The fourth outing in Pharaoh Francis’ gut-wrenching series finds the characters facing winter, food shortages and the loss of fellow warriors. As always, the relationships in these books are complex, knotty and subject to misinterpretation; so along with knife-edged danger, there are plenty of emotional bombs to be dropped. Truly dark urban fantasy at its best!
The residents of Horngate will have to deal with a harsh winter and food shortages, so Max heads into town to check on the situation. Unfortunately what Max discovers is a growing fundamentalist congregation led by Sterling Savage, a fire-and-brimstone preacher bent on destroying all magic. They quickly discover that Sterling is actually a witch being used as a puppet by an extremely powerful demon. With the angels Tutresiel and Xaphan still in a comatose state, Max realizes they are badly outmatched. To save those she loves, Max may have to embark on a suicide mission. (POCKET, Jan., 390 pp., $7.99)