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While searching for a portal home, Thána, Xen, and Daria settle in a small town where they encounter a serial killer and witch hunters.

In Book 3 of The Blood Witch Saga: Hêalic by Natalie J. Case, our trio search for a portal back to Meerat and then to Spítia where Thána and Daria's family await. They settle into Gavelscore, a place like 19th century London with a language close to Old English. In order to save money as they heal and search for a portal, Thána, Xen, and Daria find jobs; Thána starts using her healing power to cure plague victims while trying to lay low since witch hunters live in the area and the place has a serial killer loose.

The setting in Hêalic is mostly in Gavelscore, a version of 19th century London, which readers may enjoy since it's a relatable location to our world; it's a place readers can instantly see in their mind's eye.

The integration of Old English dialogue is a nice touch that will keep many readers engaged, although how it is demonstrated could have been better. Readers are given broken dialogue and then full dialogue of the Old English language of the people in the first half of the book as Thána tries to understand and speak it. But there is suddenly a shift for readers seeing the dialogue as only modern English, which can be confusing since readers are supposed to understand that the characters are still speaking their version of Old English. It would have been better had the author continued to provide all the necessary conversations in the new language or refrained from providing the consistent full sentences of this new language in the first half of the book.

The switch in gender roles in Gavelscore allows readers to see something of a parallel universe of our world, and at times, disrupts the reader's mental image, which is a good thing. It helps readers get a refreshingly new perspective, especially in this era similar to that in our own world's history. With the addition of a Jack the Ripper-type serial killer, there is a layer of mystery and intrigue added to the mix.

Our main trio continue to develop in their relationship amongst themselves, and both sisters see growth in their magic. The book contains a lot of different elements while concluding Thána's story well. The ending seems to have been left open for a fourth book, so if this is the case, I'd love to read that one, too!

Reviewed by

I am a writer who loves getting lost in stories and analyzing lore, character development, and many other aspects. I'm working on my own novel and understand how much work, determination and bravery goes into writing a book. I want to help people get their story written and read by the world.


About the author

Words were Natalie's first love and she grew up finding new ways to put words together to tell stories. Natalie dabbles in worlds where magic exists, vampires & shape-shifters share page time with gods & demons, and characters are born out of the magic of words. view profile

Published on December 05, 2022

Published by Next Chapter

90000 words

Genre: Urban Fantasy

Reviewed by