Released: October 2014
It’s nearing the end of October, which means that Halloween is almost upon us. If you’re inclined to avoid fancy-dress parties in favour of staying home with a spooky book on All Hallow’s Eve, Circle of Blood: A Witch Hunt Novel is the perfect book to satisfy your need for scares.
As the final book in Debbie Viguié’s witchy trilogy, Circle of Blood follows once-cop Samantha Ryan as she battles an evil witch who’s hell-bent on destroying the world and using Samantha as a pawn in her diabolical plan. Having always battled with her magical lineage and the darkness that lurks inside her, Samantha must understand and accept her past before she can conquer the evil witch Lilith Black and ultimately save the world.
Using all the usual tropes of the witch genre as inspiration, Viguié has written a book that’s intriguing, exciting and almost breathless with the speed at which it moves. Using lively New Orleans as the backdrop to all the spooky happenings, Viguié conjures an eerie atmosphere right from the start. A scene where Samantha visits a hoodoo woman in a dark and misty bayou, only accessible via boat, is wonderfully written; it’s the type of scene that cinematic adaptations are made for.
With a swift pace and strong action scenes, the quieter moments of ‘romance’, if you can call it that, between Samantha and Anthony always fall short. Viguié has a tendency to rely on corny dialogue that doesn’t sit well with the rest of the story. However, these moments are so brief that they thankfully don’t detract from the building tension.
Samantha is a well-rounded and likeable protagonist and the detail given to the world of witchcraft is well researched and therefore wholly believable. Unfortunately, if, like me, you’ve never read the first two books in the trilogy, you’ll probably feel as if you’ve fallen asleep through a movie and missed the most important parts. The periphery characters feel underdeveloped and brushed over, which is attributed to not knowing how or if they fit into Samantha’s past.
If you’re a fan of Charmed, American Horror Story: Coven or indeed any supernatural themed story that features witches, there’s a lot to be enjoyed with Circle of Blood. Read the whole trilogy and you’re likely to find it even more rewarding.