Published 2006 276 pages
Summary (from the book jacket)
We’re the D’Artigo sisters: Half-human, half-Faerie, we’re savvy – and sexy – operatives for the Otherworld Intelligence Agency. But our mixed-blood heritage short-circuits our talents at all the wrong times. My sister Delilah shapeshifts into a tabby cat whenever she’d stressed. Menolly’s a vampire who still trying to get the hang of being undead. And me? I’m Camille – a wicked-good witch. Except my magic’s as unpredictable as the weather, which my enemies are about to find out the hard way…
At the Wayfarer Inn, a portal to Otherworld and the local hangout for humans and beasties alike, a fellow operative, Jocko, has been murdered. Every clue points to Shadow Wing, the soul-munching, bad-ass leader of the Subterranean Realms. He's made it clear that he aims to raze humankind to the ground, turning both Earth and Otherworld into his private playground.
Our assignment: keep Shadow Wing and his minions from creeping into Earth via the Wayfarer. The demons figure they're in like Flynn. After all, with only my bumbling sisters and me standing in the way, how can they miss? But we've got a secret for them: Faulty wiring or not, nobody kicks ass like the D'Artigo girls…
Witchling is the first novel in the Sisters of the Moon series by Yasmine Galenorn. Yasmine is an experienced author, having written a couple of series of mystery novels before, but this is her first foray into urban fantasy.
Witchling is definitely in the urban fantasy genre even though it has been marketed by the publisher as paranormal romance. The fantasy action and mystery plot is the focus of the story and there is no romantic relationship development, or HEA, meaning that whatever it says on the spine of the book this novel is definitely not romance.
Genre confusion aside, Witchling gets the Sisters of the Moon series off to a good start. It is the story of three sisters - Camille is a witch, Delilah a shapeshifter and Menolly a vampire. In addition to the sisters it is packed full of every kind of supernatural beastie you could imagine – friend and foe - giving the sisters both powerful allies and dangerous enemies.
Witchling is narrated in first person by Camille, so the story centres on her with her witch abilities and her confused love life. Her love life is confused because her old lover Trillian has come back into her life but she also has a thing for Morio (a fox demon) who she meets while saving the planet. Camille has a typical Sidhe attitude to sex so there is plenty of it and it’s fairly hot but this again illustrates that this novel isn’t a romance as there is no actual relationship development to go with the sex.
The erratic nature of the sister’s abilities adds interest to the story as the reader, like Camille herself, can never be certain that a spell is going to work in the way that it was intended. Or that Delilah isn’t going to turn into a cute looking domestic cat at the first sign of trouble. Menolly (the fledgling vampire) is by far the most interesting character. The start of the story sees her attending vampires anonymous in an effort to help her deal with being vampire (she was changed unwillingly and vampires are not highly thought of in the Otherworld or on Earth.) The end of the book sees her easily killing a demon by drinking his blood and snapping his neck. Can’t wait to see what she does for an encore!
Witchling reminds me of Laurell K. Hamilton’s Meredith Gentry books. Actually, that is not entirely true. Witchling is the book that I expected to get when I bought the first Meredith Gentry book - an exciting urban fantasy novel that blends classic monster and Faerie mythology with a fast paced mystery plot of epic save-the-world proportions – rather than the disappointing book I got. (In my opinion, LKH missed her opportunity with her Meredith Gentry series to write this kind of book and just dished up another large portion of weird sex and called it contemporary fantasy.)
Witchling isn’t perfect (for instance, I’m not sure that it’s very realistic that Camille went shopping for underwear when she was supposed to be saving the world) but mostly it gets the balance right - serving the reader an exciting mixture of fantasy, mystery and sex along with an epic save-the-world secret mission for the sisters and that’s just for starters. It will be interesting to see where the author takes this next.
LoveVampires Review Rating: