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The Shadow Rises

(Witch-Hunter #1)

3.82  ·  Rating details ·  201 ratings  ·  85 reviews
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 o
Kindle Edition, 249 pages
Published January 3rd 2013
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Showing 1-30
3.82  · 
Rating details
 ·  201 ratings  ·  85 reviews

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Miranda Reads
Jan 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
4.5 stars

"I'm one of the best witch-hunters out there, if I don't stop her, who will?"
Hunter Astley, witch-hunter extraordinaire, is about to experience his greatest challenge yet.

Hunter is a seventh-generation witch-hunter, which in and of itself is an extremely rare thing.
There are so few of us....there are hundreds, perhaps thousands of first gens. Only about half of these survive long enough to even have families.
And along with that lineage comes with certain...perks. He can see farther
Dec 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing

Firstly, a massive thank you to the wonderful K.S.Marsden who introduced me to this trilogy, wrote it and supplied me with a free eBook review copy of this book in exchange of an honest review!!

Characters: 5/5
Plot: 5/5
Writing: 5/5
Originality: 5/5

I read James: witch-hunter (the prequel) before this book and fell in love with this trilogy straight away.

In contrast to the prequel, this story is from Hunter’s perspective. Hunter Astley is a 7th generation witch-hunter who works, with other witc

Feb 16, 2019 marked it as to-read
Just received this. Excited to read it.
Sheila Goicea
*Prequel review in series: James: Witch-Hunter

See this full review along with others on my blog at:

I received this copy from the author, K.S. Marsden, in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!

#5 for the #MonthofMonstrosities tag!

After all, who'd be scared of a cat after facing lions!

Reading The Shadow Rises immediately after I finished James: Witch-Hunter was a good idea. It made me appreciate how much the writing grew in overall detail, depth, and execution. Not t
Merril Anil
Spell bound by the witches

First of all a huge thanks to the author and the next novel team for introducing me to this wonderful series and for providing me with the copy of the book and secondly a huge hug for writing this book, which has not only floored me completely but have also left me craving for its sequels. The book has escalated to "my all time favorite trilogy" shelf

The shadow rises, true to its theme, did indeed cast its spell on me and I was completely hooked to the book from its
Oct 27, 2017 marked it as to-read
Shelves: freebies
FREE on Amazon today (10/26/2017)!
Rupali Rotti
May 12, 2014 rated it liked it
I liked this book. Horror is a genre where a lot of atmosphere building is needed to pull the reader in. Though the first few chapters weren't a puller, the overall story is brilliant. The author must be commended for that. The story is as intriguing as it is entertaining. I liked the characters a lot and the events that happen were mesmerizing. Interest is built up starting, I think, chapter 4. And half way through the book, I just couldn't stop reading and read all through the night. The suspe ...more
Aug 17, 2013 rated it really liked it
Marsden has a very straightforward writing style that keeps the characters and the action in your face throughout this rather intense novella. It is a very well edited and put together novella that takes you on quite a wild ride. Marsden presents her storyline in a manner that is easy to follow. She fills in lots of background information without breaking this flow. She is also very good at marking the passage of time without the reader feeling left behind.

Not only is this one of the few times
Hunter is a 7th generation witch hunter for the Malleus Maleficarum Council. Most witch hunters are only 3rd or 4th generation so Hunter is a bit of an anomaly. When he comes across two witches trying to sacrifice a woman for their magic, he saves her and ends up recruiting her to the life. She is apprenticed to a witch hunter, but when he is killed and Hunter hears whispers that the Shadow Witch is rising again and has her sites set on the woman he saved, he has to team up with Sophie to find t ...more
Saundra Wright
Apr 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
In a world where no witch is allowed to practice magic, they must agree to have their powers bound, face prison, or death, Hunter, as a seventh generation witch hunter is perhaps the most powerful witch hunter in the world, with incredible powers to fight the witches. When the Shadow Witch, a witch with magic unlimited, arises, will Hunter have the power to defeat her? The story is filled with unexpected twists and treachery with plenty of time along the way to ponder which side is truly wicked. ...more
Rose English
Jun 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: YA, paranormal fans,
Recommended to Rose by: @UKIndieLitFest1
Book 72 of my Goodreads Challenge

I simply had to re-read this trilogy before reading James Witch-Hunter the prequel and I can tell you it is as wonderful and as exciting as the first time I read it. Very Highly Recommended.

I have left the original review here too. Originally read in May 2015

#IndieRoar Challenge Day 1 The handsome hunter & the hunted.

I started reading this as a challenge for Indie Books Be Seen on Social Media. They support & promote independent authors. Being a FREE down
My Thoughts - 3 out of 5 stars - I liked it!

I have a lot of mixed feelings about this book. I did not connect well with this book, and it has everything to do with me not the writer. It is well written and a good story, but I have a problem with all witches being bad, evil, and power hungry (too much like racism or bigotry). I guess I like an even mix of good and evil. I think this caused the disconnect for me, and I had no problem putting the book down because of this. The ending sort of left y
Oct 23, 2014 rated it really liked it
*free copy from the author, in exchange for an honest review. *
A really nice book! I wouldn't exactly call it a page tuner but the idea behind it was really original and jaw dropping. The book moved too slow for my taste but I still enjoyed it! The writing style was simple and straightforward. The characters were beautifully described!

OverAll a wonderful job by the author. This book is definitely going somewhere!
Nia Markos
Aug 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
I was pleasantly surprised by this book. The author provided great twists to keep my interest.

Our main character, aptly named Hunter, is a 7th generation witch-hunter who works with the Malleus Maleficarum Council (MMC) in stopping witches. Witches, as described by the author in the book, are not your usual Wiccan rendition, but evil, using their powers in nefarious plots.

