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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.