Title: Hexed Anthology
Genre: Paranormal Romance/Urban Fantasy
Publication Date: June 7, 2011
Format: Paperback, 336 Pages
ISBN-10: 0425241769 (Penguin/Berkley)
ISBN-13: 978-0425241769 (Penguin/Berkley)
Reviewed by: Kiwi
Four of the bestselling names in romance and fantasy come together in this collection of thrilling novellas featuring powerful women who know how to handle a hex or two…
New York Times bestselling author Ilona Andrews spins “Magic Dreams.” Shapeshifter tigress Dali Harimau finds herself in deep waters when she must challenge a dark being to a battle of wits or risk losing the man for whom she secretly longs.
In “Ice Shards,” New York Times bestselling author Yasmine Galenorn returns to the Otherworld as Iris Kuusi, a Finnish House sprite, journeys to the frozen Northlands to confront the crazed shadow of her former lover and break the curse that is keeping her from marrying the man she loves.
National bestselling author Allyson James takes you to Magellan, Arizona, where Stormwalker Janet Begay and her friends are trapped by a powerful curse. It will take every bit of magic simmering beneath her skin for the Stormwalker to survive being “Double Hexed.”
From national bestselling author Jeanne C Stein comes “Blood Debt,” in which bounty-hunter-turned-vampire Anna Strong is visited by three witches who ask her to right an old magical wrong. Anna will have to live up to her last name to make it through alive.
Quick & Dirty: Four stories of magic gone wild.
Excerpt: Magic Dreams
Through all the set up for this review, I have had the song lyrics “Here I am, stuck in the middle with you” running through my head. For, just like the last anthology I recently reviewed, all four of these novellas contain characters from already well-established series’. And for the seriously book poor, like myself for example, it is a bit frustrating to not have already read all the previous books, which would then have made me so much more informed as to the mythologies, the characterizations, the relationships, etc. But I digress.
“Magic Dreams” by Ilona Andrews (Kate Daniels 4.5)
Magic Dreams features a heroine who shapeshifts into a mythical white tiger. And if that doesn’t single her out enough, the poor girl is almost blind, and a vegetarian to boot. Seriously, what kind of alternate reality is this? A vegetarian tiger? Oh, but an alternate world we would all give our left foot to live in if it meant being able to spend time with the terribly hot head of the Clan Cat. *rawr* So, when some sort of black magic threatens the life of her man, our lovely tiger in white must enlist the help of her family to see him cured. When the cure involves some rather rare ingredients, she must go where no one like her should go, and she almost suffers some rather nasty consequences. But, her man is there to save the day. As time draws short, she is then forced to take on the threat directly, and battle a creature made of death.
“Ice Shards” by Yasmine Galenorn (Otherworld/Sisters of the Moon 9.5)
Ice Shards tells the story of a house sprite searching to end the curse that has taken away her ability to have a family. Having been exiled from her position at the temple of the Goddess of Mist and Snow and rejected by her family, she has spent the last six centuries taking care of a family and their descendants. Now, however, she has met someone whom she loves, and he needs to carry on his line, and that requires kids. So, she grabs her three closest friends, one of whom is one of the sisters in the other stories in this series, and takes them on a journey into a winter wonderland. This is where I hit the frustration factor again… When did Camille pick up a second husband, much less a third one? The group, aided by the leader of a pack of shapeshifters, trek through the cold and snow, encountering all sorts of creatures bent on their destruction. They make it to their destination safely, but the journey is not over, at least, not for the sprite. She must confront what is left of the man she once loved, a foul murdering shadow, and must learn the truth of his demise, and the part she played in the incident.
“Double Hexed” by Allyson James (Stormwalker 3.5)
Double Hexed takes place in a small hotel run by a woman with phenomenal cosmic powers and an itty bitty living space (BTW – that is a line from an old Disney movie). Never know when those things sneak up on you, do you? Back to the Stormwalker and inn owner…After what starts out as just a leaky faucet, and ends in the death of a close friend and magical chaos, she has had a really long day. Only made better by a trip to her own room with her stud muffin of a boyfriend. Did I mention that he is a dragon? I didn’t, well let me mention it. He’s a dragon, and we all know how yummy dragons are. Anyway, after that leaky faucet spouts out blood and a ton of doom and gloom, the Stormwalker, her employees and guests realize they have been trapped inside the inn, no one or nothing gets in or out, and it will take some heavy duty magic and a whole lot of luck to escape.
“Blood Debt” by Jeanne C. Stein (Anna Strong Chronicles 6.5)
In Blood Debt, a vampire who is also a bounty hunter is approached by three witches with a problem. They need her to save one of the witch’s brother by righting some magical no-no she committed during an old case. Apparently, while chasing a real badass witch, the sisters used their powers to send her to a place that is forbidden, unbeknownst to anyone. When the guy who kind of runs the place for his superiors finally catches up with her, he kidnaps the brother until she goes with him, and submits to the judgment of a tribunal. What’s the result of a guilty verdict? Death! When a bit of duplicity on the part of this man, for it is not stated in the story what type of creature he might be, is revealed, she and the brother are released. However, they are quickly ambushed by none other than Mr. Duplicity, and forced to then again battle for their lives.
In the end, aside from that whole arriving in the middle bit, these are four well crafted stories, of magic curses and the eventual good that even they can make.
FTC Advisory: Penguin/Berkley provided me with a copy of the Hexed Anthology. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.
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