DIANA PHARAOH FRANCIS TAKES ON THE APOCALPYSE
Author Diana Pharaoh Francis is set to continue her Horngate Witches series with a third installment titled Shadow City.
The urban fantasy series stands out because of the way the apocalypse, that sets the stage for the series, takes place. Rather than a natural or man-made disaster, Francis asked herself "what if all of [the disasters] weren't really natural? What if someone or something was causing them?" Thus, in the Horngate series, a divine power has instituted an apocalypse to clear the world of the masses of humans.
Francis drew inspiration from authors Robin McKinley and Ilona Andrews, who each created futures where magic and technology mixed. But Francis was interested in how that type of future came to be. "One of the things I've had a great time with is being able to bring in mythical beings from all of the world's folklore, including angels, redcaps, hags, native American critters, and some others."
The series focuses on the fate of a rebellious coven. When the Horngate coven chooses not to aid the divine powers in wiping out humanity, the coven then must then pay for its disobedience.
The series' heroine, Max, was created to help protect the coven from the divine backlash. She's a supernatural warrior who is bound to one of the Horngate witches. Francis says of Max, "she is angry and tough and flawed and she's struggling with making decisions she doesn't want to have to make ... she's torn between this duty that's been thrust upon her, and her own need for revenge."
Series first, Bitter Night, was an RT nominee for Best Urban Fantasy 2009. Look for series second, Crimson Wind, in December of 2010. Shadow City is slated to follow at the end of 2011.