The Mist-Torn Witches by Barb Hendee
In a small village in the nation of Droevinka, orphaned sisters Céline and Amelie Fawe scrape out a living selling herbal medicines in their apothecary shop. Céline earns additional money by posing as a seer and pretending to read people’s futures.
But they exist in a land of great noble houses, all vying for power, and when the sisters refuse the orders of a warlord prince, they must flee and are forced to depend on the warlord prince’s brother, Anton, for a temporary haven.
A series of bizarre deaths of pretty young girls is plaguing the village surrounding Prince Anton’s castle. He offers Céline and Amelie permanent protection if they can use their “skills” to find the killer.
With little choice, the sisters enter a world unknown to them—of fine gowns and banquets and advances from powerful men. Their survival depends on catching a murderer who appears to walk through walls and vanish without a trace—and the danger grows with each passing night.
Céline and Amelie’s mother was a Myst-Torn witch with the ability to view someone’s future. Céline begins to pretend to do the same for the extra money. While Amelie is more of a tomboy who would rather carry weapons and takes it upon herself to be their protector. The premise is a bit like Hendee’s Dhampir, where the protagonists are con-men but soon find themselves doing what they lied about.
I thoroughly enjoyed this start of a new series from a favorite fantasy author. The characters are incredibly vivid. By the end of the book I felt like I knew these characters. The mystery was fun and engaging. The Mist-Torn Witches is a must-read, full of suspense, drama, and magic. I didn’t want this one to end.