A Fistful of Charms (Hollows Series #4)

A Fistful of Charms (Hollows Series #4)

by Kim Harrison

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The evil night things that prowl Cincinnati despise witch and bounty hunter Rachel Morgan. Her new reputation for the dark arts is turning human and undead heads alike with the intent to possess, bed, and kill her -- not necessarily in that order.

Now a mortal lover who abandoned Rachel has returned, haunted by his secret past. And there are those who covet what Nick possesses -- savage beasts willing to destroy the Hollows and everyone in it if necessary.

Forced to keep a low profile or eternally suffer the wrath of a vengeful demon, Rachel must nevertheless act quickly. For the pack is gathering for the first time in millennia to ravage and to rule. And suddenly more than Rachel's soul is at stake.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780060788193
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 06/27/2006
Series: Hollows Series , #4
Pages: 544
Sales rank: 83,041
Product dimensions: 4.19(w) x 6.75(h) x 1.09(d)

About the Author

New York Times bestselling author Kim Harrison was born and raised in the upper Midwest. Her bestselling Hollows novels include Dead Witch Walking; The Good, the Bad, and the Undead; Every Which Way But Dead; A Fistful of Charms; For a Few Demons More; The Outlaw Demon Wails; White Witch, Black Curse; Black Magic Sanction; Pale Demon; A Perfect Blood; Ever After; and The Undead Pool, plus the short-story collection Into the Woods, The Hollows Insider, and the graphic novels Blood Work and Blood Crime. She also writes the Madison Avery series for young adults.

Read an Excerpt

A Fistful of Charms

By Kim Harrison

HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.

Copyright © 2006 Kim Harrison
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0060788194

Chapter One

The solid thud of David's car door shutting echoed off the stone face of the eight-story building we had parked beside. Leaning against the gray sports car, I shaded my eyes and squinted up at its aged and architecturally beautiful columns and fluted sills. The uppermost floor was golden in the setting sun, but here at street level we were in a chill shadow. Cincinnati had a handful of such landmark buildings, most abandoned, as this one appeared to be.

"Are you sure this is the place?" I asked, then dragged the flat of my arms off the roof of his car. The river was close; I could smell the oil and gas mix of boats. The top floor probably had a view. Though the streets were clean, the area was clearly depressed. But with a little attention -- and a lot of money -- I could see it as one of the city's newest residential hot spots.

David set his worn leather briefcase down and reached into the inner pocket of his suit coat. Pulling out a sheaf of papers, he flipped to the back, then glanced at the distant corner and the street sign. "Yes," he said, his soft voice tense but not worried.

Tugging my little red leather jacket down, I hiked my bag higher on my shoulder and headed to his side of the car, heels clunking. I'd like to say I was wearingmy butt-kicking boots in deference to this being a run, but in reality I just liked them. They went well with the blue jeans and black T-shirt I had on; and with the matching cap, I looked and felt sassy.

David frowned at the chunking -- or my choice of attire, maybe -- steeling his features to bland acceptance when he saw me quietly laughing at him. He was in his respectable work clothes, somehow pulling off the mix of the three-piece suit and his shoulder-length, wavy black hair held back in a subdued clip. I'd seen him a couple of times in running tights that showed off his excellently maintained, mid-thirties physique -- yum -- and a full-length duster and cowboy hat -- Van Helsing, eat your heart out -- but his somewhat small stature lost none of its presence when he dressed like the insurance claims adjuster he was. David was kind of complex for a Were.

I hesitated when I came even with him, and together we eyed the building. Three streets over I could hear the shush of traffic, but here, nothing moved. "It's really quiet," I said, holding my elbows against the chill of the mid-May evening.

Brown eyes pinched, David ran a hand over his clean-shaven cheeks. "It's the right address, Rachel," he said, peering at the top floor. "I can call to check if you want."

"No, this is cool." I smiled with my lips closed, hefting my shoulder bag and feeling the extra weight of my splat gun. This was David's run, not mine, and about as benign as you could get -- adjusting the claim of an earth witch whose wall had cracked. I wouldn't need the sleepy-time charms I loaded my modified paint ball gun with, but I just grabbed my bag when David asked me to come with him. It was still packed from my last run -- storming the back room of an illegal spammer. God, plugging him had been satisfying.

David pushed into motion, gallantly gesturing me to go first. He was older than I by about ten years, but it was hard to tell unless you looked at his eyes. "She's probably living in one of those new flats they're making above old warehouses," he said, heading for the ornate stoop.

I snickered, and David looked at me.

"What?" he said, dark eyebrows rising.

