Book Review – Witchbane by Morgan Brice

Witchbane #1
Publisher: Darkwind Press
Pages: 244
Characters: Seth/Evan
POV: 3rd
Sub-Genre: Series, Urban Fantasy, Paranormal Romance

Seth Tanner and his brother Jesse’s fun evening debunking local urban legends ends with Jesse’s gruesome murder. Seth vows revenge on Jesse’s killer – too bad the murderer has been dead for a hundred years. Seth uncovers a cycle of ritual killings that feed the power of a dark warlock’s immortal witch-disciples, and he’s hell bent on stopping Jackson Malone from becoming the next victim. He’s used to risking his neck. He never intended to risk his heart.

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After I read and loved Badlands by this author, I realised I had this book sitting on my tablet that I hadn’t read yet, so I immediately moved it to my read ASAP pile. I loved it as much as Badlands, and now have two series I need to read as they come out. As an aside I’ve also bought the first in another series by her alter-ego Gail Z. Martin to read too. I love the way all these series are part of a larger universe, and reference each other. Having Seth reference Simon as his teacher for learning magic made me very happy. I also liked that Seth has to work at his magic, and that it doesn’t come easily.

The prologue to this story drops the reader right into the action from the very beginning. The descriptions were great and made the scenes easy to visualize, and I felt Seth’s horror at the details of his brother’s murder. It also does a great job in setting up the world, Seth’s connection to it, and provides a good contrast to Seth then, now, and how everything he’s been through has shaped him as a person.

I liked the way Seth and Evan took their relationship slowly, and how Even convinces himself it’s a one night stand, although with the chemistry between them I figured it was a only a matter of time until they moved past that. I also liked the way Evan doesn’t want Seth to take on the role of sole protector, and that he has some skills too. I thought it was a realistic reaction, as was his hesitation in believing fully in magic, and the way he wants to trust Seth but his past reminds him that that can lead to betrayal. It gave their relationship an edge. Both men are likeable, but have angsty pasts—just the way I like my MCs.

I also liked the side characters of Toby and his partner and hope to see more of them.

The bad guy is formidable opponent, which makes for a very real threat. I had to smile at some of the Supernatural influences, especially knowing the author is a fan. I love stuff like that. The action scenes were well written, and I thought the author did a great job in keeping me on the edge of my seat, and making the tension rise. The conclusion is exciting, and I’m looking forward to reading more books in this series.

I’d recommend Witchbane to readers who like paranormal stories with likeable MCs, detailed world building, and an interesting tension-filled plot. More please. 5 out of 5 stars.

About Anne Barwell

Anne Barwell lives in Wellington, New Zealand. She shares her home with a cat with “tortitude” who is convinced that the house is run to suit her; this is an ongoing “discussion,” and to date, it appears as though Kaylee may be winning. In 2008, Anne completed her conjoint BA in English Literature and Music/Bachelor of Teaching. She has worked as a music teacher, a primary school teacher, and now works in a library. She is a member of the Upper Hutt Science Fiction Club and plays violin for Hutt Valley Orchestra. She is an avid reader across a wide range of genres and a watcher of far too many TV series and movies, although it can be argued that there is no such thing as “too many.” These, of course, are best enjoyed with a decent cup of tea and further the continuing argument that the concept of “spare time” is really just a myth. She also hosts and reviews for other authors, and writes monthly blog posts for Love Bytes. She is the co-founder of the New Zealand Rainbow Romance writers, and a member of RWNZ. Anne’s books have received honorable mentions five times, reached the finals four times—one of which was for best gay book—and been a runner up in the Rainbow Awards. She has also been nominated twice in the Goodreads M/M Romance Reader’s Choice Awards—once for Best Fantasy and once for Best Historical. Anne can be found at
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