Review: Hexed by Ilona Andrews, Yasmine Galenorn, Allyson James, Jeanne C. Stein
Four of the top authors in the urban fantasy genre are brought together in this one anthology. Each story explores havoc wreaking curses in scenarios ranging from a mythical elfin ice land to a dystopian Atlanta teeming with shifters. While each story is an extension of an existing series, they are meant to stand alone. Many readers will recognize The Kate Daniels Series, The Otherworld Series, The Storm Walker Series, and The Anna Strong Series.
The stories may revolve around the same subject but they are as varied and distinct as possible. Beginning with Magic Dreams by Ilona Andrews, a demure but long awaited story that will thrill Kate Daniels fans. Set in Atlanta, GA, the story describes a city that is torn apart by competing forces of magic and technology. Dali, a near sighted vegetarian white tiger shifter is desperately in love with her alpha, Jim, an imposing black panther shifter in charge of pack security. Dali and Jim join forces to save Jim’s life after he is cursed by a Japanese demon. The shifters soon discover that the demon seems to be targeting a specific family and search to uncover the meaning beind the tragic and deadly haunting.
Galenorn’s story, Ice Shards, follows Lady Iris’ journey across worlds and dimensions, as she seeks to expunge the curse that has plagued her since she was exiled from the Northlands monastery she once called home. Raised as the embodiment of a goddess, Iris awakens one day to finds herself lying next to her dead lover and unable to recall the events leading up to this moment. Surrounded by evidence that designates her as the murderer, Iris is denounced by her community and sent to live in exile in the Pacific Northwest for nearly 600 years. But when a new love comes into her life and with him a chance for marriage and a family Iris must go back to the temple to unravel the mystery surrounding the death of her former lover and have the curse lifted. Be prepared for a world of intricate mythologies, mystical powers and exotic creatures written in a language that combines the formality of old English with the quick almost stuttering cadence of modern day American English.
James’ entry, Double Hexed, is the sexiest novel of the bunch with Janet, a demi-goddess, and Mick, her dragon-shifter mate, almost constantly in some sexual act. A small assortment of witches, shifters, vampires, nulls and an enchanted mirror struggle to free a hotel and it’s inhabitants from a deathly curse that has the plumbing spouting blood and the supes acting crazy.
Stein rounds out the quartet with Blood Debt, an Anna Strong story. Anna is called in to pay back a favor when the brother of a local witch goes missing. Complicating matters, the man has been taken to avenge a crime that Anna unwittingly committed. Now racing against the clock and the devil, Anna must find a way to bring him back alive and clear her name.