Before I get to the review, a quick housekeeping note. I’ve returned to university and am now working on a Ph.D. As such, the time I can give to reading fiction (my favorite thing) is sadly constricted. It will likely take me a little while to find my feet and my new normal. But at the moment, I’m experimenting with reading and reviewing series instead of individual books. (I even made a whole post asking for omnibus recommendations.) This makes for longer posts a lot of the time but also allows for more time between postings. But I also acknowledge that I don’t usually tend to be quite as detailed when I’m reviewing several books together. So, I may not stick with it. But for now, expect series reviews more often than individual book reviews.
OK, on to the review.
I picked up a copy of C. Rochelle‘s Rise of the Witch as an Amazon freebie and then went back and purchased a copy of the omnibus to finish the series.
As with most beginnings, it started with death.
When I had nothing left to lose, I traveled to the hut in the woods; the one no one dared approach. The witch who lived there recognized the darkness in my soul and took me under her wing—to witness her reign of terror firsthand and eventually, to inherit her legacy as my own.
Now I’m the monster they fear; the one humans avoid at all costs. In this welcome isolation, I’ve attempted to forget my past and the future that was taken from me.
Until three men appear, somehow able to break through my protective wards and see me in my true form. While resistant to their intrusion, I recognize they may be the ones I’ve been waiting for—the ones I need to ascend to my full power.
Too bad I would rather grind their bones than invite them in.
But something is mysteriously devouring the forest, and I suspect the threat may be the same one I barely escaped many moons ago. If it is, he will find me a more worthy opponent than the last time we met.
I am the Yaga and I may be broken, but my edges are sharp.
I enjoyed the heck out of this series. Though more the first two books than the third, which I thought got too sappy and too deus ex machina-like. Characters suddenly developed and utilized powers too easily and conveniently. But outside of that, I loved the characters and thought the world was interesting. The writing is well-edited and easy to read. And there were just a lot of aspects of the romance and sexual relationships that I appreciated—things you don’t see often enough, IMO.
The heroine is curvy and doesn’t conform to a lot of today’s beauty standards. She’s not clean-shaven, for example. And the men make it very clear that they like this about her. One’s kink is even loving the smell of a woman a day or so outside of bathing. (This is notable since women are often taught they shouldn’t smell of anything at all—just one more way to plasticize us, IMO). So, I very much appreciated that the men loved aspects of her body that make her human in the most natural of ways.
Conversely, I did take issue with the gay character becoming bisexual for Vasi. It’s not written as if he was always bi but just finally found a woman to express it with. He was gay but confusingly found himself sexually attracted to Vasi. I found that a little ick if I’m honest. Though I adored the absolute chaos that was his relationship with Tan as well as Nox’s protectiveness of it.
All in all, this series was a winner for me, and I’ll be looking for more of Rochelle’s books.
@author.tbwiese @C. Rochelle RH Author I read this in two days. Couldn’t put it down. RAN to my bookcase to start book 2. #bookthoughts #spicybooks #babayaga ♬ original sound – T.B. Wiese – Fantasy Author