Balefire was really an incredible read. It was exactly the kind of book (or series) I had been pining to read and I finished it quickly.
This was the kind of book that once I started, I couldn't stop. I'd say "I'll just read this chapter" and 200 pages later I'd finally stop. The kind of book that just gripped me and made me forget of everything except itself. A real page turner, it was. There was always something happening and I loved the mystery and suspense. The storyline was interesting and complicated. I devoured this book.
What I liked best were the characters. I related so strongly and I loved them all so much. The book was written in alternating point of views so we got to see a little bit of everyone. There was a huge cast of characters from the Treize to Clio's friends and almost every person was unique in their way with a backstory. Almost because there wasn't enough time for everyone to shine. I got attached to these characters who were both good and bad and made surprising choices. Richard and Claire along with the twins were among my favorites. It was fun to read of everyone's relationships.
The magic was very good too! Based on the few other books I've read by the author, Cate Tiernan knows her magic. She made Bonne Magie believable. The magic was complicated and interesting. I loved that the magic had consequences that were scary. Magic wasn't portrayed as something awesome you can always use. It was something awesome that should be used wisely.
My only complaint is that the ending left some loose threads that are pretty much going to drive me crazy. I wouldn't object to another book to close things off even more. Or even a short story. I just want more. ;)
If you love witches and magic, with romance, darkness and danger you'll love Balefire. 4.5 stars,
**** & 1/2 *