Balefire, by Jordan L. Hawk
Series: Whyborne and Griffin, Book 10
Release Date: July 13, 2017
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Whyborne’s Endicott relatives have returned to collect on the promise he made to help them take back their ancestral manor from an evil cult. In exchange, they’ll give him the key to deciphering the Wisborg Codex, which Whyborne needs to learn how to stop the masters.
To that end, Whyborne, his husband Griffin, and their friends Iskander and Christine travel to a small island off the coast of Cornwall. But when they arrive at Balefire Manor, Whyborne must not only face the evil within the ancient mansion, but the painful truth about his own destiny.
Content Warning for: Paranormal Violence Involving Non-Humans
Review contains spoilers for previous books.
This isn’t going to contain any book-specific spoilers but in order to talk about some parts of it I will have to include some spoilers of previous books. This book is too closely tied to previous plots to completely avoid this, but now you have the push you need to go read the rest of the series!
With most of the previous books (first five) I think you could get away with reading them as one offs and be fine. However, the later books should be read as part of the series or you are going to be very lost and confused. This book is the culmination of the Endicotts, the ketois, and the other plotlines built up in the other 9 books. The only thing Hawk really needs to have them do now is fight the Masters (and WIN!?).
Balefire had way less interpersonal/family tension than the other books. I appreciated this because they are getting serious about the escalation of the conflicts with the Masters, maelstrom, and everything else the other books have been building up to.
However, I think at times the fun banter and relationships/friendships we have grown to love kind of got pushed back a bit in favor of action. This is fine for me because I like that there was less romance and personal drama, but I know that a lot of people really enjoyed that about the previous books. The characters are still the characters we all love, but they are focused on doing battle, and it was nice to see everyone come together to try and save the world. I also think this made the book feel faster-paced, and it was done in a blink of an eye once I got into it!
Out of all of the books this one was the most action-packed. The beginning has some explication, and them going to Balefire, but once they arrive it’s nonstop action and fighting. Very well written action and fighting, mind you but it is still more than we’ve seen in the previous books. This one had less of the build up and mystery, and more of the gang just getting things done! It was a wonderful bridge between the previous books and what is probably going to be an epic battle against the Masters in the next one.
One thing I really have to mention is that Hawk did a wonderful job explaining everything. In this book she seamlessly reintroduces the group’s history with the maelstrom, Endicotts, etc, without it sounding like it was someone just reciting facts. She made it a natural part of the storyline, and it really helped me keep up with the plots because each book has had a lot going on, and I find it hard to recall specifics. This helped me enjoy the book more because I didn’t have to keep trying to remember stuff.
If you’ve like the previous books in the series you will for sure like this one. It was a satisfying read and had a lot of things get solved that had been hinted at. There were finally more answers than questions, and I recommend picking this up if you are invested in the series. You won’t be disappointed.
Per the end notes there will be one more book until the series is concluded. I’ll be sad to see it go!
Jordan L. Hawk grew up in the wilds of North Carolina, where she was raised on stories of haints and mountain magic by her bootlegging granny and single mother. After using a silver knife in the light of a full moon to summon her true love, she turned her talents to spinning tales. She weaves together couples who need to fall in love, then throws in some evil sorcerers and undead just to make sure they want it bad enough. In Jordan’s world, love might conquer all, but it just as easily could end up in the grave.
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I received an advanced copy of this novel in exchange for a fair and honest review.