Monday, August 18, 2008

“My Wicked Enemy” by Carolyn Jewel

A desire that can't be controlled...Carson Philips is a witch on the run. For years, the notorious mage, Alvaro Magellan, has held her as his psychological prisoner. But once Carson gets a glimpse of the true extent of his evil, she flees Magellan's mansion--stealing a stone talisman of unimaginable power on the way. Her only hope for survival is a demon who ignites a voracious hunger in her she can't deny, a longing she can't resist...

A hunger that can't be sated...Nikodemus is a warlord with a mission: Kill Magellan and his green-eyed witch at any cost. But when he meets the desperate Carson, the pull of her magic takes his breathe away. He's not sure he can trust this tantalizing woman--she is his enemy--and less sure he can keep his hands off her. But Magellan will stop at nothing to reclaim what belongs to him. Can Nikodemus stop him before his desire for Carson destroys them both?
My Wicked Enemy opens with a great scene of Carson fleeing from Alvaro Magellan her former employer, guardian and powerful mage. The portrayal of her sense of paranoia, dislocation, fear and confusion is intense. From there Jewel quickly introduces us and lays down the rules to her supernatural world consisting of Fiend and Mage/Witch adversaries in contemporary San Francisco. The Mages (bad guys) strive to build their power base by magically capturing Fiends (good guys) making them Mageheld.

Carson has been victimized (her witchcraft has been crippled) by Magellan and joins forces with Nikodemus a warlord fiend for protection and to assist the fiends in their conflict with the Mages. There are many excellently crafted action scenes; however skirmishes with the same group of malevolent mages were a bit repetitive (a minor quibble).

Nikodemus is a strong and likable character. His responses and reactions to his changing circumstance and unusual relationship with Carson feel authentic and natural. Carson’s personality on the other hand is overtly naïve and seems to get subsumed by Nikodemus reflecting only those changes manifesting from her growing abilities. We are left with a strong notion of who Carson is by what she can do and what she has been influenced by, but no clear idea of who Carson is as a person. Hopefully Carson will discover herself in future installments.

My Wicked Enemy is the beginning of a new series followed closely by next years His Wicked Witch. Even with a somewhat uneven start I believe the series has great potential.

Read the first chapter.


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