Devil’s Call by J. Danielle Dorn is a first person narrative, the memoir of a witch, lovingly written to a daughter she may never be able to know.
Li Lian comes from a long line of witches and has only known female relatives, a family life reminiscent of that in Practical Magic. In St Louis during the mid 1800s, she learns to master the art of magic in a responsible way. When she meets Matthew, a soldier, everything changes. She falls in love and leaves the protection of her family. Unfortunately, a mysterious, tall, dark man murders Matthew while the pregnant Li Lian watches. The killer tips his hat and winks at her as he rides away, hinting something more than a random act of evil. Accused of her husband’s murder, Li Lian goes on a mission of revenge, a mission that takes her across the wild, untamed country with only a drunken butcher for company. Ultimately, she ends up alone when near her due date.
The tale ends in a dramatic and totally unpredictable finale when Li Lian faces the demon.
Li Lian knows she must separate herself from all she loves, including her daughter, so she writes to impart not only family history, but secret knowledge to the daughter she believes she will never see again. Most importantly, she wants her daughter to know that her mother loved her.
The narrative is not only unique, but is notable for the personal connection it makes with readers. Perhaps this connection is enhanced by the overwhelming feeling of love so clearly characterized by the language. The text flows musically and the plot is singular and will keep readers engaged from start to finish.
Non believers may decide to classify Devil’s Call as magical realism. However, those steeped in the craft may choose to perceive it as an act of love, from sister to sister.
Readers who enjoy this story may be rewarded with a sequel subtly foreshadowed in the unexpected conclusion.