Fate has given them an ultimatum: bond or die.
A fox raised among wolves, Sebastian has spent his life fighting to survive. His skills with magic, his quick wit and instincts, all keep him on the move until fate leads him to Liam.
Alpha werewolf, Liam, is everything Sebastian has spent his entire life avoiding. But there’s a magic between them, a spark of something beyond a fox or a wolf; an awakening energy. But when Seb’s past catches up, a darkness arises none of them know how to fight.
Can the two of them find a way to work together to defeat rogue wolves, fae monsters, and a couple of demons bent on destruction?
Warning: Mentions of past partner abuse, blood, and violence.
- 3 To Be Read lists
- 1 Read list
Heat Level: 4
Romantic Content: 3
Ending: Click here to reveal
Character Identities: Bisexual, Gay
Protagonist 1 Age: 18-25
Protagonist 2 Age: Ageless/Immortal
Tropes: Alpha Character, Fated Mates / Soul Mates
Word Count: 109530
Setting: Maple Falls, Washington, USA
Languages Available: English
Series Type: Continuous / Same Characters
The wind shifted. The scent of werewolves filled my nose. Dammit. I knew I shouldn’t have taken the free food. The bread had been plain, not easily tracked while stuffed away, but the sugar? A highly trained wolf could probably smell it from miles away.
There were few options. Run, which would attract the wolves and bring chase, forcing their beasts to hunt me even if that wasn’t what they had come for. Hide, which was unlikely even with my strongest wards. Or surrender and possibly die. Not the greatest selection of choices.READ MORE
I chose the first and ran toward the car, praying I’d get it to start. Determination could often give magic an added edge. Seconds later the sounds of snarls and huffs of a chase filled my ears. I ran until I could hear the claws ripping through the brush, snarls and snorts edging closer behind me. There was more than one. My sensitive nose differentiated at least three different scents, none of them familiar. I didn’t stop to ask their names and looking back was only something people did in the movies right before they died. Instead I envisioned my legs and arms pumping hard enough to make me fly. I couldn’t actually fly, but the visualization spell did increase my speed a little. The balance of weight and resistance was all the spell changed. Maybe it would be enough.
They should have been able to outrun me. I was human, mostly. On two legs I was slower than most weres, but had years practicing just what I was doing now. My adoptive father had always told me not to run as it only made an aggressive werewolf worse. When the other option was death, it wasn’t much of an option. Rational thought told me that if they were sent by my adoptive father they didn’t want me dead, probably just good and scared. If they weren’t sent by him then I was just a trespasser and no one would miss me.
I reached the car in record speed, glad I’d left it unlocked. Not like there was anything in it to steal. I dove in through the passenger door, closing and locking it behind me and struggling out of the pack. The windows were up as I’d been unable to get them to work properly the entire time I’d owned the car. It was a small barrier, but all I really had. I flopped into the driver’s seat and put the key in when metal screeched as one of the wolves landed on the roof hard enough to dent it.
It was a gray beast with endless fangs and claws that scraped at the windows. Werewolves were about twice the size of normal wolves. Bigger often than the human they’d been, and about a hundred times deadlier. Inside the car I’d drawn wards. Just minor protection spells to keep the glass from breaking and lend strength to the frame. It wouldn’t hold for long.
The car didn’t start. Didn’t even sputter like it had any life left in it. I cursed it and kicked the dash. Now was not the time for it to ignore my magic.
One of the wolves jumped on the hood and lunged at the windshield with claws and fangs. Another scraped along the side of the car, producing the horrible high-pitched squeal of tearing iron. My wards would not stop them from tearing the car to pieces around me. The windshield began to splinter. Too much weight threw the whole car out of balance as the roof caved in, the sides were torn away and the windows smashed.
Choices. Life is filled with them. Some of them easy, like what to have for dinner. Others were a matter of life and death. Not really choices at all. I was out of choices. The car was coming apart around me. No one shifted to talk to me, so these wolves hadn’t likely been sent by my adoptive father. Not unless he wanted me dead. And didn’t the idea of that just burn like a knife to my guts? The only choice I had left was to abandon it all, change, and run.
