Bitter Night (Horngate Witches #1) – Diana Pharaoh Francis



Once, Max dreamed of a career, a home, a loving family. Now all she wants is freedom…and revenge. A witch named Giselle transformed Max into a warrior with extraordinary strength, speed, and endurance. Bound by spellcraft, Max has no choice but to fight as Giselle’s personal magic weapon — a Shadowblade — and she’s lethally good at it. But her skills are about to be put to the test as they never have before….

The ancient Guardians of the earth are preparing to unleash widespread destruction on the mortal world, and they want the witches to help them. If the witches refuse, their covens will be destroyed, including Horngate, the place Max has grudgingly come to think of as home. Max thinks she can find a way to help Horngate stand against the Guardians, but doing so will mean forging dangerous alliances — including one with a rival witch’s Shadowblade, who is as drawn to Max as she is to him — and standing with the witch she despises. Max will have to choose between the old life she still dreams of and the warrior she has become, and take her place on the side of right — if she survives long enough to figure out which side that is….


I have been craving books about witches for some time now, so I was so excited to find out about the Horngate Witches series by Diana Pharaoh Francis. But guys, I don’t know what it is about this month. I keep finding book that I’m just not getting into. Bitter Night seems like a fabulous book. It’s about witches who tie humans to them, who then form into either Shadowblades or Sunspears. It seemed fresh and edgy, but ultimately it was too harsh and bland.

The real negative part about this book is that I didn’t care for either of the main characters, Max and Alexander. Max was one fierce you know what, who was wayyyyy to uptight and well..bitter..for my taste. Alexander was just too weak. I want my male characters to be strong and courageous. Instead, I got a wimp. And don’t get me wrong, I’m all for girl power and girls protecting guys every now and then. BUT MAN UP! I just wanted to smack Alexander senseless from time to time. And I basically felt the same toward Max, to be honest.

What really tore me away from this book was the fact that I just didn’t care for the plot. I haven’t really ran across that much before. Usually it’s the character or something in the book that really pisses me off. This time, I just really didn’t like the plot. The whole Shadowblade and Sunspear thing was lame. It also didn’t make any sense. They werent’ vampires, but if the Shadowblades stepped in the sun..or even the moonlight…they would burn to a crisp. And if the Sunspears were in the Dark…even a cave or something…they would dry up and crumble. I’m sorry, but I find that so stupid! It might have been different if maybe there was only one type of them…Shadowblades OR Sunspears….but not both. No thanks. Too much for me.

On a positive note, I will say that Diana Pharaoh Francis really does know how to write. I could tell when I was reading this book that she really knew her stuff. But, the writing didn’t make up for the poor plot and bland characters. I tried so so so so hard to like this book, but it just wasn’t doing it for me.


Pages: 387

Publication Date: October 27th, 2009

Publisher: Pocket Books

Rating: [rating: 2]


Teaser Quote: “I don’t mess around with the men in the coven, especially my Shadowblades,” she said with quiet finality. Flirting was one thing but anything more, it was a mistake of epic proportions.

His eyes narrowed and he gave a slow shake of his head. “That is all right then. Because I want so much more than just to mess around.” 

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