SERPENT'S KISS by Melissa de la Cruz


From the "Witches of East End" series, volume 2
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Second in de la Cruz’s increasingly convoluted mélange of witchcraft and Norse mythology, set in fictional North Hampton, Long Island.

When we last saw Joanna Beauchamp and her witchly brood, the sacred bridge, Bofrir, had been destroyed, and the sun god, Fryr, aka Joanna’s son Freddie, was blamed, because his signature trident (now missing) was found at the scene. Although it was clear then that the trickster god, Loki, was the real culprit (isn’t he always?), the Valkyries consigned Freddie to Limbo, from which he has recently escaped. He’s now holed up in North Hampton’s no-tell motel (dubbed the Ucky Star for its missing neon letter). His twin sister, Freya, love goddess and mixologist extraordinaire at the local watering hole, is bringing Freddie food and trying to clear his name. Her boyfriend, Killian (the god Balder who is Loki’s nemesis from way back), bears a trident-shaped mark—could he have framed Freddie? Joanna's oldest, Ingrid, aka hearth-deity Erda, has her own challenges: Her nascent romance with aptly named policeman Matt Noble is about to founder on her intractable virginity. Not only that, thieving pixies have invaded North Hampton, and Ingrid is hiding them in her mother's attic until she can discern how to cure their amnesia and return them to their home in another dimension. In a forest near the Beauchamp house, Joanna happens upon a burial mound and some runes. Could this be the final resting spot of a kindred spirit, hanged during the colonial witch hunts, and if so, why hasn’t she been reborn, like Freya and Ingrid, who died in Salem? Only a trip back in time can solve these enigmas.

In contrast to the first installment, there is very little entertaining interaction between the immortal Beauchamps and their human neighbors, and the Norse arcana is about as exciting as a romp through Tolkien’s Silmarillion. Readers can, nevertheless, look forward to Book III, which promises to place the Beauchamps back in the 17th century where all their troubles began.

Pub Date: June 12th, 2012
ISBN: 978-1-4013-2396-7
Page count: 336pp
Publisher: Hyperion
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1st, 2012


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