As a human, I was slower than most werewolves even with my supply of spells. As a human, I was also limited in resources. My magic wasn’t strong enough to hurt them so my spells focused on defense more than offense. I suspected that was the only reason I’d been allowed to live among the were for so long. For a time, I avoided changing because it seemed to attract the others. Like they could sense me pulling on whatever invisible magic that tied me to the universe. The only real power I had was my own change. Nothing so spectacular as a wolf. Not vicious or even all that predatory.
My alternate form was no match for a werewolf.
“My beautiful little fox,” Felix had often said with a smile on his face. “So wily and quick witted.” Only now did I realize how much he’d viewed me as a possession. Just a pretty toy to be set on a shelf.
I wasn’t a toy. I was witchborn. Sometimes the only advantage I had from a change was that it startled others, gave me time to slip away, or even masked my scent. Often surprise and speed were all I really needed.
I wriggled out of my clothes as the windshield began to crumple and the driver’s side door squealed as it was ripped away. Weres took time to change, as long as a half an hour for some of the lesser wolves. The stronger wolves could shift in ten minutes or so. My change was seamless, a gift of magic born, not a curse of blood exchange.
One second I was human, the next I was fox. Small, slippery, and zipping between the legs of the wolf with the door under his fangs. Darting under his belly, I bolted, propelled by magic and fear. I crossed the road running, under, over and through, squeezing myself through openings that the wolves would never fit and zig-zagging to confuse whatever route they thought I’d take. They were behind me. I could hear them, but had to focus on my escape.
Run! My little fox brain didn’t have all the same higher functioning I did as a human, but it was close. Panic, however, was still panic, and my fight or flight mode was stuck in all out flight. Run, run, run, I chanted to myself, not really paying attention to the path.
Even as a fox I was only barely faster than them. I wove through roads, brambles and trees, hoping to slow them down. One of them leapt, close enough to brush my tail, and I ran that much harder. It was a game to them now, I realized. Two off to my sides, herding me in for their alpha to catch. I wondered again if it was the alpha from the bakery. He’d seemed nice. Had pretty eyes and dimples. It was only fitting that he be a monster since I’d wanted him. A reminder of how bad I was at choosing men. A curse of my family maybe. My mother had the same hard luck. Falling in love with a Native American man who died before he could know I’d ever been conceived. She’d always told me that love was something people wrote about in books. Lust was what happened in real life and got people in trouble. Once again I thought she might be right.
I ran out of road. There was a wall of some kind. Like the sort built on the side of roadways, only there was no grade to it, it was just straight up and down as far as I could see. The two werewolves closed in from the sides, and the final one’s claws crunched on gravel behind me. I hadn’t even noticed we’d found a gravel road of some sort. A place for water runoff maybe. The place I was probably going to die.
Bracing myself with my back to the wall, I turned to face them, my fangs and claws no match for three werewolves, but I’d go down fighting. Better a fox than a human to be ripped apart and left for the crows. At least in this form I had fangs and claws too. The burning in my left arm intensified. More wolves? Fuck.
The large gray wolf growled at me, inching closer slowly. He must have been enjoying the scent of my fear. One of the other wolves boxing me in, took a swipe, which I dodged, but it caught the edge of my flank, opening a gash along my right hip. I yelped as pain flared. I expected them all to attack and end my run.
Only something flew overhead, landing with the force of a truck on top of the gray wolf. Another launched itself from the top of the wall into the wolf who’d injured me, tearing out its throat. The gray wolf battled a huge black wolf now. The two of them rolling, snarling, and tearing at each other. The third wolf came for me. I ducked and rolled beneath him, turning until my tiny claws were up to rake open his belly.
Hot blood poured over me, but the were just huffed and did a little skid-turn to raise a paw at me. I felt the hit before I really saw him move. Pain exploded through all of my senses. Stars, and swirls of color overflowed my vision as his claws connected with the side of my head. I was sure he punctured my skull, and I flew into the wall, body blossoming into pain. It was an explosion through my spine up into my brain. The world faded as I lay in a broken heap on the ground beside the wall, watching the black wolf fight the gray, and the second wolf, a pale brown one, launch itself at the wolf that had hit me.
