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SFF Author: Diana Pharaoh Francis

Diana Pharaoh Francis fantasy authorDr. Diana Pharaoh Francis is a literature and writing professor at The University of Montana-Western. You’ll find excerpts, maps, and pronunciation guides at her website.



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Bitter Night: An urban fantasy that takes a lot of risks

Bitter Night by Diana Pharaoh Francis

In Bitter Night, Diana Pharaoh Francis introduces an unusual urban-fantasy heroine. Max is a Shadowblade, a super-powered warrior bound to serve a witch and her coven. Enslaved against her will, Max has loathed Giselle, her witch, for decades. Yet she finds herself working alongside Giselle, and other unlikely allies, when the Guardians (gods) plan an attack on the human race and threaten to destroy any coven that won’t help them.

What I liked about Bitter Night: First of all,


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Crimson Wind: A heck of a ride!

Crimson Wind by Diana Pharaoh Francis

Reading a Horngate Witches book is a bit like watching a big summer movie. Action! Explosions! Impossibly tough characters doing awesome things! It’s a heck of a ride. Crimson Wind, the second installment in the series, is better than the first and quite enjoyable.

Crimson Wind benefits, in part, from my having read Bitter Night and gotten an idea of what to expect from the series. These really aren’t much like the usual urban fantasies.


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Shadow City: Not as enjoyable as Crimson Wind

Shadow City by Diana Pharaoh Francis

At the end of Crimson Wind, Max gave herself up to the demigod Scooter to save Horngate. In Shadow City, the third HORNGATE WITCHES novel, we find out what Scooter needs Max for, and also what happens at Horngate while she’s gone. Diana Pharaoh Francis has split the narrative into two points of view from the beginning: Max’s and that of her maybe-lover, Alexander. This split enables her to show both storylines in alternating chapters.


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Next SFF Author: Pat Frank
Previous SFF Author: Janet Fox

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