The Shadow Rises

Witch-Hunter Book 1

Fiction - Fantasy - Urban
241 Pages
Reviewed on 01/17/2019
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Kelly S. Marsden grew up in Yorkshire, and there were two constants in her life - books and horses.
Graduating with an equine degree from Aberystwyth University, she has spent most of her life since trying to experience everything the horse world has to offer. She is currently settled into a Nutritionist role for a horse feed company in Doncaster, South Yorkshire.
She writes Fantasy stories part-time. Her first book, The Shadow Rises (Witch-Hunter #1), was published in January 2013, and she now has several successful series under her belt.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Kim Anisi for Readers' Favorite

Witches aren’t misunderstood characters in The Shadow Rises, the first book in the Witch-Hunter series by K.S. Marsden. They are wicked (not Wicca) and evil. Witch-hunters have their hands full with keeping the threat under control. Usually, the job of being a witch-hunter is handed down from generation to generation – but witch-hunters often do not live long, and lines are quickly broken. This is why Hunter Astley is a very special hunter: he’s the seventh generation, and nobody quite knows what he is capable of. Like all other witch-hunters, he works for the Malleus Maleficarum Council. There are rumors of the emergence of a Shadow Witch, a most powerful witch. The rumors soon prove to be true after an attack. Who is the Shadow Witch? And do the witch-hunters have a chance against that ancient force even with a seventh generation at their side?

I was worried that The Shadow Rises by K.S. Marsden would be full of cliches – as is often the case with stories that involve witches. I soon realized this would not happen here. There is a clear distinction between Wicca and the evil witches, and I found that quite interesting. There is also a mean plot twist – but of course I can’t give that away. It was a very engaging read and full of surprises, so I’d have no problem with recommending this book to fans of paranormal stories, but who are sick of reading the same story again and again. K.S. Marsden managed to put a fresh spin on witch-hunters, and it’ll be interesting to see how Hunter deals with his abilities in the future. He’s an interesting character, and shows a clear development arc in the plot – one that is not yet finished. The story is exciting, well written and I had no problem with diving into it.


I started reading this as a challenge for Indie Books Be Seen on Social Media back in 2015. They support & promote independent authors. Being a FREE download I didn’t really expect a great deal. I generally like a printed book and I am afraid for some reason the cover didn’t immediately appeal. I read the blurb and was tempted inside.

Well I was hooked from the start, drawn into the night-time setting of Venice with lights sparkling across the canal. Then being introduced to the enigmatic, charming English gentleman, Hunter Astley, seventh generation Witch-Hunter. Tall dark & handsome with classic good looks, he is the dream of many a young woman, all seemingly attracted to him, but not the the tall pretty brown haired girl. Her hazel eyes had locked on Hunter for the briefest of moments. Then she turned away, obviously dissatisfied with what she saw. Her loss. Or would things turn out differently in the long run?

It’s difficult to give a review and not give anything away, so I will say little else, just that I was hooked. I read the whole book in two sittings. Hunter was a character I could not help but love, he had me in a swoon that’s for sure. His trusty friend & sidekick 1st generation, but highly intelligent Yorkshire man James, was amusing but sometimes a little annoying with his accent. The two friends devoted to one another, although this did surprise me considering all they endured. Especially in the company of Sophie new Witch-Hunter in training.

A fascinating story I simply could not put down. I thought it might be a little predictable? In some things it was and then in others I was twisted around by events, several I never saw coming. I love the whole series and James has actually turned out to be my favourite character. I own the complete set in paperback several signed by the author. I simply LOVE them all. I've probably read each book three times now.

So if you fancy a little witchy story, the handsome hunter & the hunted, why not pick up or download a copy? I highly recommend it, but don’t just take my word for it. Go try it for yourself. Happy Reading