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Thursday, January 11, 2018

Book Review: Defying Magick (The Witch Blood Chronicles #1) by Debbie Cassidy

Defying Magick (The Witch Blood Chronicles #1)
by Debbie Cassidy
August 22, 2017
342 pages
Being left behind to hold the fort every time the world needs saving, sucks.

For Carmella Hunter, a witch blood with practically no magick, being surrounded by powerful friends has taken its toll. For once it would be nice to be the one doing the saving. Stuck in a dead end job in Piccadilly’s favourite bakery, Carmella spends her days making cinnamon rolls and her evenings feeding the homeless, all the while dreaming of making a difference.

One huge pastry order for the Covens annual meet and an attack of flu germs leaves Carmella delirious with a fever—too delirious to avoid a fateful bargain with a djinn named Paimon. Bound to do his bidding, his seductive voice in her head and his infuriating arrogance make the partnership a trying one. With Paimon, Carmella gets her first taste of power. A power she must use to track down the monsters hunting Paimon’s people. Suddenly Carmella isn’t so helpless anymore.

Things get complicated when her boss, and close friend, goes missing, and the enforcement agencies don’t seem too bothered about looking for a celestial dancer who likes to sleep around. With the help of Mal Banner, the Piccadilly Coven Elder Witch and self professed playboy, Carmella finally has the opportunity to be the hero she’s always wanted to be.

But someone doesn’t want Carmella digging. Someone will go to any lengths to make her stop.

Embark on a new journey. Scroll up and grab your copy today!

The Witch Blood Chronicles is the spin off series to the hugely popular Gatekeeper Chronicles coauthored with Jasmine Walt, and although it can be enjoyed as a standalone series, the author recommends reading The Gatekeeper Chronicles first for maximum impact.

Binding Magick is the first installment in a new urban fantasy series, The Witch Blood Chronicles. Carmella Hunter, a witch blood, works in popular London bakery. The only magic she’s capable of creating, however, is her delicious cinnamon buns. Carmella has never been able to properly tap into her witch powers. Instead, the talented baker focuses on helping others. As the operator of a soup kitchen and shelter, Carmella’s life is firmly rooted in the daily grind until she finds herself bound to a seductive and all-powerful djinn, Paimon. On a mission from another dimension, Paimon recruits Carmella to help him solve the mysterious disappearance of his people. The disappearance of Paimon’s people coincides with the disappearance of paranormal beings in Carmella’s world, so she’s motivated to help. With access to Paimon’s powers, Carmella finally feels equipped to delve into supernatural mire to find answers.

I liked this story. It has all the ingredients of an excellent urban fantasy. Carmella is beautiful, talented, and sassy, but flawed. Ergo she’s relatable. The storyline is creative and action-packed. Cassidy weaves loads of romantic tension throughout the story, which I love. The table is set for an engaging series; there are many directions Carmella could take in life and love. Another feature I found interesting was Cassidy’s use of Hindu deities as the basis for the story. I found this to be a refreshing and original touch in a genre that more commonly relies on Western constructs.

While reading, however, I felt I was missing loads of backstory. I found that Witch Blood Chronicles is a spin-off series. The Gatekeeper Chronicles, co-written by Cassidy, is the story of Malina Hayes, Carmella’s best friend, and supernatural assassin. While the series are separate, they take place in the same world. I suspect readers familiar with Gatekeeper would’ve had an easier time navigating book one of Witch Blood. Nevertheless, I’ve downloaded book two and am eager to see where Carmella’s newfound powers will take her. The series is currently available for free with a Kindle Unlimited subscription.

Four Sheep

Bianca Greenwood

About the Author:
Debbie Cassidy lives in England, Bedfordshire, with her three kids and very supportive husband. Coffee and chocolate biscuits are her writing fuels of choice, and she is still working on getting that perfect tower of solitude built in her back garden. Obsessed with building new worlds and reading about them, she spends her spare time daydreaming and conversing with the characters in her head – in a totally non psychotic way of course. She writes High Fantasy, Urban Fantasy and Science Fiction. Debbie also writes dark, diverse Urban Fantasy fiction, under the pen name Amos Cassidy, with her best friend Richard Amos.

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