August 05, 2013

Witchlight by Marion Zimmer Bradley

After the mess that was Ghostlight (book one in the Light series) I was relieved to find this one was written a little better. It isn't really necessary to read them in order, although you will miss out a little on the backstory of some characters. And there's been some uproar about the fact that this book was co-authored (ghostwritten, completely written, noone seems to know for sure) by someone other than Marion Zimmer Bradley, despite her name being on the cover.

When Winter Musgrave finds herself in an old house all she remembers is that she released herself from a mental institution. The rest of her past is fuzzy, and strange occurrences keep happening around her, the worst of which being the mutilated animals on her doorstep. Having been a powerful trader on the stock exchange, Winter is surprised to learn that she once went to the local college and was studying the arts, but left before she was to have graduated. Realizing that the phenomena happening is getting more violent though, she desperately seeks her friends from back then, hoping they can fill in the gaps before it is too late.

Winter bounces all over the place in personality. She goes from being cold to hopeful to reminiscent and back again over the spectrum. This is to be expected, she's undergone a lot of stress. But it just didn't feel genuine at times. In fact, the only character who really felt real was Truth, and maybe that's because she was in the first book. The rest were just flat characters who were there to serve a purpose. At least they had some interesting histories though, so you did care about where they came from.

This book started out great. You really wanted to know what happened to Winter and cheered for her when she started making discoveries about herself. But by the end of the book, the pace was all off and things started happening too quickly. The author also assumes that the reader has more than a base knowledge of the occult/magic/etc. and if you don't, it can make the concepts of this book difficult to understand. I had a general idea of what was going on, but I suspect I missed a lot of the nuances that having a broader knowledge depth would have given me. It just made the book more difficult to read.

I think someone more familiar with the occult and magic in different forms might enjoy this book more than the average person. It definitely has a specific audience unlike some of the other books with Bradley's name on the cover. I've got one more of the Light series at home that I'll probably read, but they're definitely not books I would seek out otherwise.

Copyright 1996
303 pages

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