Jim's Reviews > Under Witch Aura

Under Witch Aura by Maria E. Schneider
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's review
Feb 23, 2012

it was amazing
Read in January, 2012

Note: This review was originally published at Red Adept Reviews on January 13, 2012.

Overall: 5 stars

Plot/Storyline: 5 stars

Having read Under Witch Moon, the first book in the author's Moon Shadow series, I was looking forward to the second book--Under Witch Aura. Both books could be read as standalones, but reading them in order gave a sense of continuity in the characters' introduction and development.

Under Witch Aura grabbed my attention on the first page, when the ghost of Sarah, a witch who was recently killed in a fire, terrorized Adriel, the earth witch who was introduced in the first book. The incident made no sense to Adriel, since the two witches barely knew each other in life. But Adriel and her warlock friend Jason--who went by the name White Feather--had little time to worry about that, since an even more malevolent force began attacking them with incredibly powerful winds that could destroy any structure and kill any living beings.

Adriel's and White Feather's magic was virtually powerless against the ill winds that threatened them. Ultimately, Adriel was forced to delve deeper into her past and to use ancient magic practices that could easily turn against her and kill her.

The story built up the tension and the suspense as Adriel and White Feather sought to stay alive long enough to solve the mystery of the evil force that was threatening them, and to find a means of defeating it.

The climax was a cataclysmic display of hellfire and damnation, as a small band of witches used all their knowledge and magic in a desperate attempt to send the evil spirits back where they came from.

Note: a key element of the story was an Indian sand painting. Sand paintings played an important role in the life of Indians in the southwestern U.S. I found it helpful to Google "sand painting" to learn more and to see pictures.

Character Development: 5 stars

Adriel and White Feather met in the first book, where a budding romance was sparked. The romance heated up in this book, as Adriel and White Feather were forced to work together in order to survive. Lynx, Adriel's shapeshifter associate and part-time employee was back, too. Lynx could be devious, but he always came through when Adriel needed him the most.

New characters included Adriel's mom and dad; White Feather's sister, Tara; Matilda, who owned the magic shop in town; and Granny Ruth, the most experienced witch in Santa Fe. Tara was mentioned in the first book, but this was her first appearance. She was a typical teenager, headstrong, moody, and prone to get into trouble, and she drove White Feather nuts. Matilda ("Mat") would sell you any kind of magic spell you wanted in her magic shop, but if a witch needed to acquire serious knowledge and power, they went to Granny Ruth, who had a renowned library of grimoires (magic books). To protect her library, Granny Ruth had a remarkably low-tech security system that even witches feared.

Writing style: 5 stars

The story was narrated in the first person by Adriel. The writing was polished and professional. Dialogues were believable, within the context of a fantasy story about supernatural events. The suspense was gradually ratcheted up as Adriel worked feverishly to solve the mystery of who or what was behind the attacks on her and White Feather. Descriptions were quite vivid, especially the climactic scene where Adriel and White Feather confronted the evil spirits that threatened them.

Under Witch Aura is a novel with 5,296 Kindle locations (about 300 pages in print). Lending and text-to-speech are enabled.

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