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Crimson Wind (Horngate Witches #2)

4.02  ·  Rating Details  ·  2,175 Ratings  ·  163 Reviews

Max knows what trusting the wrong person can cost you. Her former friend Giselle, a powerful witch, enslaved Max years ago, turning her into a Shadowblade—a deadly warrior compelled to fight for Giselle. But there’s more at stake now than Max’s thirst for revenge. The Guardians, overseers of the magical world, h
Paperback, 368 pages
Published December 28th 2010 by Pocket Books
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I was disappointed by this book. Having read the first one, which had flaws, but was nevertheless a promising novel, I eagerly awaited the second installment. But author didn't worked on aforementioned flaws, and even added a couple of new ones.

Main story of this book just isn't very interesting. Instead of focusing on catastrophic events which began at the end of the fist book in this series, main focus is on rescue mission. Problem is - author failed to make me empathize with those who heroine
Jan 11, 2011 mrsj rated it it was amazing
Shelves: must-get-list
Looking for a fast paced action book with no nonsense type of female heroine who frustrates you?
This is the book for you.

Book 2 of the Horngate Witches will not disappoint.

Promises were given, prize waiting to be claimed, family/people to rescue and a place called "Horngate" to be rebuild.

Max does not seem to be getting any breather at any moment. And.. Max will still be Max who will not hestitate to sacrifice herself for the greater good.

She sleeps, she dreams, she has difficulty in waking up e
Jan 08, 2012 Ithlilian rated it it was ok
Shelves: urban-fantasy
When you condense this down and look at the big picture, all that happened was Max went to save her family and brought them back to Horngate. That really is all. Some magical items were found, different paranormals were encountered, and the magician entity made an appearance too, but that wasn't incredibly important. Crimson Wind felt like it should have been a few chapters in a larger story, and I'm not really sure what the point is in continuing. The focus of this story was the love interest, ...more
I had the same issue with this one that I had with the first one, it's just a weird mix of pretty good urban fantasy and pretty bad romance. Alexander is a boring, extremely predictable hero, exactly the same as every guy in hundreds of romance novels and their interactions are trite and eye-rollingly silly. "One spark--one touch from Max--would ignite him into a conflagration. And this was not the time or place." Yeah, they were driving.

And the UF was weaker this time around too. The premise w
Jan 06, 2011 Kelly rated it really liked it
Reading a Horngate Witches book is a bit like watching a big summer movie. Action! Explosions! Impossibly tough characters doing awesome things! It’s a heck of a ride. Crimson Wind, the second installment in the series, is better than the first and quite enjoyable.

Crimson Wind benefits, in part, from my having read Bitter Night and gotten an idea of what to expect from the series. These really aren’t much like the usual urban fantasies. Some of Diana Pharaoh Francis’s changes to the formula are
Mar 02, 2013 Soo rated it liked it
Shelves: reviewed
I'm divided on what to rate this book. On one hand, I want to give this one 4 stars. On the other, 3.5 stars for a few elements that throw the story off a bit for me. I figure I can decide what the rating is once I finish my review.

Max is the Prime. She is the leader of the Shadowblades and Sunspears of the Horngate Coven. War is riding the winds, witches are being recruited to fight a battle between Guardians who want to thrust magic back into the world and Humanity. Horngate barely survived t
Cat Russell  (Addicted2Heroines)
I love, love, love this series!! Max is one of my absolute favorite female characters. I cannot come up with one single complaint about this book. I'm glad Alexander finally stepped up and became more aggressive. It was sexy as hell. Max definitely has to have a strong male who can keep up with her. There is a lot that goes on in this story. Max's ultimate goal is to locate her family and ensure their safety before having to surrender herself to a nameless and very powerful being that she has ni ...more
Aug 05, 2012 Felicia rated it really liked it
So, I liked this book even more than the first. Max, the main character, is REALLY tough-chick, but I dunno, I really like the world-building in this series, and I love how savage Alexander is about Max, the chemistry between them is great. Sometimes the author relies on phrases like "panties in a twist" and "ass on your shoulders" a BIT much, but I enjoyed it and picked up #3 immediately! Very good series for people who like their Urban Fantasy grittttty.
Literary Ames {Against GR Censorship}
Grade: F for Epic Fail!

The flaws in Bitter Night I accepted due to being the first in the series with sequels usually surpassing the first. Crimson Wind doesn’t follow this pattern. No, it goes the other way. It may be unfair to make this judgement after only 74 pages but I don’t think so.