This was it, I thought. So much for ever going home. Or finding a home. So much for the dreams of freedom. My heart pounded. I felt blood seeping from my head. There were tattoos on my left arm and right wrist that were supposed to help speed healing. It wouldn’t be enough. Not if my spine was broken and my skull fractured. My body couldn’t hold enough energy to heal bones and keep me from bleeding out at the same time. At least it would be fast, I had enough time to think as the darkness overrode my vision. I sank into the darkness, to the growls of the werewolves fighting, reminding me of home.COLLAPSE
Serena Yates on Rainbow Book Reviews wrote:
Lissa Kasey is back with a brand new book in a brand new urban fantasy/paranormal series... And what a wild, extremely addicting and satisfying ride this book was from start to finish! Witchblood is the first book in the Kitsune Chronicles. If you've never read this author's books before you're in for a treat. If you were already a fan, be prepared for a book that you won't want to put down. I got so sucked into this book while on lunch at work one day, I was late clocking back in.
While I won't delve too deep into the plot because I don't want to spoil it for anyone. So, Witchblood features a kitsune raised as part of a werewolf pack. Now of course Kitsunes are not normal shifters, so Sebastian hasn't had the easiest time of it. Too many in the Volkov pack fear him and/or hate him but also want to use him for his omega calming powers. All of this shapes Sebastian into who he is, and leaves him with scars and issues to overcome.
The story is told completely in Sebastian's voice, which worked rather well for this story and these characters. The pace of the story was tight and kept me engaged from start to finish. This could easily be a one sitting read for so many readers but I caution reading it too fast as you might miss some of the subtle things that happen in the book. There are many elements to the story from Sebastian being in a werewolf pack, working in the bakery, and even digging and planting his herbs for his alchemy projects.
I'm completely hooked on this series and honestly can't wait to see what the author has in store for her characters next. I highly recommend picking up this book and indulging in a fantastic urban fantasy read.
This first novel set in a world that combines witches and magic with kitsune lore and shifter myths is a promising start to a new series. With rules all its own, characters that pulled me in from the moment I “met” them, and an intriguing mix of love story and action-adventure, it had me spellbound from the start. The story and suspense build fairly slowly over the first half of the novel, but there is an underlying feeling of dread to come combined with an inevitability about the final confrontation and its consequences from the start. The story is told by Sebastian, a young man who struggles with his nature, the consequences of the abuse he has suffered, and a bone-deep fear that he is unlovable. It made his experiences come alive and had me feel everything in an unfiltered way that made reading some of the story emotionally challenging. It’s a great way to experience the events as they unfold, and I recommend reading this book to everyone who likes to completely immerse themselves in what they read.
Sebastian is a fox shifter with some unusual and unexpected traits that cause him to be misunderstood and abused almost from the moment he is born. In a world where werewolves and other supernatural beings are plentiful (if not known to exist by humans), a kitsune with witch magic has a tough position. Some try to protect him, though their motives are debatable, and some try to use him for their own benefit. With so many agendas and nobody in his corner, Sebastian grows up trusting no one and unsure if he can ever feel totally safe and at home anywhere. On top of all that, Sebastian has powers that nobody understands, least of all himself, and his journey of discovery is as heartbreaking as it is fascinating.
Liam is a strong werewolf alpha who has been waiting for Sebastian to find him after they shared a powerful kiss that changed both of them. His perseverance is admirable, but Liam also knows that going after Sebastian the way he wants would be counterproductive. So Liam prepares as best he can, tries to learn about mating bonds, and makes himself be patient – not an easy feat for an alpha werewolf! And even when Sebastian finally makes his way to Liam’s pack territory, the wait isn’t over and Liam has more issues to deal with than he expected.
Between Sebastian and Liam trying to figure out how they fit and the underlying threat that looms over all the wolves, this story is a great mix of action/adventure and romance. Some of it is quite gruesome, as you would expect in a struggle between dark and light. The romance is not an easy one despite the mate bond both Sebastian and Liam can feel pulling at them – and I liked that they had to deal with their human as well as their shifter nature. A solution had to include both and it made this version of “fated mates” a lot more challenging than some.
If you like well thought-out supernatural worlds with a set of rules different from the norm, if you think that two strangers with very different expectations and backgrounds can learn to work together and even love each other, and if you’re looking for an exciting, suspenseful read with surprises, revelations, and a promise of more to come in the next installment, then you will probably like this novel as much as I do. I certainly hope the next one will follow soon!
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