Wednesday, August 20, 2014

REVIEW: Hammer of Witches by Shana Mlawski

My Rating: 9 out of 10 stars

Fourteen-year-old Baltasar Infante is a simple bookmaker's apprentice in fifteenth century Spain. Or so he once believed. Now he's discovered that his parents aren't who he thought they were, and that his skills as a Storyteller allow him to bring characters and settings from his stories to life, to materialize in the here and now. As exciting as this skill sounds, it unfortunately puts him on the radar of the Malleus Maleficarum, the radical witch-hunting arm of the Spanish Inquisition.

Soon, Baltasar finds himself heading west on-board the Santa MarĂ­a, serving as translator to the ship's captain, in order to escape the corrupt arm of the law, track down his true father, and attempt to fulfill the prophecy of the Baba Yaga.

This was an amazing read!! A fantastic debut novel from author Shana Mlawski, lush with historical references--and a bit of fiction thrown in--made for a spellbinding story. With such rich and vivid imagery, I found myself pulled into the world of 15th century Spain, and Columbus' voyage to the new world, all while keeping the story fresh, fast-paced, and exciting. The author does an impressive job using of historical facts and figures, and weaving a wonderfully magical tale around them. I'd definitely love to read more from her in the future.