Characters: Max is a tough bitch, an Uber-Alpha. It’s over the top. Alexander is also supposedly Alpha but um, he’s a bit wet and dull. We didn’t need his POV, it only served to add pages where none were requ
Kelly H. (Maybedog)
I think Francis somehow invaded my dreams or something and wrote an urban fantasy series just for me. This has everything I look for in UF: Very strong and intelligent female protagonist, equally strong and intelligent male love interest, a peril laden plot, lots of almost dying, the female saving the male as often as the other way around, the male strong and deadly but completely tender and gentle with the female and loyal to her to a point of recklessness, the man wants her even more than she ...more
(Tori-Smexybooks) smexys_sidekick
Originally posted at

Favorite Quote: “I swear I will fucking kill her this time.”

Bound to a witch who lied, betrayed, and tortured her into becoming the ultimate weapon, Max lives for the day she can finally exact revenge. But revenge will have to wait. Horngate and the world is under the threat of annihilation. The Guardians who control all the magic are tired of humans destroying the world and have decided to wipe the world clean and let magic reestablis
May 09, 2012 Pam rated it really liked it
Not quite as good as the 1st, but gigantic cliffhanger that makes you want to go right to Book 3!
This sequel was even better than the first book in the series! We pick up where we left off with Max trying to get Horngate back on track and repaired from the recent fights that nearly destroyed it. Max though has been having trouble sleeping and is plagued by the bargain that Giselle and she struck with the unknown force she nicknames "Scooter". He wants what he was promised, Max, but first Max wants to go get her human family and take them to Horngate so they will be safe. She and Scooter com ...more
Jan 03, 2011 Bookaholics rated it really liked it
Crimson Wind (Horngate Witches) by Diana Pharaoh Francis
Paranormal Romance –Dec. 28th, 2010
3 1/2 stars

For fast paced action, drama, angst, and tons of tension, Crimson Wind is your book. The heroine is the gutsy, no nonsense type who is willing to sacrifice herself for the greater good. Crimson Wind is the 2nd installment of the Horngate Witches series by Diana Pharaoh Francis and can be read by itself but with the vivid cast of characters make it best to be read in order.

Max is a Shadowblade, a
Jan 05, 2011 Ruby rated it it was ok
This review was first posted on

Okay, first of all, how awesome is the name “Diana Pharaoh Francis”? I mean, it has Pharaoh in it. And it’s not Diana “Pharaoh” Francis. It’s actually part of her name. Although I suppose it could be a pseudonym. If so, it’s a cool one.

Sadly, my experience reading Crimson Wind was not as enjoyable as my fancies surrounding the author’s name. In the spirit of full disclosure, though, I have not read Bitter Night, the first book in the Horngate
Sharon ∞❥ is an emotional book junkie ❥∞
Max is still in the thick of things. She hasn't been able to sleep because Scooter wants her and it's affecting everything. She finally decides to confront him only to find out her real family are in danger. Scooter agrees to give her a week. Alexander has also been told some things from both Magpie and Giselle and it's been decided that Alexander will accompany Max to get her family.

So I'm thinking, all right a road trip with just Max and Alexander ~ about time!! But I should've known better.
3.5. Would have tipped the scales to 4, but they went AWAY from the angels and the other blades, where I enjoy those interactions. Also, huge overuse of the nickname Slick! ( -.25 stars for that alone lol ) I think she used it almost every time she was talking to Alexander. I understand the significance of it, and how she only uses his real name if she is really worried about him, but my goodness!

Again I like the concept of this series which is why i will continue reading, and why I really want
Lynsey   • The Demon Librarian
This was even better than the first book, and that's saying something!

The book picks up a few weeks after the events of Bitter Night. The Coven is on shaky legs and trying to get back to some semblance of order after the attacks that nearly buried them. Giselle is still weak and on the edge of her witchy control, and tensions are high for the Blades and Spears.

This isn't helped much by the addition of Alexander, whom no one- perhaps with the exception of Max- trusts further than they could thro
Max oh Max, when will you ever learn!

Crimson Wind is a bumpy thrill ride that takes you on a road trip that even the best of us would find intolerable to say the least.

When the truth finally comes out and Max faces her worst fear things really start to heat up with her and Alexander, only to abruptly be cut short with a dreaded cliffhanger ending.

