Winter is the most deadly season in Temperance. And it’s not just because of the fierce cold. Evil is stalking the backcountry of Yellowstone, killing wolves and leaving only their skins behind.
As the snow deepens, Geologist Petra Dee is staring her own death in the face, while former Hanged Man Gabriel struggles with his abrupt transition back to mortality. The ravens and the rest of the Hanged Men are gone, and there are no magical solutions to Petra’s illness or Gabriel’s longing for what he’s lost…and what he stands to lose now.
Meanwhile, there’s a new sheriff in town. Sheriff Owen Rutherford has inherited the Rutherford ranch and the remnants of the Alchemical Tree of Life. He’s also a dangerously haunted man, and his investigation of Sal’s death is leading him right to Gabriel.
It’s up to Petra, her coyote sidekick Sig, and Gabriel to get ahead of both Owen and the unnatural being stalking them all – before the trail turns deathly cold.
ARC received in exchange for an honest review.
I wanted to read this book solely because of it’s cover. I’m a person that will read the book because of the cover and this time I unfortunately didn’t see that this is a series. So this is the third book and I highly recommend to all other readers that they read the first two books first. I had some throuble at the beginning of the story to get the hang of it all, since we have two worlds that the characters tell the story in or it relates to what happened there in the past. Also, the prologue is told by a wolf that belongs to the Nine of Stars wolf pack, so that was definitely confusing to me. But the rest is also told by Petra and other characters. After I found my way into the story it all started to make more sense. This is a fantasy/crime/bit of romance story. There is this ‘supernatural evil’ that this pack makes an enemy of and now they are in big trouble. Also, since the events that took place in the previous books we have another story beside this one. I love how a book can tell more than one story. That definitely makes up for an interesting story as a whole.
Petra is a very smart woman and that sometimes leads her into trouble. But this time her body is not on her side as well but that doesn’t stop her to investigate the new killings. I also liked Gabriel’s character. He’s lost a lot in his other magical world. Being now ‘less’ is taking some use to but at the end he does the right thing. I’m not so sure how I feel about Owen’s character. He’s like a dog that once smells blood, there’s no stopping him.
All in all I liked this story. The plot is quite interesting and fresh but I don’t like the ending. The cliffy is not my favourite part in a book. I want to know how the story unfolds and aslo, will Gabriel manage to escape or not. This is definitely one great read!
about the author
Laura Bickle grew up in rural Ohio, reading entirely too many comic books out loud to her favorite Wonder Woman doll. After graduating with an MA in Sociology – Criminology from Ohio State University and an MLIS in Library Science from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, she patrolled the stacks at the public library and worked with data systems in criminal justice. She now dreams up stories about the monsters under the stairs, also writing contemporary fantasy novels under the name Alayna Williams.
Her work has been included in the ALA’s Amelia Bloomer Project 2013 reading list and the State Library of Ohio’s Choose to Read Ohio reading list for 2015-2016.
The latest updates on her work are available at: Her page