Every fifty years, a cult claims twelve men to murder in a small Texas town. Can one girl end the cycle of violence –and save the boy who broke her heart?
San Solano, Texas is a quaint town known for its charm, hospitality, and history of murder. Twice now, twelve men have been brutally killed, and no one knows who did it. A shadowy witch? A copy-cat killer? Or a man-hating murderess? Eighteen-year-old Natalie Colter is sure that the rumors about her great-great-grandmother’s cult of wronged women are justgossip, but that doesn’t stop the true crime writers and dark tourism bloggers from capitalizing on the town’s reputation. It’s an urban legend that’s hard to ignore, and it gets harder when Nat learns that the sisterhood is real, and magical. And they want her to join.
The more Nat learns of the Wardens’ supernatural history, the more she wonders about the real culprits behind the town’s ritualistic murders. Are the Wardens protecting San Solano from even darker forces? As the anniversary of the murders draws near, the town grows restless. Residents start getting “claimed” as this year’s planned victims, including Levi Langford, the boy whose kiss haunted Nat for a year.Nat knows that no one is safe. Can she and the sisterhood stop the true evil from claiming their town?
The Bitterwine Oath is what I call a laid-back mystery. The mystery isn’t there but it isn’t a story that has your blood pumping on every single page. That isn’t a bad thing, I loved this book and there were mystery elements to enjoy.
I must admit that I though that Levi and Natalie would’ve had more of a relationship in the past because the synopsis did say that he broke her heart, but it also said kiss, singular, so maybe that was my fault. While their romance wasn’t the main focus of the book, it did play a big part in the story and I wasn’t upset about it. The relationship dynamic flowed well and the characters fit well together.
The formatting did a lot for the story. The excerpts from the book mentioned in the story did a great job of providing backstory for the origin of the magic, past characters and past events without taking away or taking readers out of the story.
I also enjoyed the pacing of the story and the fact that Hannah West didn’t feel the need to give us a play by play of what happened every day leading up to the climax of the story. I also appreciated that the story didn’t only focus on the magic and murder elements, I liked reading about Nat hating her new job, and her hanging out with her friends. What I found really interesting however, was that events or lines that I thought were only significant to that scene where we aren’t focusing on the magic and murder elements, are actually linked to said magic and murder elements.The magic and the history of the magic was also a really good part of the story.
One downside however was that Nat learned to fight in like a day, which was really unbelievable. Aside from that though, the fight scenes were adrenaline induction.
The story wrapped up quite nicely and I highly recommend.
About The Author:
Hannah West is the author ofyoung adult books includingThe Nissera Chroniclesseries andThe Bitterwine Oath.She’s been writing fantasysince kindergarten, when she penned her first tale abouta princess who ran away and livedat the top of a flagpole with two loaves of bread. But it wasn’t until she studied abroad in Orléans, Franceduringcollegethat the premise for her first novel materialized. The fairy tale castles, the snowy winter days, and a Disney princess pencil that arrived in a care package from her parents provided the inspiration that allowed her to wrangle all her untold and unfinished stories into a novel.
Hannah currently lives in the Dallas area with her husband and their two rambunctious rescue dogs.