Dust on the Altar
Author: Michelle Winkler
Publisher: Mariposa Bookworks
Jade loves her life in Sun City, but when the High Priestess of her old coven is murdered, Jade must leave the city, return to her hometown, and take up the reins of power. This is a feat easier said than done Jade discovers since the High Priest is an old male friend whom she abandoned, the Keys to her Ascension have been stolen, and another witch is attempting to do her harm. She must also confront her fears about her parents’ death in a fire when she was a child and attempt to explain the sudden changes in her life to her best friend, April, who doesn’t know that Jade is a witch.
In this first book in the series, Winkler has written a complex and ambitious tale that is filled with likable and interesting characters who must risk everything in order to achieve their goals. Winkler provides ample, rich details that flesh out the scenes so readers can fully visualize the story, from the technology available in Sun City, to the powerful spells cast by members of the coven, to the dire moments Jade and her friends face as they search for the missing Keys. The author interweaves a bit of prejudice toward witches by the Citizens of Sun City, making this fantasy more realistic and thought-provoking.
For a debut novel, Dust on the Altar is a good, tight read that will grip readers until the cliffhanger ending.
Rating: 5/5 stars