Dana reviews Hexslayer (Hexworld, Book 3) by Jordan L. Hawk. (Published October 6, 2017, 260 pages) A copy was provided in exchange for an honest review.
To read Bethany’s audioreview of Hexbreaker (Hexworld, #1) click here.
To read Marc’s review of The 13th Hex (Hexworld, #0.5) and Hexbreaker (Hexworld, #1) click here.
To read the duo review of Hexmaker (Hexworld, #2) click here.
Horse shifter Nick has one rule: never trust a witch.
Nick has devoted his life to making his saloon a safe haven for the feral familiars of New York. So when a brutal killer slaughters a feral under his protection, Nick has no choice but to try and catch the murderer. Even if that means bonding with a handsome Irish witch.
Officer Jamie MacDougal came back from the war in Cuba missing part of a leg and most of his heart. After his former lover becomes one of the killer’s victims, Jamie will do anything to solve the case.
Nick comes to Jamie with a proposal: after making a temporary bond, they will work together to stop the murders. Once the killer is caught, they walk away and never see one another again.
It sounds simple enough. But the passion that flares between the two men won’t be so easily extinguished. And if Nick can’t learn to trust his witch, he stands to lose everything—including his life.
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I am a huge fan of Jordan L. Hawk. She creates these awesome paranormal worlds and in the Hexworld series it merges with historical period. I imagine there is a lot of research to make the setting authentic while also making it her own. It’s turn of the century and Teddy Roosevelt and the Rough Riders just fought in Cuba. In this world, there isn’t a lot of discrimination based on color or sexual preference. At least it’s not mentioned, because in this world, prejudice is reserved for familiars. Witches like Jaime have abilities that are stronger when they pair with a human/animal shifter like Nick. Witch and familiar pairs have many roles in this society including working for the MWP, a magical law enforcement agency.
The world building and time period are important to the story. It’s a time of great tension between familiars, witches, and regular humans. Groups of familiars are fighting for equal treatment, and some are trying claim they are better than witches and humans, asserting that without their help, witches wouldn’t have as much strength. Riots are breaking out, and in turn politicians are tightening the reins on the familiars and locking them up if they deem their animal form to be dangerous or forcing pairings with witches. And though the US hasn’t experienced this actual situation, this cycle of oppression and fight for rights is never ending and we can see it throughout history and recognize that it’s in play still today. This creative and unique world building and historical story felt relevant and relatable to me.
Now for the characters. Nick has appeared in the previous books of the series. It was apparent that he was very protective of other unpaired familiars. He was a little closed off from others and had a dislike for witches and the MWP. I was curious about him, but I was a little intimidated by him. Jamie is a former soldier and he is a witch. He lost a leg fighting in Cuba and ends up assigned to driving a prison wagon. Jamie is a friendly and positive man, even when it looks like everyone in his life has relegated him to useless. Nick has absolutely no desire to bond with a witch. The ritualistic killing of several familiars that he knows and redirection in the MWP leave him with no choice. He is very loyal to familiars.
What makes this pairing so awesome is Jamie is the kind of witch that Nick needs to see. He is empathetic to the familiars bad treatment. He kind and caring. He brings a light to Nick’s life that he hasn’t allowed in. Nick sees a witch that he is attracted to, and though that bothers him, Jamie’s wooden leg barely registers. He recognizes that Jamie might need assistance at times, but he doesn’t see Jamie as different from any other witch. They, mostly Nick, fought the attraction for awhile but their chemistry won out eventually. Their love is strong even if they don’t admit it at first, and they’ll need it to face the threat to the familiars.
The Hexworld series is definitely becoming a favorite series of mine. I could say that about all this author’s series though. As different as the worlds are from each other and from mine I can always connect with the characters and I love learning something about history while being entertained by the world she created. I can’t recommend these books enough and I encourage everyone to pick up a book from this author.
10/10 Pots of Gold (100% Recommended) – Compares to 5/5 Stars
Jordan L. Hawk grew up in North Carolina and forgot to ever leave. Childhood tales of mountain ghosts and mysterious creatures gave her a life-long love of things that go bump in the night. When she isn’t writing, she brews her own beer and tries to keep her cats from destroying the house. Her best-selling Whyborne & Griffin series (beginning with Widdershins) can be found in print, ebook, and audiobook at Amazon and other online retailers.
If you want to contact Jordan, click here for Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest, or send an email.
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