Review of the series of books about the witch Mother Renard or Shade as she prefers to be known…
Shade is, or was, the mentee /trainee of Baba Yaga or Mother Hazel as she now prefers to be known.
Shade does not know how long she has lived with her mentor, but during that time she has learnt at least 7 languages, and has acquired in depth knowledge of a number of topics equivalent to at least 5 PhDs. She has barely aged and helped Mother Hazel with many village witch activities such as healing, birthing, and childcare, but has not practised her magic a great deal, rather spending her time with learning new knowledge.
As this series begins, Shade has completed, she believes, her apprenticeship with Mother Hazel and has been given a village to look after.
Shade wants to become a Private Investigator not just a village /hedge witch, even if the village is more like a small town, and finds herself meeting a very influential vampire as her first official client.
She also joins up with an FBI agent- Andy- and finds herself with a fey admirer who continuously tries to seduce her. not to mention an Alpha werewolf.
Shade is an interesting character. Especially as her abilities develop more than she expects all the time and yet she manages to get (into and) out of trouble with effort and capabilities that stretch her and make her better at her work. One problem with her solutions, as she starts to find out, is that although she may have ‘solved’ the case, the impact of her solutions live on and not necessarily to the good. This is a philosophical conundrum. If you do nothing then something bad happens – but what if your interference also causes something bad to happen (later) ?
The stories hold your attention and have an overlay of humor especially see the bumbag Shade carries and the various fey creatures and their delight in stationery and honey. There are always new Otherworld characters and creatures and the author has a creative imagination and/or done a lot of research.. The vampiric world is evident in more than one fey too. And don’t think that all ‘fairies’ or sidhe (pronounced Shee, just so you know when reading the books) are nice – see the water horses / kelpies and the goblins are just.. well. If you want a compendium of types of faery or sidhe then Faeriepedia has a list with descriptions. A good place to start your research,
I read the complete series as an 8 book binge (last one just out) and each book developed the characters as their circumstances became more complex. Look out for the appearance of a rhino in Andy’s living-room!
I came across book 1 – Deadline in a book comprising 9 stories called After Midnight, published by Dark Valentine Press, 18 Sep 2019, 2508 pages. The book also contains full-length stories by:
- Christine Pope
- Kat Parrish
- C. govkel
- Nicole R Taylor
- Kasey Mackenzie
- SM Reine
- Pippa Da Costa
- Yasmine Galenorn
- Colleen Gleason.