The Bitterwine Oath

Hannah West

fiction mystery young adult
dark mysterious tense medium-paced

missing page info | first published 2020

Every fifty years, a cult claims twelve men to murder in a small Texas town. Can one girl end the cycle of violence - and save the boy who broke her heart?

San Solano, Texas is a quaint town known for its charm, hospitality, and history of murder. Twice now, twelve men have been brutally killed, and no one knows who did it. A shadowy witch? A copy-cat killer? Or a man-hating murderess? Eighteen-year-old Natalie Colter is sure that the rumors about her great-great-grandmother's cult of wronged women are just gossip, but that doesn't stop the true crime writers and dark tourism bloggers from capitalizing on the town's reputation. It's an urban legend that's hard to ignore, and it gets harder when Nat learns that the sisterhood is real, and magical. And they want her to join.

The more Nat learns of the Wardens' supernatural history, the more she wonders about the real culprits behind the town's ritualistic murders. Are the Wardens protecting San Solano from even darker forces? As the anniversary of the murders draws near, the town grows restless. Residents start getting "claimed" as this year's planned victims, including Levi Langford, the boy whose kiss haunted Nat for a year.

Nat knows that no one is safe. Can she and the sisterhood stop the true evil from claiming their town?

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Moods

dark 100%
mysterious 100%
adventurous 60%
tense 60%
emotional 40%

Pace

medium 60%
fast 40%

Plot- or character-driven?

Plot: 100%

Strong character development?

No: 50% | Yes: 50%

Loveable characters?

Yes: 75% | No: 25%

Diverse cast of characters?

No: 50% | Yes: 50%

Flaws of characters a main focus?

No: 50% | It's complicated: 25% | Yes: 25%

Average rating

3.8