Title: BAD WITCH/CAT BAKER
Plot Type: Urban Fantasy (UF)
Ratings: Violence—4; Sensuality—4; Humor—2
Publisher and Titles: Samhain
Blood, Smoke, and Mirrors (2011)
In this world, which is set in an alternate Chicago, a thriving supernatural population of magicians (i.e., practitioners of various types of magic) exists unknown to mortals. The magicians are divided into factions depending on their magical characteristics and talents (e.g., faeries, necromancers, shape shifters, vampires, sorcerers, witches). The faeries live in their own separate Realm of Faerie, while the rest of the supernaturals live in the Realm of Earth alongside the mortals. One odd but interesting note: All of the faeries have Shakespearean names (e.g., Portia, Tybalt, Cecelia). Each magical group is governed by its own Council of Three.
NOVEL 1: Blood, Smoke, and Mirrors
As the story opens, Cat's beloved mentor, Maureen, has been murdered by vampires, and Lex asks Cat to apply to the Fairy Council to replace Maureen as the Titania. The Titania (or Oberon, if a male is appointed) serves as the liaison between the Realm of Faerie and the Realm of Earth. At first, Cat refuses—mostly because she's still furious with Lex—but then her faerie cousins insist that she is the best person for the job so she decides to give it a try. When Cat arrives at the first interview, she learns that the only other applicant is her estranged father, Dorian, an egotistical and devious n'er-do-well who deserted Cat and her mother for a vampire woman, and who is suspected of being an accomplice in her mother's murder by vampires.
The Faerie Council announces that Cat and Dorian must complete three tasks before the council makes a final decision. Unfortunately, after the first task is completed, the vampires and necromancers put a contract out on Cat, and the action is on. Eventually, a powerful vampire enters the story, trying to put the moves on Cat in order to manipulate her into helping with his long-term, possibly evil, plans for the supernatural world. Will Cat earn the position as Titania? Can she learn to trust Lex? Will she leave Lex for the vampire? All of these questions are answered, but a few more are left unresolved—to be dealt with in book 2 (no title or publication date at this point in time). The plot thread about the manipulative vampire felt as if it had been added on just as a hook for the next book.