Warrior by Marie Brennan

Recently finished Warrior by Marie Brennan.  In this world, witches are not just the norm but an established part of the world.  They are feared and revered due to the powers but their purpose is to do the bidding of the Goddess and generally help the others less fortunate.  But they are also secretive and something is going on among the ranks.  One of the Keys of one of the witch factions is killed in a seemingly normal event but a couple of bounty hunters are called in confidentially to investigate the possible murder.  One of these warriors is a beautiful young girl whose rough life has sharpened her skills and hardened her heart into one of the best.

The witches have schools where witch daughters are left by their parents at a young age to learn and train spells, herbs and rituals until their powers come in.  One girl specifically goes to take her test of readiness only to find that she can’t fully control them until she finds and kills her doppelganger.

While the witch, a gentle and thoughtful girl, searches the countryside for her assigned kill, the warrior searches for the murderer of a Key witch.  When they meet up, hell breaks loose as the girl discovers that the warrior is her doppelganger.

The beginning of the book I found to be a bit slow albeit interesting but about half way it pulls you in while you explore two very different worlds living together and the adventures of the two girls.  I am looking forward to reading the second in the series, Witches, to see how it all pans out.

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Night World series by L.J. Smith

There are 9 books in the series by L.J. Smith so far as I can tell although another one needs to come out to close everything up.  They are:
Secret Vampire
Daughters of Darkness
Spellbinder
Dark Angel
The Chosen
Soulmate
Huntress
Black Dawn
Witchlight

I got them all in three volumes. They are a young adult series but L.J. writes so well that despite the fact that many of stories are the same as far as the soulmate concept goes, with different characters and places, they were very enjoyable and kept you wanting to see what happens next.  I really liked them and plan to have them lying around for my daughter to find when she’s a bit older.

The books are about the Night World, a world that is not different from our modern day society but hidden and active within it.  Those that are part of the night world, vampires, shape shifters, werewolves, witches, are bound by night world law with two rules; they cannot fall in love with humans and they cannot disclose the night world to humans.  The first story introduces us to Poppy who is human and James who is her best friend and unbeknownst to her, a vampire.  She finds out she’s not got long to live.  James, trying as he might, realizes he’s in love with her and goes against everything he was brought up as to save her.  The soulmate concept comes up in each book so you get action, adventure, drama and love.  They’re a very nice, easy read and even though I’m way past young adult age, I would read them again.

I went to the author website to find out about the final book.  It says it is called “Strange Fate” and it is ‘to come’.  The last book in the above series was finished in 1998 so I am hoping that the final does make it’s way out so I can see the final conclusion.  Don’t let that stop you though – the books are individual and don’t even have to be read in order but it’s more fun that way because the characters from each book are spattered here and there through the following books.