The Witch of the Sands by Peter Fugazzotto
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Shield Scyldmund and his men The Hounds for two decades were the warlock and witch hunters for the Dhurman Empire, but now they've been reduced to bounty hunters. The Hounds yearn to return North while Shield continues to honor his vow to rid the world of dark magic users. Shield gets his chance as once more the empire calls on The Hounds to hunt a witch.
The Witch of the Sands was a surprisingly solid short story. The description seemed solid and I'm glad I gave it a chance. There is nothing particularly special about the story yet it had its own personal touches. For instance warlocks and witches in this world use words of power to conjure their magic. These words can be taken and from time to time The Hounds have been asked to assist the empire in acquiring the words of power.
The characters didn't get enough page time to establish themselves. The story is told from Shield's point of view and he's the standard aging war leader, full of regrets while making hard decisions. The author did throw some interesting visuals such as Hawk who fights with a giant sword, Patch who lost an eye, and Night who blends into the shadows thanks to a warlock's cloak.
The Witch of the Sands was a strong start to The Hounds of the North series.
3.5 out of 5 stars
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