Author: Charissa Weaks
Genre: Adult Romantic Fantasy (18+)
Publisher: City Owl Press
WARNING: There will be spoilers for The Witch Collector and City of Ruin
CONTENT/TRIGGER WARNINGS: Content and trigger warnings can be found for each book on Charissa Weaks’ website: https://charissaweaks.com/content-warnings
“Many believe Loria chose the grove on Mount Ulra as the final resting place for the gods not only because the power of the Summerlanders…But also because the mystical earth would provide guardians of its own in the trees…the grove is responsible for delivering punishment to those who dishonor sacred law and disturb the gods…this punishment would come as a curse in the blood.”
Charissa Weeks, Prologue, The Wolf and the Witch
The Wolf and The Witch, the third book in The Witch Walker series by Charissa Weaks, once again delivers a brilliant romantic fantasy that runs the reader through a gamut of emotions, from sorrow and pain, to humor and love. It is the book that perfectly bridges the cliffhanger ending of City of Ruin as the characters deal with the tragic events, while developing the relationship between Neri and Nephele, the main protagonists. In The Wolf and The Witch, there is time spent as they try to come to terms with what happened to Raina. It needs to do so, as the ending of City of Ruin is so pivotal to the next books in series. To not mention it and head right into the story of Neri, The White Wolf and God of the North, and Nephele would ignore a glaring issue, which plays a large part in of their growing relationship. I absolutely loved this book and the series, and how Ms. Weaks is continuing to build a layered story that encompasses incredibly well-developed characters, beautiful world building, unique magic, and her trademark twists and turns that I never saw coming. The story is told in the first-person perspective of Neri and Nephele, and I loved reading their thoughts. Once again, I was swept away into the world of The Witch Walker, and this book kept me entranced from the first to the last page. This series has wrapped around my heart like no other, and hasn’t let go. My heart fills with joy, love, and sometimes heartbreak as I continue to be part of the glorious journey Ms. Weaks has created. Any fan of romantic fantasy should absolutely add this series to the top of your to be read list. I cannot recommend this series enough.
Apart from Raina, the characters are all back in the beginning of the book. Alexus does have a role, though it is limited as this is not his story. His character arc is taking a very interesting turn as he tries to process his grief over losing Raina in the only way he knows how. I can only say that his scenes are heartbreaking. War is looming with Thamaos and the Prince, who we now know is Elias Gherahn. The characters eventually go their separate ways, each with a specific task to carry out for what is inevitably on the horizon. Alexus’ grief is so palpable and his eternal love for Raina is beautiful, as illustrated in this passage:
“I have crossed from the living realm to the realm of the dead,” he says…Now I know I did it for her. I was looking for her. I think I was always looking for her, even if my mind didn’t understand…So how dare you tell me I cannot find her. How dare you think that anything will keep me from her.”… “Three hundred years ago,” he goes on, “the love I felt for Raina…became my driving instinct…not even death could become a boundary. So believe me when I tell you that time won’t stand in my way either. It hasn’t yet.”
Charissa Weaks, The Wolf and the Witch
Neri and Nephele begin their journey north to protect Winterhold. It is Neri’s home, and Nephele’s as well, since she spent so much time there protecting it as a Witch Walker. The narrative is told in the first-person perspective of Neri and Nephele. At first it was a odd not listening to Alexus and Raina, even though he was in the book. It was not his story, and I it was wonderful to read what Neri and Nephele were thinking. We saw Alexus through Neri’s eyes, and I must say it was was truly hysterical. It was refreshing to see him through the eyes of someone who doesn’t like him, but will be a large part of his life. As we see Neri and Nephele interact, their banter is a joy. Ms. Weaks makes each of her characters so real and relatable. Nepehle has sass and she wants to keep Neri at arm’s length, despite her growing attraction to him. The attraction is becoming more than sexual. Neri is the perfect “man” to counter the walls she has built around herself to keep out her pain. He knows her too well. Neri’s personality surprised me the most. He is acerbic, mainly towards Alexus, and he has also has a sarcastic side. I was not prepared for his laugh out loud lines. If Ms. Weaks ever wanted a side job, I think she would do well as a standup comedian:
“But I’d be lying if I didn’t have the urge to remind everyone that I’ve been trapped for 300 years, too, inside Un Drallag’s melancholy meat suit.”
“Loath as I am to admit it, I can’t help but notice just how much his magick has grown…
I would gouge my eyes out with rusted spoons before I told him so, though.”
Charissa Weaks, The Wolf and the Witch
The attraction between Neri and Nephele started in City of Ruin. The way in which it develops is both surprising and ingenious. Revealing too much will venture in spoiler territory. What I will say is that Neri has feelings for Nephele that are beyond sexual, and Nephele is developing the same towards him. They are as perfect for each other as Raina and Alexus. Neri is taking on more human traits as he spends time with her, and surprisingly, she is taking on some of his traits. To see this turn around, and have Nephele’s walls coming down was wonderful to read.
