Rise of the Witch (The Yaga’s Riders Book 1) by C. Rochelle
**WARNING: THIS BOOK CONTAINS A CLIFFHANGER**
As with most beginnings, it started with death.
When I had nothing left to lose, I traveled to the hut in the woods; the one no one dared approach. The witch who lived there recognized the darkness in my soul and took me under her wing—to witness her reign of terror firsthand and eventually, to inherit her legacy as my own.
Now I’m the monster they fear; the one humans avoid at all costs. In this welcome isolation, I’ve attempted to forget my past and the future that was taken from me.
Until three men appear, somehow able to break through my protective wards and see me in my true form. While resistant to their intrusion, I recognize they may be the ones I’ve been waiting for—the ones I need to ascend to my full power.
Too bad I would rather grind their bones than invite them in.
But something is mysteriously devouring the forest, and I suspect the threat may be the same one I barely escaped many moons ago. If it is, he will find me a more worthy opponent than the last time we met.
I am the Yaga and I may be broken, but my edges are sharp.
The Yaga’s Riders is based on the folklore of Baba Yaga, with creative liberties taken.
Rise of the Witch is the first book in a steamy, paranormal romance saga featuring mysterious forces in magical woods, a legendary witch, and the three men destined to find her.
This series is meant for readers 18 and over.
Beware: Cliffys ahead!
Graphic sex, including kink and various edgeplay
Gore and violence
Reference to past sexual assault and pregnancy loss
General weirdness and medium-dark element
Publication date 27/3/2021
This book was just jam packed!! It has so many elements to this story, enough twists and turns to build a maze!! And now I’m left wondering what the hell I just read, and when can I have some more!!!
Vasilisa, otherwise known as Baba Yaga to the humans. Wasn’t always a witch, she was human centuries ago, until death, betrayal and loss had her turning to the forest to help her, and in turn took her to the witch “Baba Yaga” (you need to read to understand that one) She now is the protector of the forest and mediator to shifter clans and bath bomb extraordinaire.
She knows of the legacy/prophecy of the Riders, men that will enhance her power, will become consorts and protectors. But being alone for so long with her pain and misery has Vasi sceptical of ever meeting her Riders, she’s happier on her own and maybe an occasional visit from her Swan shifter friend (who is just adorable)
Then along come three human men and throw her orderly world into chaos….. Taneer, Nox and Asa have known each other for a long time, they might not have the same backgrounds (Tan is Turkish, Nox is Russian and Asa is American) but they trust one another, they fight in the same military unit, but I’d say they are more like brothers. Well, the feelings Nox has for Tan and Asa is brotherly, and vice versa, but it’s not brotherly between Taneer and Asa, that is definitely a couple vibe going on there.
Each of the guys have a few issues, and we get to see these through the book. The loss of a parent, the needing of validation from a parent and the growing feeling that the love of your life is pulling away from you!
As the book progresses Taneer and Asa are totally committed to Vasi, they won’t be returning to the human world. Nox on the other hand is torn, he doesn’t want to leave his friends, but is wary of the witch. He hides his feelings about her, he is very angry and thinks she is manipulating them with magic! He also wants to get back to his career (it’s safer than loving people) And he wants to know why they were sent out on this mission! It’s not sitting right! The facility is up to something!!!!
So, we have decaying animals/shifters that are being found in her forest. But not from natural causes! Her forest is dying and it might just be her fault! We have a possible military unit tracking act tagging shifters, why? We have the God of the Underworld wanting to see Vasi and wanting her to travel to the Nav (Underworld) And we also have someone stalking Vasi! Someone she’s hidden from for a long time!!
I’m loving the mixture of folklore and magic, I’d heard of the Baba Yaga legend, but googling it gave me more of an insight to where the author was taking this character. Liked the fact she has a disguise that the trio of men say straight through. I liked the nod to other fairytales and myths. I had a sniffle at the sad life she had as a human.
Funny moments, there was stuff that comes out of Taneer’s mouth that had me both cringing and chuckling. He is definitely the joker in the pack, and it’s totally committed to Asa and Vasi, so when an incident puts that at risk, it’s Taneer I felt sorry for! Tender moments, how they began to anticipate each other’s moods and be there, emotions are being felt by everyone. Well not quite everyone!!! Nox is just being stubborn!!! He won’t admit he’s beginning to like and trust Vasi. Nox was such a hard a$$!! He held out for far too long, in fact I did have to wonder if there was another Rider coming and we would say goodbye to Nox!! The dynamics between Nox and Vasi is what makes this such a good read.
Romance? There is plenty of smexy times😉 but I liked the fact there is also a connection appearing between them all. And the times they are together 🥵 damn that’s spicy
Recommend? Yes I would. All day long.
Cliffhanger? Yes there is 😞 and it’s an OMG double whammy!!! So thank goodness the next book is due out soon 🤗