At the peak of Shadow Mountain lives a woman who holds to the old ways of magic and conjuring. Delta Wade protects ancient mysteries for her son, Lafette, hoping he will grow up to wield those powers for the good of humankind. But the epoch of witch lore is giving way to an age of industrial titans greedy to control the mountains' resources for material gain. As one man seeks to destroy Delta, another offers his love as salvation. Mother and son struggle with an enigmatic past only to find that true magic shows its power in its own way and in its own time.
Collins’s latest (after The Hunter of Hertha) is a mystical story set in 1894 at the junction of Tennessee, Kentucky, and Virginia, where those who don’t believe in magic either live to regret their cynicism or don’t live long at all. Lafette is the son of Arn Marlon, the Watcher who protects the sacred Shadow Mountain, but Arn has been away for five years. Lafette’s mother, Delta Wade, remains strong in her love for Arn until Henry Kingsley, son of Arn’s old foe King Kingsley, develops an attraction to her. Delta reciprocates Henry’s feelings, but her devotion to Lafette and his destiny as the new Watcher compels her more than her own needs. She’s threatened by King, who wishes to buy (or steal) the extraordinary trees on Shadow Mountain. Kate, the witch who helped raise Arn and who taught Delta some magic, is a more insidious threat due to her history with the family. As years pass, Delta and Lafette work together to protect and rejuvenate the mountain. Throughout the engrossing story, the author touches on issues such as greed, the power of wealth, and racism. Through a combination of narrative tension, vivid characters, and era-appropriate dialogue—along with some good old-fashioned storytelling—Collins starts her new series off strong. (BookLife)