I entered the building before him, shoving the door so he could follow tight on my heels. "I was thinking if you lived in one, it would still be a warehouse. Were house? Get it?"

He sighed, and I frowned. Jenks, my old backup, would have laughed. Guilt hit me, and my pace faltered. Jenks was currently AWOL, hiding out in some Were's basement after I'd majorly screwed up by not trusting him, but with spring here, I could step up my efforts to apologize and get him to return.

The front lobby was spacious, full of gray marble and little else. My heels sounded loud in the tall-ceilinged space. Creeped out, I stopped chunking and started walking to minimize the noise. A pair of black-edged elevators were across the lobby, and we headed for them. David pushed the up button and rocked back.

I eyed him, the corners of my lips quirking. Though he was trying to hide it, I could see he was getting excited about his run. Being a field insurance adjustor wasn't the desk job one might think it was. Most of his company's clients were Inderlanders -- witches, Weres, and the occasional vampire -- and as such, getting the truth as to why a client's car was totaled was harder than it sounded. Was it from the teenage son backing it into the garage wall, or did the witch down the street finally get tired of hearing him beep every time he left the drive? One was covered, the other wasn't, and sometimes it took, ah, creative interviewing techniques to get the truth.

David noticed I was smiling at him, and the rims of his ears went red under his dark complexion. "I appreciate you coming with me," he said, shifting forward as the elevator dinged and the doors opened. "I owe you dinner, okay?"

"No problem." I joined him in the murky, mirrored lift, and watched my reflection in the amber light as the doors closed. I'd had to move an interview for a possible client, but David had helped me in the past, and that was far more important.

The trim Were winced. "The last time I adjusted the claim of an earth witch, I later found she had scammed the company. . . .


Excerpted from A Fistful of Charms by Kim Harrison Copyright © 2006 by Kim Harrison. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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"[Marguerite] Gavin's narrative passages capture irony, suspense, and humor, moving the story along quickly while maintaining mood and excitement throughout." —-AudioFile

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A Fistful of Charms (Rachel Morgan Series #4) 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 619 reviews.
Ozzy12 More than 1 year ago
Loved it. Great book, great story. I was very entertained.
Kasia_S More than 1 year ago
Obviously I would not recommit this book to anyone who has not read the previous three installments, this series is so mouth wateringly good that you cannot miss a beat; it would truly be a loss for anyone to read this out of order. That aside I will keep the narration of this book short and sweet, ruining or giving anything away is the worst favor anyone can do with this series, the surprises emerge like spring flowers through the snow and action builds up with no sights set up on stopping anytime soon. This book does not disappoint, there's drama, action, love and lots of good old fashioned fighting. I was enamored with this story and where it took the characters, it promises a good story continuation from here on!

Rachel is still amongst the living even though her luck has been stretching thin and what is in store for her in this novel is a big chunk of adventure. Kim Harrison really puts her all in her books, from the moment I open each novel I feel the warm welcome of the cozy church Rachel, Ivy and Jenks live in. The big kitchen with the wooden counter, large windows overlooking the pixy garden and the pots and pans, brownies baking or pizza sauce simmering and constant foods and spells Rachel is cooking up makes he hungry, she also simmers smells and makes charms, while I can't make those, at least reading about her cozy cooking makes me feel teleported into her world. The real charm of these books is the strength of characters and their bond with each other; Rachel the bounty hunter,then there's Ivy, her slinky hot vampire roommate with her almond shaped eyes, wearing leather and always defending her territory like a lioness and Jenks, mischievous and charming pixy with a great attitude, they are all familiar to but but they have a new problem on their hands. Nick, Rachel's missing ex-boyfriend is in trouble, and it includes an island bathed in mist, occupied by wild packs of werewolves. This book made me salivate and drool; finally the vampires make some room for the real monstrums in this book and with the help of some black demon magic, something that I can just tell will bite her back later, Rachel does the unthinkable, she finds a way to transform into a werewolf. I can not saying one more thing, the tale was sizzling and intense and things that happened between Rachel and Ivy almost made me fall out of bed. Hot hot hot....Something is happening between the powers of the wolves and the vampires and Rachel finds herself in midst of a huge new conflict. Read this and you will know it all!

I was thinking that my only complaint would be how long this book was, but honestly, after I read the last page I was looking up across the room for book five and then at the clock, then decided that 2;30 am is not the best time for starting a new Harrison book, it might lead to reading till my eyes fell and having to call out of work, not fair to others, so here I am, sitting here and trying to restrain myself from devouring the next installment. It's always a battle to try and hold on, the author is not only a generous and wonderful woman but she writes with so much love and humor and passion I hope she lives to be a thousand and writes millions of these books. She's funny like Xena, you know the warrior princess with brains and brawn, well she's just like her but a whole new combination of strong and cool, something you want in a writer that will knock you socks off.

