His Dark Magic (Northern Circle Coven, #1)
by Pat Esden

I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review. Truthfully, I am already an Esden fan from her prior Dark Heart series (love me the djinn). So I was looking forward to falling in love with a new set of new adults discovering their power and walking the edge of darkness and light.

Chloe made a mistake that lead to a tragedy. Now she’s just at school in Burlington, VT trying to pick up the pieces of her life and make a career in medicine to find a way to atone.

But Chloe is a witch. While her ability to sense magic and cast wards isn’t anything special, she longs to be part of a coven that would give her life purpose. When a handsome stranger drops off an invite to the nearest coven as a potential initiate, she can’t resist attending. Lured by the promise of a magic that will help her atone, she is slowly, bit by bit, lured to the dark side of magic.

Confession: I didn’t fall in love with Devlin, the male lead, as I did with Chase from Esden’s other series. (Although Chloe had no problem falling for him– steamy fun times were had) However, I did fall in love with Chloe’s friends. The little merry band of friends outside the Northern Circle Coven, including Keshari with her demon-avoiding atomizer, were awesome and engaging. There’s definitely potential in some of the coven members (Midas the engineer, Em the AA attending alcoholic, and Chandler, the welding artist with her son) but we didn’t spend enough time with them for me to get hooked as we did with Chloe’s Wiccan friends.

The other thing this book does well is give you a sense of place. From the Burlington Earth Clock to Lake Champlain, I could totally visualize each scene’s surroundings in a solid way. And this is chock full of cool little witchery details like sand is just dozens of tiny crystals and the way to make rosemary oil, and the more gruesome method of casting an illusion on oneself. There’s also a bunch of bonus Arthurian myth thrown in for those of us who might at one time have been addicted to the musical Camelot….

Great opening for a new series. I can feel the potential in many of the characters and hope to follow them on further adventures. (His Dark Magic scheduled to be released December 2018)