Alice Marin, 21 and newly released from the institution for clinically unstable witches, returns to post-Katrina New Orleans to attend her grandfather Celestin’s funeral. Although magic seems to be waning, Alice is more powerful than ever. Perhaps it’s her connection to the malevolent entity Babau Jean, or perhaps it’s related to the Marin family secrets. Either way, Alice delves into the mysteries surrounding her family, including the loss of her mother, brother, and her father’s abandonment of her. What she starts to unravel is beyond her wildest imaginings.
The King of Bones and Ashes by J. D. Horn has everything I could want in a story – evocative setting, strong female characters**, complex family drama, and witchcraft – but the novel was a hindered by uneven pacing. It’s the first in the series, and though I struggled in a few parts, I’ll look for the second book*. If you like southern gothic mysteries with a hint of the supernatural, this book is for you.
*cliffhangers are a personal pet peeve of mine, but it is effective, in this case.
**If you enjoy names, this book has a fantastic list of characters names.
***I received a review copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.