- Kasia S.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This series is a must read! She has a way coming up with more amazing adventures that will keep you on the edge and wanting more!
Whitelightertrev More than 1 year ago
This book was recommended to me by a friend because I like books with strong female characters. I think the author does a good job of writing urban fantasy, and she doesn't choose sex over plot. I'm gonna be bummed when I have to wait for the next book in the series after I catch up! If you liked Laurel K. Hamilton but wanted more plot/less sex, I would recommend this series.
klassiedevil More than 1 year ago
As with the first three Rachel Morgan books, I had a hard time turning off my nook! Kim Harrison does a wonderful job of mixing action with information and ending the story with just enough wonder to make a person search for the next in the series but not so much that it feels unfinished. I would definitely recommend this book as well as the first three. Looking forward to the next in the series!!
harstan More than 1 year ago
When half of the human population of the world was decimated by a genetically engineered virus, the Inderlanders, those creatures of myth and legend such as vampires, werewolves, shifters, pixies and witches came out of the closet. Rachel Morgan a witch, Ivy a powerful living vampire and Jenks a pixie are partners in a runner (similar to Bow Street) agency Vampiric Charms. When Jenk¿s son Jax disappears and then calls for help Jenks and Rachel rush to Michigan to pick him up. --- He tells them that Rachel¿s ex-boyfriend Nick the thief is being held on an island populated by Weres because he double crossed them after finding an artifact that has gone missing for centuries. After using a spell to shift into a wolf form so she can fight an alpha were for their freedom, she wins the battle and they manage to escape. However Nick has the artifact in his possession and the Weres will do anything to retrieve it. Somehow, Jenks, Rachel and Ivy who joins them later must find a way to elude the Weres and stop Nick from stealing the artifact otherwise a vampire/Were power struggle will break out with many people injured in what eventually will become a war. --- Fans of Laurell K. Hamilton, Charlaine Harris and Kelly Armstrong are going to love A Fistful of Charms. There is plenty of action, a bit of romance and enough death defying escapades to the please fans of many genres. Rachel is a conflicted individual who isn¿t always sure of her own feelings and actions and sometimes strays into the dark areas of magic to do the right thing. Kim Harrison is a great world builder, who creates fascinating characters and puts them in a realm where humans and Inderlanders live together, not always in harmony. --- Harriet Klausner
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Love the Rachel Morgan character. And I think "Big Al" is one of the best supporting characters written. Must read series!
dsaraceni More than 1 year ago
I love this series and all the great characters involved. The author does a great job drawing you in and keeping you entertained throughout.
Anonymous 3 months ago
every book in this series i have read and not one has disappointed me. worth it.
Anonymous 5 months ago
age51179 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
So back to the Hollows.....Book 4 of my favorite series. Rachel really steps in it this time. Things just come back and bite her literally. She turns were and Jenks turns BIG! I loved that I got to see a new side of Jenks. Let me just state that Nick is a loser and Rach should just let him rot! Missed Kist in this one. All in all another must read by Kim Harrison!
knielsen83 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I have to say... I love this series. In this book you see Rachel come to terms with some of her faults and well... it's just an amazing book that keeps you on your seat. Jenks becomes the size of human and is a hunky piece of meet. There's some serious issues in this one, most of which that aren't solved... can't wait to start the next book!
miyurose on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I love, love, love this series! It is easily in my top two that I¿ve read in the last couple of years. There¿s tons of action, a little bit of romance, and more witches, vamps, weres, and pixies than you can handle. Harrison has created some surprisingly complex characters that grow, change, and adapt in book after book. Especially Rachel, who continues to find out that some people aren¿t what they seem, and that it¿s hard to live your life in black and white ¿ sometimes those shades of gray are necessary. Jenks takes a pretty (ahem) big part in this one as he searches for his wayward son, something that could have been really gimmicky but instead worked seamlessly. There¿s so much packed into this book, it¿s hard to believe it only takes place over the course of a week. I have a feeling I¿ll be listening to the next book sooner rather than later.
FutureBestSeller on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I will admit I am more of a werewolf fan than vampire fan. This book finally brought out more Were's! Yippee...but it also brought out more the Vampy politics and rules! Not so Yippee!I liked the plot and especially liked that Jenks got to be a McHottie for awhile! But I am so over the Ivy thing and hate the whining by Rachel! I really is a good book and if you're a fan, you'll like it! And, if you've never read a "Rachel" book, by all means pick it up! The characters are colorful and likable, the story fast-paced and the Hollows are awesome!
