To the uninitiated, Savannah shows only her bright face and genteel manner. Those who know her well, though, can see beyond her colonial trappings and small-city charm to a world where witchcraft is respected, Hoodoo is feared, and spirits linger. Mercy Taylor is all too familiar with the supernatural side of Savannah, being a member of the most powerful family of witches in the South. Despite being powerless herself, of course. Having grown up without magic of her own, in the shadow of her talented and charismatic twin sister, Mercy has always thought herself content.
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Savannah resident Mercy Taylor may now be in control of the South’s most powerful family of witches, but she’s struggling to master her newfound magic. Pregnant with her first child and still reeling from a heartbreaking betrayal, she just wants to be able to use her supernatural abilities without accidentally destroying dishes or blasting the doors off buildings.
Mercy and her husband, Peter, are happily preparing to welcome baby Colin into their lives. But their excitement quickly becomes overshadowed by a gruesome discovery: someone has scattered severed limbs throughout the city. After a troubling visit from an old foe, Mercy learns dark magic is at play, and someone - or something - wants her and her unborn child out of the picture.
Aged Mother Jilo is wise in the ways of magic...but once upon a time, she was just a girl. 1950s Georgia: King Cotton has fallen. Savannah is known as the "beautiful woman with a dirty face," its stately elegance faded by neglect, its soul withering from racial injustice and political corruption. Young Jilo - fiercely independent, intelligent, and ambitious, but thwarted by Savannah's maddeningly genteel version of bigotry - finds herself forced to embrace a dark power that has pursued her family for generations, an ancient magic that may prove her salvation.