Review: Dark Watcher

Dark Watcher
Dark Watcher by Lilith Saintcrow

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

High magic trained or untrained will attract the dark side. For those who liked the show, Charmed, this story is for you. Theodora is a witch with a little bit of training. She is happy with her little shop and her few close friends. Always on the move, this witchy gypsy finally finds a place where she may want to settle down and grow some roots. The problem is, her constant move is what help protect her from the evil Crusade, determined to suck her powers dry.

Fortunately for her, she does have a tough guardian, Dante. He's a Watcher from a secret society, Circle Lightfall. With Theodora and her friends caught between these two opposing forces, which one will succeed in bringing them in? What if there was a third option neither side has considered?

Ms. Saintcrow creates another world of magic, mysteries and the fight between good and evil. Her forte - straddling the line and blurring it. From a character building perspective, only Dante is interesting. The rest of the characters, including Theodora are annoying. These women are hostile, suspicious and ungrateful. Theodora does "fall" for Dante. The chemistry just isn't there for me. I feel Dante deserves better. Since I am swayed by how much I like the characters, this book was a bit difficult to read. I kept wanting the Dark side to take the spiteful witches and eat them.

The world building and plot is what keeps this book moving and enjoyable for me. I've always liked Ms. Saintcrow's imagination and how she builds her worlds. They are gritty and almost graphic novel-esque. She doesn't write fantasy and romance. Her stories have an edge to them which cuts to the quick. This is what brings me back to her time and time again. Her tendency to ignore a happily ever after ending is attractive. In this one, it is a bittersweet ending. Because in this world, sacrifice is needed to perform high magic. The paranormal romance is recommended to those who enjoy their stories a bit darker without all the fluffy sweetness.

*provided by NetGalley

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