My rating: 4 of 5 stars
The first thing that I noticed is the writing. Phil Stern has a way with language that left me envious ("I want to write like that!") Really good, tight and intelligent, engaging and all-over great.
The plot is a magic-imbued take on misogynistic men and how witches deal with them. It's not all black and white-on the contrary-sufficient background and psychological insight is given to properly evaluate both sides.
Since this is the second in a series, I don't know how much the story relies on the first novella. I had some troubles following dialogues, I didn't know whether it was because some things were explained in the first book.
I loved the world(s)-building. Some scenes were graphic and scary enough to etch themselves in my memory and spice up the plot, while others were more reminiscing, allowing me to enjoy the language.
This is a novella, 53 pages long, perfect for a coffee break. Don't be fooled by its shortness, it's bursting with action and magic.
Very well written, strong characters (if you're looking for stories with powerful, well-developed female characters, this is definitely something for you.
Many thanks to the author for providing a review copy.