Grave Dance: An Alex Craft Novel
by Kalayna Price
Review by Mel Jacob
Roc Paperback ISBN/ITEM#: 9780451464095
Date: 05 July 2011 List Price $7.99 Amazon US / Amazon UK
Alex Craft, a grave witch, has the power to raise the shades of the dead so police can question then about who killed him. Her latest case involves a group of left feet. Unfortunately, she needs a whole body or a largely intact one. Her efforts to solve the mystery soon bring her under attack by weird creatures. Her efforts to destroy them cause tears in realty allowing the Aetheric to bleed into her world. It is the source of raw magic energy.
Fifty or so years ago magic returned to the world and the fey and Faerie again interacted with mortals and beings could cross from one reality to the other. Many of the old rules still apply and legends have come to life. Witches and magic spells are commonplace and coexist with technology.
Alex soon discovers the person behind the left feet is involved in dark magic with the potential to destroy the world. The runes used to power the weird creatures are archaic and their meaning difficult to trace.
Faekin descended from Faerie royalty, Alex has the ability to weave the planes of different realities together, an ability sought by the human and the fae powerful wanting ever more power. She can see and communicate with the soul collectors and ghosts. However, each time she invokes her grave magic, she is left almost blind afterwards until her sight gradually returns.
Two males want Alex, one the Winter Queen's assassin and lover and the other a soul collector Alex calls Death. Their rivalry makes her quest to stop the havoc difficult. Falin, the fey queen's knight, met Alex in the first Grave Witch novel whereas she has known Death since childhood and had a teenage crush on him. Both are determined to protect Alex.
Action ramps up to the climax and the identity of the misguided witch will come as a surprise to almost everyone. The ending leaves room for more adventures for Alex with her love life still in a shambles.
Other authors have explored the return of magic, the fey, and Faerie. Mark Chadbourn in his Dark Age series is one. Others include Freda Warrington, Melissa Marr, Holly Black, and Charles De Lint. However, Craft adds her own touch with Alex's grave sight and the unique view of things it gives her.