The Shadow Rises (Witch-Hunter Book 1) – K.S. Marsden


When a new witch threat rises, only Hunter Astley can stop them…

In the face of dark magic and evil witches, a secret witch-hunting society works tirelessly to keep them at bay. The Malleus Maleficarum Council have strict rules and practises for eradicating magic.
Due to their work, witches have been almost forgotten, relegated to myth; but rumours are starting to emerge of a new power that will throw the world into chaos.

As the only 7th generation witch-hunter, Hunter Astley is the best the MMC has to offer. With the help of his colleagues, it’s a race to track down this new threat and stop them… in any way he can.


She raised a brow. “A witch-hunter named ‘Hunter’? How very original.”

Hunter (George) Astley was a witch-hunter, the best one actually. He was the only seventh generation in history, and that implied he was more powerful than the others. It seems, when you fight witches you start to absorb some of their power, which gave each generation of witch-hunters more abilities than the older one, but given their lifestyle, not lots of them had decendents.

Witches are an entirely different breed of human, at least one parent has to be a witch; you can’t become one by wanting it.

Hunter was on holiday in Venice, forced by his friend and partner James, a first generation witch hunter, for having a little rest from work. He was actually just getting bored when he felt the magic (one of the witch hunters abilities) and found a young lady about to be sacrificed in a ritual for giving witches more power. He saved the girl, kill the men witch and got the other two witches to surrender and accept their magic being bound.

Hunter sighed, even witch-hunting required paperwork in this crazy modern world – but thankfully Hunter could shift all that onto James’ workload. He preferred the more active part of his job than this paperwork. And James did a tediously good and thorough job of it.

The rescued lady’s name was Sophie, a beautiful but excessively cold woman that decided not to get out of this new world she just found and asked to be part of the MMC. It seems this wasn’t so weird, lots of the rescued asked for joining, but most ended up in paperwork in the office. But Sophie wanted to be a hunter, and she didn’t give up until she was accepted as a first generation witch-hunter.

Sophie has an opinion… not so popular among the witch-hunters. She can’t believe that all the witches are evil just because they are witches. Besides, the witch-hunters used their amulets and their acquired abilities that were not that different from magic. However, she decides to stay in the team.

Hunter watched Sophie walk away from him and move up the main staircase, heading straight for her room. He didn’t want her to be alone; he told himself that she shouldn’t be alone after such a day. But a part of him knew better. Oh god, he was in trouble.

Hunter, James and Sophie find out that a Shadow Witch had rose. A very rare breed whose magic powers are unlimited. There’s only register of two Shadow Witches in history, one was murdered by Hunter’s grandfather.

After facing her, it gets clear that witch-hunter are no opponent for her and it depends on Hunter and his seventh generation abilities to defeat her and save humanity.

“Oh, that is bad. Did the Shadow Witch give a bad guy speech?”
“Oh yes, very impressive and clichéd – shame you missed it.”

For now, I’ve liked the story a lot, it’s a totally recommendable book. I’ll keep reading the saga and hope the next ones are as good or even better.

I loved Hunter. Typical lead of a fantasy book that is too good to be real and that can make a thousand mistakes, but as you are in his mind you can’t stop loving him. This is not a complaint, I love this kind of characthers ?.

He could fight, kill if need be, but he couldn’t face sorrow. Not even when one of his best friends needed his comfort.

I really like Sophie too. I hope we will know more about her in the next books, but I will anyway read her prequel. I really want to understand what made her the way she is.

James… I actually liked this character and feel he is important for the story itself, but I can’t stop picturing him as Sherlock Holmes’s Watson ?. Thinking better, Hunter could be this Holmes too.

Something I really liked of this book is how they laugh about clichés.

How very British; having a nice cup of tea whilst conversing about witches.

I love books that make me laugh without losing the emotion of the story.

“Look, just because we’re sharing a bed, doesn’t make this a girly sleepover.”

[su_spoiler title=”Here is a little spoiler, predictable, but read this on your own risk.” icon=”chevron-circle”]Honestly, for me it was too predictable that Sophie was a witch, until she was “possessed” and I started doubting it a little. Anyway, this didn’t diminish my desire to read the book.[/su_spoiler]

PD: I’m really trying to like the cover but no… it still freaks me out ?

Bye bye ?

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