Book Review | Crimson Wind

Crimson Wind by Diana Pharaoh FrancisTitle: Crimson Wind (Horngate Witches Books)

Author: Diana Pharaoh Francis

My Review: 

Thirty years ago, Max lost her humanity when her best friend betrayed her trust and turned her into a Shadowblade, a powerful witch’s ally who does her bidding. Max has always sworn that she will kill Giselle for what she did to her, but her daydreams of revenge are interrupted when the Guardians begin their attack on humankind.

Max and Alexander, the Prime of Giselle’s arch enemy, set off to find Max’s family and bring them back to Horngate so they will be protected. Although she is attracted to Alexander, Max is suspicious that he will try to take her place as Giselle’s Prime now that he is no longer affiliated with Selange. There are plenty of obstacles in Max’s way as she searches for her long-lost family, and Max experiences first hand the devastating effects that the Guardians have on humans. When Max finally reconnects with her family, she is shocked that they are not surprised to see her again, which makes her question her entire existence.

I was pretty excited to start Crimson Wind, the second book in Diana Pharoah Francis’s Horngate Witches series. Though the world building lost me in the first book, I was hoping for more clarity in the second book. However, I found it difficult to get into Crimson Wind because it seemed like a never ending stream of Max and Alexander fighting their attraction for one another and saving people from the Guardians’ mess; all I really wanted was to get to the part where Max would see her family face to face for the first time in thirty years.

When Max and her father talk again for the first time, she cannot believe that he is not surprised she isn’t dead. Max (whose real name is actually Anne) learns that her family knows all about witches, and she feels a bit betrayed by them as well.

Crimson Wind ends on an exciting note, and while I plan to keep reading the series, I hope that Shadow City has more of an actual plot. I found myself skipping over the steamy scenes between Alexander and Max (in my opinion, they were poorly written), and I was less than thrilled with many of the grammatical errors I found in the book (note: I read a finished copy of this). My expectations are not high for Shadow City, but i am curious to see what will become of Max.

*I received a copy of this book for review, but was not compensated financially in any way. The opinions expressed are my own and are based solely on my experiences while reading this novel.*


Jen currently lives in Utah with her family, and enjoys reading and writing in her spare time. She is active on popular book websites including,, and

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