Witches of Barcelona, the second book in the Blood Web Chronicles series by the fabulous writing duo Caedis Knight, released on 31st March, and I am taking a break from bingeing on Mini Eggs and Lindt Bunnies to tell you all about it today.
Saskia de la Cruz is a Verity Witch and investigative reporter for The Blood Web Chronicle, the biggest news outlet on the paranormal Blood Web.
After escaping murderous Vampires in snowy Moscow, Saskia can’t imagine a more difficult or more dangerous mission. That is until her editor sends her to Barcelona to investigate a high profile disappearance at the Mage Association, which just happens to be run by her evil mother Solina.
Saskia’s plan is to spend as little time in Barcelona as possible, until she meets three junior members of the MA who know more than they let on – including information on Saskia’s missing sister, Mikayla. Among her new leads is Catalan bruixa Luisa, who has a hold over Saskia stronger than any magic.
It doesn’t take long until Saskia finds herself under the glittering spell of MA high society, where morals are few and magic is law. Can Saskia escape the clutches of a world that’s always been dangerous for her, before it turns deadly?
With vibrant characters, page-turning suspense and steamy romance, this second book in the Blood Web Chronicles series has been dubbed by early readers as ‘devilishly addictive’ and ‘a dark, magical world of power and passion.’ Co-authored by two established fantasy authors Jacqueline Silvester and N.J Simmonds, the second book in the Blood Web Chronicles series is perfect for fans of Crescent City, True Blood, The Elite, and The Craft.
With its utterly gorgeous cover, stunning setting, and the promise of sexy witches, I was in love with this book before I even owned it. Knowing how much I enjoyed Vampires of Moscow, the first book in the series, and the prequel novella, Sirens of Los Angeles, I had every confidence that Witches of Barcelona would live up to my high expectations. What I didn’t expect was for it to surpass those expectations quite so spectacularly.
Upon opening Witches of Barcelona, I discovered two things that I love in a book. Firstly, illustrations – be it a map, a family tree, curious symbols, include these in your book and you have won me over. I loved the inclusion of the sigils for each of the witchy factions. Being able to visualise these as Saskia discovered more about them added another level to my understanding of the world of the Blood Web, and the Mage Association in particular. The second thing I found was a prologue. In the great prologue argument, I am most definitely pro prologue. I just love them, and this one was a real treat, offering an insight into Saskia’s childhood and why she dislikes the Mage Association so much.
The rich descriptions in this book whisked me back to Barcelona, one of my favourite cities, and made me long for the day I can return to Spain. The sights, sounds and smells of the city came flooding back to me, and it really felt as if I was right there beside Saskia and her new friends. Reading this book did nothing for my diet, leaving me craving paella, croquetas, jamon serrano, manchego, and so much more. It was as if Caedis Knight had reached into my heart and extracted all my favourite Spanish foods and added them to the pages of the book.
Witches of Barcelona is a real contrast of light and dark, balancing the joyfulness of Saskia’s new friendships, against the emotional struggles of loss, trauma and corruption. I loved the chemistry and light-hearted bickering between Rafi, Luisa and Beatriz. Everything about their relationship made me want to be in their inner circle. Seeing Saskia interact with people she could relax and have fun with provided an insight to her character that we hadn’t seen before, and I feel that I got to know her a lot better in this book than I had previously. Her difficult family dynamic added an extra layer to this new understanding too, and provided a lot of insight to her motivations.
This book is littered with one liners that made me laugh out loud, but also with scenes that broke my heart. It is a book that tugs at the emotional heartstrings and keeps you on your toes throughout as Saskia uncovers the secrets of the Mage Association, and discovers who she can truly trust. There are so many wonderful characters introduced in the book, and I hope we meet a lot of them again in future books in the series.
Knight’s signature steamy scenes are once again present, this time featuring some very imaginative uses of magic. I may never view art the same way again!
Witches of Barcelona is a feast for the senses in every imaginable way, and I devoured it as I would a table full of delicious tapas. Book three has a lot of work to do to replace this as my favourite book of the Blood Web Chronicles.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Caedis Knight is the pen name of two established fantasy authors, Jacqueline Silvester and N J Simmonds.
Silvester began her career in screenwriting and lived all over the world before going on to pen her highly successful YA series, Wunderkids.
Spanish Londoner Simmonds’ background was originally in marketing before writing her fantasy series The Indigo Chronicles, along with various Manga stories and writing collaborations.
Together, they created Blood Web Chronicles – their first paranormal romance series set in Europe. Great friends and avid travellers, you can find them whizzing between one another’s homes in Germany and the Netherlands, or having Zoom calls to excitedly plot Saskia’s next humorous sexy adventure.
All these amazing book lovers are sharing their thoughts on the book over the course of April, so go check them out!