However knowing Max and her penchant for trouble the next book Shadow City should really be a doozy and will read it soon.
Bethany C
May 26, 2012 Bethany C rated it it was amazing
This is definitely one of my favorite series now. Max as the heroine is perfect. She's got a smart mouth without coming off as annoyingly 'sassy,' and kick-ass but with some vulnerability. It takes a really talented writer to pull off making characters with ridiculous names seem believable. And making someone who speaks like Alexander and a few others do because it just feels right given their previous lives. The only thing I wasn't a fan of was how abruptly it ended. I know what Max has to do n ...more
Feb 10, 2016 Patrícia marked it as did-not-finish
After 130 Pages of posturing and nothing else happening, I gave up...
Jan 04, 2011 LadyTechie rated it really liked it
Ahhhh, I really feel denied. The ending was so good but so hard to take. I laughed about 3/4 of the way through the book thinking I was in a version of The Wizard of Oz. Max has been through the ringer in this installment and with this ending I can only imagine what kind of hell she'll go through in the next book. A year is a long time to wait for resolution. But, I know it will be so worth it. Crimson Wind is great!
May 08, 2013 Elspeth rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love this series, the first book was so good I almost reread it right after finishing it!
Jan 15, 2016 Salim added it


Max knows what trusting the wrong person can cost you. Her former friend Giselle, a powerful witch, enslaved Max years ago, turning her into a Shadowblade—a deadly warrior compelled to fight for Giselle. But there’s more at stake now than Max’s thirst for revenge. The Guardians, overseers of the magical world, have declared war on humanity and on any witches not standing with them. Max and Giselle have come to an uneasy truce in orde

Read this really fast and didn't bother trying to read closely. At best, the series is rather mediocre. I'm not quite sure why I don't like it better, but it seemed clumsy some parts, and in others--well. I don't like the thought of Max and Alexander together. They work fine for me as individuals (well, all right, I have a few issues with them as characters), but as a couple they fall very flat for me. I'd pretty much rather have Max paired up with anyone else if she does have to have a romantic ...more
Jan 23, 2011 Michelle rated it it was amazing
Crimson Wind is the second book in the Horngate Witches series by Diana Pharaoh Francis and an Urban Fantasy from Pocket Books.

Book Blurb:

There are Good guys. There are Bad guys. And then there’s Max.

Max knows what trusting the wrong person can cost you. Her former friend Giselle, a powerful witch, enslaved Max years ago, turning her into a Shadowblade - a deadly warrior compelled to fight for Giselle. But there’s more at stake now than Max’s thirst for revenge.

The Guardians, overseers of the m
Feb 13, 2011 Melissa rated it really liked it
This is actually the second novel in the Horngate Witches series. I had not read the firs one, Bitter Night. It wasn't necessary to read this one, but I would recommend it. I wasn't lost, but things were referenced that made me extremely curious. So, I know I'll be picking up the first one as soon as I can. I need to see how this all started.

Max has a lot of trust issues and you can easily and quickly see why. She was betrayed in the most horrific way and everything she knew as a human was stri
Shanshad Whelan
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Wendy Hines
Jun 01, 2013 Wendy Hines rated it really liked it
Max isn't quite human. She has been enslaved for centuries to a powerful witch called Giselle. She is also "Prime", which means the leader of the Shadowblades, an elite band of warriors. CRIMSON WIND picks up where book one, HORNGATE WITCHES leaves off, with Max trying to get Horngate rebuilt after a huge battle. But at the end of that book, Giselle had promised a powerful being known as Scooter, Max. Max hasn't been sleeping well because Scooter keeps entering her mind while she dreams.

Fed up w
William Bentrim
Feb 03, 2011 William Bentrim rated it really liked it
Crimson Wind by Diana Pharaoh Francis

Max a ShadowBlade Prime is still searching for self but in this second book she reaches out to her long lost biological family in the midst of a magical cataclysm. In her search she discovers she may already have a family. Magic, bondage, love and violence categorize this fast paced novel.

Frankly when I reviewed Bitter Night, the prequel to this book, I did it with skepticism. I wasn’t sure it was my cup of java. Once again I am glad I pushed aside my cynic
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I was raised on a cattle ranch in Northern California (outside a town called Lincoln which is now part of an enormous sprawl). I taught myself to ride a horse at the age of six, as no one had the time to teach me—they were all busy learning how to irrigate, how to cajole an angry bull into another field, how to pull a calf… Afraid of heights, and absolutely sure I was going to die, I managed to sc ...more
More about Diana Pharaoh Francis...

Other Books in the Series

Horngate Witches (4 books)
  • Bitter Night (Horngate Witches, #1)
  • Shadow City (Horngate Witches, #3)
  • Blood Winter (Horngate Witches, #4)

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“Just remember, I am not going anywhere,” he said, still watching her lips. “And if you ever try to hide from me, I will not believe you are dead. I will find you. Count on it.” 9 likes
“Her Shadowblade Prime was fully roused now, power rolling away from her in uncontrollable waves. Her Blades wouldn't be able to ignore it. She had to get to the vault before they came running to stop her like a horde of hysterical nannies.” 4 likes
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