“The Witch Who Came in From the Cold, Episode 12: She’ll Lie Down in the Snow” by Cassandra Rose Clarke (Serialbox, 2016)


Things are coming to a climax in this penultimate episode to season one of The Witch Who Came in From the Cold. Tanya Morozova knows she’s walking straight into a trap: she’s been ordered by her boss at the KGB to get the Russian informant back no matter what, but she also knows the safe house she’s headed to is guarded by a small army of CIA who know full well that she’s coming. Fortunately, Zerena Pulnoc, wife to the Soviet Ambassador and acolyte of the Flame has given her a protective charm to help keep her alive; she also reveals that Tanya’s boss, Sasha, happens to be an acolyte of the Flame, which is why he’s fine with sacrificing Tanya.

Tanya and her people enter the safe house and there’s a big shootout. Sokolov has already been moved and is in no danger, meanwhile the bullets are flying and lives will be lost on both the Russian and American sides. And at the end of the episode a big twist is revealed that changes everything and sets things up for a big season finale.

Originally written on April 23, 2016 ©Alex C. Telander.

To purchase a copy of She’ll Lie Down in the Snow from Amazon, and help support BookBanter, click HERE.

“The Witch Who Came in From the Cold, Episode 8: Cover the Silence” by Cassandra Rose Clarke (Serial Box, 2016)


This is the eighth episode in the series; reviews for all other episodes can be found here.

The episode features an unexpected meeting between two unlikely characters: Sasha Komyetski, a high level operative in the KGB, and Zerena Pulnoc, wife to the Soviet ambassador, as they discuss the special radio that Sasha confiscated from Tatiana Morozova. As the reader and listener wonders what these two might be up, the next scene opens up with Jordan Rhemes once again having to deal with a couple of Flame operatives who would really like to take over everything at the Bar Vodnar. And then we get our first outright magical dueling scene, as the operatives work together casting spells, while Jordan uses charms and has her own tricks to combat them.

Meanwhile, Zerena is holding a mighty gala where every who’s who is there, including plenty of members of the KGB and CIA, as well as various other clandestine groups, all watching each other’s every move. The reader and listener gets to see all this through the ambassador’s wife’s eyes, as she pays a visit to the important members on each side, as well as a new arrival from the States, one Dominic Alvarez. We see all the facial expressions and nervous ticks that tell Zerena all she needs to know. The episode ends with the ambassador’s wife paying her own visit to Jordan for a specific item and an important fact is revealed about her.

What makes this episode so interesting is that it is a digression from the series so far, as readers and listeners get to see everything through secondary characters. The main characters who have been showing up in every episode so far may be seen in this episode but we don’t know what they’re thinking. It’s all about what the background people see and think. We also learn that this is important, for they have just as important a stake in the whole operation as do our lead protagonists and antagonists.

Originally written on March 5, 2016 ©Alex C. Telander.

To purchase a copy of The Witch Who Came in From the Cold, Episode 8: Cover the Silence from Amazon, and help support BookBanter, click HERE.

“The Witch Who Came in From the Cold, Episode 2: A Voice on the Radio” by Cassandra Rose Clarke (Serial Box, 2016)


This review is for the second episode in the series The Witch Who Came in From the Cold, the first episode can be found here.

This second episode, A Voice on the Radio, opens with Tanya Morozova wanting to talk to her grandfather. The problem is she’s in Prague and her grandfather is deep behind the Iron Curtain, in Moscow. But she has a way of getting in touch with him through some unusual means. Using an old wireless radio that has seen better days and some magical techniques, she is able to get in touch with the her relative. She needs some advice on how best to get Andula to realize she and the Consortium of Ice only want to help her.

The episode focuses on Tanya trying to win Andula over and let her know that the Consortium of Ice just wants to help and protect her. Readers learn in this world the Consortium of Ice wants things to return to how they were before, whatever they might be, while the Acolytes of Fire want some sort of radical change.

Gabe Pritchard discovers Andula and his detective sense begins to tingle. Eventually he finds the young girl talking to Tanya Morozova at a formal event and knows there must be something going on here. The higher ups need evidence to be convinced, so he really needs to find some. Meanwhile his migraines continue to get worse and he enlists the help of a friend to use magic to try to determine what is wrong with him. He hopes it will be a quick easy spell and his head will be better, but it’s a lot more complicated than that.

The second episode in this magical thriller builds on the first, explaining some of the mysteries from the premiere episode, as well as adding some new ones to continue to pique the reader’s interest.

Originally written on February 12, 2016 ©Alex C. Telander.

To purchase a copy of The Witch Who Came in From the Cold, Episode 2: A Voice on the Radio from Amazon, and help support BookBanter, click HERE.