangerous magic await.
Months after the devastating battle between the Sons of St. Druon and the witches of Haxahaven, Frances has built a quiet, safe life for herself, teaching young witches and tending the garden within the walls of Haxahaven Academy. But one thing nags; her magic has begun to act strangely. When an opportunity to visit Paris arises, Frances jumps at the chance to go, longing for adventure and seeking answers about her own power.
Once she and her classmates Maxine and Lena reach the vibrant streets of France, Frances learns that the spell she used to speak to her dead brother has had terrible consequences—the veil between the living and the dead has been torn by her recklessness, and a group of magicians are using the rift for their own gain at a horrifying cost.
To right this wrong, and save lives and her own magical powers, Frances must hunt down answers in the parlors of Parisian secret societies, the halls of the Louvre, and the tunnels of the catacombs. Her only choice is to team up with the person she swore she’d never trust again, risking further betrayal and her own life in the process.
It’s not often that I like a sequel better than the first book, but it happened with The Witch Hunt.
I wasn’t crazy about main character Frances in The Witch Haven. She seemed to have no problem asking others to take risks without considering the consequences for them. In this followup, months have passed, Frances has matured, and now she’s worried more about her friends than herself. When her magic begins acting strangely, Frances is naturally very concerned – especially since she teaches at a school for witches. When an opportunity to visit Paris presents itself, she jumps at the chance. Besides finding a solution to the problems with her powers, she has a more personal reason for the journey.
The strong friendship between Frances, Lena, and Maxine was one of my favorite things about the first novel, and it continues to top the list with this sequel. Maxine stole my heart with her snarky comments. Oliver, Frances’s boyfriend, has been attending school in Paris, so she’s also excited to be reunited with him. And he’s such a sweetie – totally supportive of Frances in every way.
It’s no secret that Finn is reintroduced. He betrayed Frances in a horrible way, but still believes they’ll be together and he can persuade her to forgive him. Honestly, he had some pretty good moments, and it wouldn’t be the first time a “villain” redeems himself. Turns out the spell Finn and Frances cast to talk to her dead brother in the prior book had some serious repercussions. The veil between the living and the dead is open, strange things are afoot, and power-hungry people are taking advantage of it. Someone has to close the veil, and it’s not going to be easy – or accomplished without a few dead bodies along the way.
I really enjoyed the 1913 Paris setting – I love this time period, and the high stakes kept me flipping the pages. Although some reviewers aren’t happy with the ending, it felt right to me. But I admit to thinking about it a couple days before I decided.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.