Algaliarept on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book is both better and worse than any/all of it's predecessors. It is worse, because the main part of the story takes place nowhere near the church and any known places so far written about. That means that there is less interaction with old characters and a bunch of sparkly brand new ones. Better, due to the breath of fresh air the series was missing, and the events that take place between Rachel and Ivy. This is the wildest book in the series...excluding those that come after. It changes many things, tries many new things...and shows that witches could be just as tough as any other supernatural being from the Hollows.
nickeemattos on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Harrison has delivered again and from this latest installment has clearly honed her craft to firmly and defiantly carve out "the" preeminent position of being "the vampire and werewolf" chronicler. With a genre that has been lapped up seemingly by independent and conglomerate publishing companies alike, the alternate-verse reality novels have become big business as well as succor for the hosfrau masses who delight in those tales that cross-over into "vampire romance" ultimately manifested by the perpetual cha-ching of the cash register. But with the steady influx of both interest in the genre and hikes in sales, so comes lackluster authors such as Christine Feehan, Laurell Hamilton, and Amanda Ashley, whose unsteady craft, poorly developed characters, and grade school dialogue is slowly diluting a genre that was once vibrant and exciting to read. It seems that you can barely shake a cat in a roomful of authors who are penning the latest substandard "vampire" or "lycanthrope" novel. Not so with Kim Harrison. Harrison has taken the best elements of the lore and melded it with an ingenuity and imagination that is all her own. The suburbs of the Hollows have a sense of "realness" to readers, with little or no additional back-story that is so played out and prevalent with lesser novelists. It is a rare skill and economy of words to carefully hone the complex characters of Rachel Morgan, Ivy Tamwood, and Jenks the fearless pixy that readers can identify with: their humanness wrapped up tidily in their otherworldly-ness as well as the frail balance that exists between the Inderland population from that of humans. In Fistful of Charms, new readers and devotees alike will clamor to absorb the rough and tumble world once again with a supreme payoff. There is not a hint of Trent, Piscary, Big Al or any other of the regular baddies in this 3rd book of the series but is solely a tale of the intricacies that are woven between the partners of Vampiric Charms. What will make them fall apart? What will hold them together as they struggle once again to save Nick from himself? This time. Nick has in hand an artifact that could unravel the Vampire and Were balance completely...and Rachel must plunge directly into demon majick to save him. Can she escape the stains on her soul to save the others? While on this complicated journey, Ivy and Rachel's relationship takes a dramatic and frightening turn. Fans please hold in those gasps...it will be stunning....and I simply cannot spoil it for you. Brilliantly written and great fun, Fistful of Charms is highly recommended, and has established Kim Harrison as the reigning diva of supernatural thrillers (sorry Laurell!) Bravo! (c)Nicola Mattos 2006
magemanda on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
"Let's take a look at my track record. I live in a church with a vampire who is the scion of a master vampire who would just as soon see me dead. I date her old boyfriend, who used to be said master vampire's scion, and my ex-boyfriend is a professional thief who calls demons and trades information about me for tips to steal artifacts that can start an Inderland power struggle." This is the shape of Rachel Morgan's life as we go through the fourth book in Kim Harrison's series about the Hollows and the Inderlanders who inhabit it.In fact, in this story we take a road trip away from Cincinnati - Rachel receives news that Nick (her old flame) and Jenks' son Jax are in trouble, and sets out to help them. Since Ivy is supposedly unable to leave Cincinnati - otherwise Piscary gets pissed - Rachel invokes black demon magic in order to make Jenks...more useful. In the course of the story Rachel beats two Were alphas, discovers the existence of the Focus which could cause widescale warfare between Weres and Vamps, takes her relationship with Ivy to a new stage, and ogles Jenks......a lot! There is a lot going on in this book, and it rapidly became my least favourite so far. I enjoyed the interaction between Rachel and Jenks - particularly because his presence was so missed in the previous book - and the uniqueness of his situation in this book. It was also heartbreaking to realise along with Rachel that Jenks actually counts as an old pixy. I liked the set up of the plan, and cheered the double cross of Nick.However, there were many things I disliked or got tired of. Weres aren't really my thing, and so I found it difficult to stay interested in the main part of the plot. I ended up wanting to shake Rachel, because she came distinctly whiney in this book. Everything needed double or triple analysing and, because we're stuck in her head since it's all first person, we got to hear it all again and again and again. The Focus was suddenly thrust in as a new point having never been mentioned at all in any prior books, and hence came across as an extreme plot device. I also disliked the way Nick was treated - I mean, I never really liked the guy from the get-go and was relieved when he upped and left in the last book and paved the way for Kisten. But no one deserves to become such a jerk from being a fairly nice guy - it's almost as though Harrison got sick of the character herself or wanted to open the path for something else to happen in Rachel's future and so needed to get rid of Nick.Still, with all that said, this is still a great series and it sounds like there are explosive events ahead of Rachel - especially now that she has more of a handle on what makes her tick.