“When I open the letter, I find four words written in old Elikesh…Four tiny words that I would never imagine the God of the North thinking, let alone writing.
Forgive me, little bird
I want to be unaffected and unmoved, but the truth is, though I don’t understand why the wolf draws such vast swings of emotion from me, my hard heart softens as I read those words…Such an endearingly human gesture, from a beast of a god no less.”
Charissa Weaks, The Wolf and The Witch
Now to address the sexual parts of this book. Yes, there is sexual tension, and more, between Neri and Nephele. Yes, there are explicit sexual scenes and language. I will not call it spice or smut. It is sex. It is an adult romantic fantasy and it is part of the story. It is part of the story as much as explicit gore, torture and violence can be part of grimdark fantasy, which I read as well. Sex is normal and, in this genre, it belongs there as part of the relationship between Neri and Nepehele. The scenes are not written for the sake of being gratuitous. It is a natural development. It does not diminish the plot of the book nor how brilliantly Ms. Weaks has constructed this incredible world over the past three books. Do I enjoy reading these scenes? Yes, I do. This is an enemies to lovers romance, and it was perfect. It is loving, sensual, and erotic all at once. Neri and Nephele will become a force to be reckoned with. I look forward to how their relationship will deepen more over the course of the series.
The Wolf and the Witch, by Charissa Weaks, is the third amazing and beautiful entry in The Witch Walker Series. This novella takes place right after the events of City of Ruin as our characters try to come to terms with what happened to Raina. However, the crux of the story focuses on the growing relationship between Nephele and Neri. They were an absolute joy to read. I was so unprepared for Neri to be laugh out loud funny and sarcastic. Nephele is still all sass and about keeping Neri at arm’s length. He is the perfect “man” for Nephele as he challenges her in ways that others do not. She has built constructs around her heart, and he comes in barreling in and knocks them down. Nephele was never portrayed as a “romantic” and her approach to sex was something that she very much enjoyed, but not with a relationship attached. She begins to question what she once thought as Neri begins to surprise her in so many ways. How they come together is so unique and imaginative. All I will say is that they begin to take on each other’s characteristics, with Neri becoming more human and Nephele becoming a little like Neri. His budding tenderness and protectiveness, and her coming to love these characteristics of him, is building towards an intense relationship. While there is explicit sex scenes, they were necessary to the arcs of both Nephele and Neri, and they were in no way gratuitous. It moved the plot forward. Ms. Weaks is quite simply a brilliant story teller. Throughout the books, she is dropping bread crumbs for the reader to follow like pieces of a puzzle. There are so many layers to peel back, and she weaves it all together for the reader to begin to put it all together. However, she also has her trademark little tidbits that become so important as the story develops, and of course, the cliffhanger endings. The Wolf and The Witch is an adult fantasy in The Witch Walker series that I absolutely adored as much as I did The Witch Collector and City of Ruin. I eagerly await the next book in the series, and I highly recommend this entire series. You will not be disappointed.
Summary (from Charissa Weaks)
As Nephele, Alexus, and their faithful companions grapple with the devastating loss on Mount Ulra, the threat of Thamaos’s reign rises in the East. To prepare, the crew must strengthen the Northland and Summerland armies, even if it means depending on the one being they never thought would live again: Neri, God of the White Wolf.
Nephele made a deal she can’t escape, a deal that not only ensures the Wolf’s resurrection, but one that forces her to remain at his side, even when he returns North to bolster defenses and destroy any traitors and enemies remaining on his land. The last thing Nephele wants is to spend her days and nights alone with a seductive, arrogant god, but Tiressia’s future depends on Neri being their primary weapon, one only she holds the power to wield.
As Thamaos aims his first wave of destruction at Neri, Nephele finds that not only is the Wolf more difficult to control than she believed, but that he’s far more human than she gave him credit for. With every passing hour, the undeniable passion between them burns brighter, until their fire becomes impossible to resist, and impossible for Thamaos to ignore..
My sincere thanks to Charissa Weaks for a copy of the eBook ARC, and the honor of being a Beta Reader.
Review for The Witch Collector and The City of Ruin
Find out more about Charissa Weaks on her website: https://charissaweaks.com/
Purchase The Witch and The Wolf Etsy Shop: https://www.etsy.com/shop/CharissaWeaksAuthor?ref=usf_2020
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
CHARISSA WEAKS is an award-winning author of romantic and historical fantasy. She crafts stories with time travel, magick, myth, history, and the occasional apocalyptic quest. Her most recent work is the bestselling novel, The Witch Collector, book one in the Witch Walker series.
Charissa resides just south of Nashville with her family and two wrinkly English Bulldogs. When she’s not writing, you can find Charissa lost in a good book or digging through four-hundred-year-old texts for research.Follow Me on Social Media