pacey1927 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is an entertaining, engaging read. I absolutely have grown to adore Jenks, Ivy, etc. Rachel does some self-realization in this book that we, the readers, realized a long time ago. Unfortunately Rachel comes across more as a self-pity party than anything else. The action is packed, and the scenes of her with her friends are among the best. Here she reunites with her estranged partner Jenks to rescue her ex-boyfriend Nick, who has turned into a class A jerk. (Ok, maybe he has always been a jerk, but now even Rachel can't deny it) Her feelings for Nick ring true, as many women will tell you. Even when a relationship is beyond done, even when you know your ex isn't a good person, there are still those past flames that you would go through hell and high water for, and Rachel does. Jenks and his son Jax provides some much needed comic relief. Kiston is missing from most of this book and Rachel's relationship with Ivy takes a turn. We are left with some teasers for the next books, but they aren't exactly uplifting. I will go into her next book eagerly, if slightly apprehensively.
kayceel on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
-Rachel¿s up to her ears in trouble when she runs to her ex-boyfriend and Jenks¿ (her pixy partner) son¿s rescue from disturbingly focused werewolves. The weres have Nick and Jax because they¿ve stolen a statue called, The Focus, something with the power to help all the different packs of weres join together, an event which could cause full-scale war between the weres and vampires. As Rachel struggles to keep herself and her friends alive, she gets deeper and deeper into black magic, using it to help, but taking the stain on her soul all the same. There were too many threads to this story ¿ it lacked cohesion and I started getting bored. It was okay, though¿
dragonfairy on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Harrison's fourth book was just as engaging and exciting as the previous three. It left me frustrated that I did not have the fifth book to move on to. Harrison's ability to tell a story continues to improve, and delving into Rachel's world continued to be just as much fun as before. Even upon a second reading. The twists and turns of the plot continue to keep me fixed in place, and reading the entire book in one sitting is bound to happen sooner or later. I found that I had trouble putting it down...hence the second reading.
willowwaw on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Another great book by Kim Harrison. Very fun continuation of the series. I would recommend this book to others, a nice fun fluff read.
ConnieJo on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I really liked this book, but I probably should have written this before reading the two after it, which were pretty fantastic and far better.This one deals mostly with werewolves that Rachael winds up confronting in Michigan in order to save Nick. Somehow, Nick has turned into a total jerk between the last book and this one, which is something I don't quite understand since he didn't really display all these criminal tendencies before... he was just a little shady.Easily the most awesome thing about this book was the fact that Rachael does this entire mission with Jenks, and uses magic to make Jenks... more useful. The novelty of this through the entire book never quite wore off, especially since Jenks is easily one of my favorite characters.Also, I believe the final confrontation takes place on the Macinac Bridge, something I have a bizarre obsession with. The setup for this con, both on Rachael's end and Nick's, is pretty impressive.
szarka on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Another great Hollows adventure. A little over the top in places, but overall great fun.
AuntieClio on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
First, Ms. Harrison and / or EOS needs to get a better proofreader. There were several grammatical mistakes which slowed the flow of reading. Also disconcerting, in what I thought was a big mistake but isn¿t, was the difference between Mackinac Island (pronounced Mackinaw) and Mackinaw City. As the characters moved between the two, the subtle difference was lost on me. I¿ll put that down to ignorance on my part.Harrison characters continue to evolve in rich and complex ways. Rachel encounters her own pattern of emotionally destructive relationships when she confronts her ex-boyfriend. She also adds Were alpha to her roster of titles. She continues to learn new and interesting things about her powers and her friendships with Ivy and Jenks become deeper and more complex. Nothing¿s easy in Rachel¿s life but she handles them, if not with grace and aplomb, very well all the while admitting she often has no idea what she¿s gotten herself into. Harrison¿s Rachel Morgan is an all too human witch and that¿s a bit part of her appeal. I enjoyed this one as much as the previous books in the series, although I teared up unexpectedly at several points on the story.
mzserena on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is a series that I've been savoring slowly. I love the mix of magic with vampires, witches, pixies and demons. Harrison weaves together a believable story that I'm glad that I started reading.This time, Rachel is off to save Jax and Nick, only to find out Nick has been selling her to the demon, Al. I enjoyed the story so much that I dove directly into the next book.