During a forced upon vacation, Hunter finds himself in Venice, where he saves Sophie from a group of witches who were readyin
Apr 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This review is for the Audible Audiobook version.

I really enjoyed this take on the theme of witches versus hunters and the concept of a super (or Shadow) witch. The audiobook has its share of action, violence, twists and turns, and betrayals on all sides. The human witch hunters seem outgunned and outmanned. You wonder if they even stand a chance despite Hunter's skill, leadership, and bravado. Then...BOOM! I have to admit I didn't have any inkling of either of the big surprises that came near t
Aug 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I must admit that I was very apprehensive at the beginning of this book because I love witches and all things magical and cannot abide stories about witch hunters, in fact I hate these with a vengeance! However as I really enjoy books written by Kelly Marsden I wanted to give the book a chance and I was not disappointed as this turned out to be a very unusual witch hunter story in that things take a very different twist to what is expected. Also Hunter and James are not as evil as the rest of th ...more
Apr 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Hunter, a 7th level witch hunter saves Sophie from being a sacrifice to witches. The act sets off a series of increasing disturbing events. Sophie show up to train as a hunter and through a devastating event, ends up training with Hunter. Meanwhile, disturbing magic related events are on the rise and the worst fears come with the possibly of the rise of the shadow witch. While trying to get a handle on things, Hunter loses his first love, bring Sophie and him closer. Things go from bad to worse ...more
Wilmar Luna
Aug 04, 2014 rated it really liked it
(Normally I don’t like to add these little disclaimers but I have to make an exception for this review because the author has helped me by participating in beta reads and reviewing my work. I am now here to return the favor. So yes, I have received this book for free but this does not influence my honest opinion of how I felt reading it.)

When I first heard about the Shadow Rises, it was actually through having K.S. Marsden participate in my beta read for my book series The Silver Ninja. We excha
Apr 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
The characters are interesting and full of life. Good amount of plot twists as well. If you're a fan of paranormal stories with witches then this is a book you'll want to devour!

I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review.
Mar 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
A good story, with a different take on witches. The writing style i found was quite detached and clinical but did not detract from the story. I am uncertain if this was intended by the author or not. Either way I will look forward to reading the next book in the series.
A.Z. Green


Goodreads | Website

The world is full of witches. There is no line between good and evil. Witches are accused as evil, just for being what they are. Witch hunters dedicate their lives to tracking down and subduing—or killing—witches.

It's an interesting concept. Witches in this novel are seen as a pariah. A virus that has to be either removed of its power or destroyed. I could see from the start that this whole concept would be flipped on its ass. Because, not e
Dusti Dasilva
Feb 25, 2015 rated it really liked it

*I was sent this book from the author for a honest review. This is MY opinion and at no time reflects that of other readers!*

Ok people. This book was AMAZING! I LOVED Every minute of reading it.

Looking at the cover you may think its going to be a little more hard core, but its really not. It gives us a twist to what we normally think of when we think of witches. Because in this book witches are EVIL, HORRIBLE, MURDERS. Yes you read that one right. And yes there are witch hunters. So for once thi
May 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 5-star, paranormal
I read the three books in the Witch-Hunter series back to back.
The Shadow Rises drew me in after the first few pages and wouldn't let go so I moved straight onto The Shadow Reigns, quickly followed by The Shadow Falls.
These books now make up one of my favourite trilogies!

The Shadow Rises is an awesome start to an original and exciting series, that has a new take on witches. It's a fast-paced, fun and enjoyable read, with action and intrigue plus an unexpected and surprising twist.

Hunter is a str
Dec 07, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: physical-copy
That was awesome! I can't wait to read the rest!

Hunter Astley is a seventh generation witch hunter. As far as anyone knows, he's the only seventh gen in existence. If fifth generation witch hunters have insane powers, what are Hunter's possibilities?

When the first Shadow Witch in decades appears, it is up to Hunter to track her down and kill her before she can kill anyone else he loves. As part of the Malleus Maleficarum Council (MMC), it is Hunter's job to keep all witch hunters around the wor
Ryan Guy
Hunter Astley, a 7th generation witch-hunter from England, never gets a break, not even while on vacation in Italy. What happens in Italy doesn't stay in Italy after a seemingly routine encounter with witches and the rescue of a beautiful woman named Sophie puts a nefarious plan in motion and changes Hunter's life forever.

Brooding Hunter takes Sophie to Astley Manor to teach her all things witch-hunting. His mother, who I affectionately named Grumpy Cat Incarnate, isn't happy about it. Humorousl
Jul 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing
this book was a Book of the Month in the Lovers of the Paranormal group I'm in. I'm always a little nervous reading a book of a genre I don't often read but I was pleasantly surprised. I went to amazon and purchased the next to books in series.
This book starts right off with Witch-hunter, Hunter Astley saving a girl from human sacrifice while he is on vacation in Venice. He explains about witches to the rescued Sophie and sees that she gets home safely. A year later Sophie turns up wanting to be
Jul 09, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I did not finish this book.
D.M. Cain
May 20, 2015 rated it really liked it
Gripping witch hunting fantasy! Check out my video review on youtube here:
Dec 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
It's a 3.5 rating rounded up to 4 stars (additional half-star for the performance:)).

This is my review of the audio version as posted on Audible:

'The Shadow Rises' is the first book in the series - and you can feel it. It has all the elements I like in a good story about the paranormal/witchcraft/magic, but it also has some flaws that are often unavoidable in a first of any series...

The strength of the book are definitely the main characters - Hunter, James and Sophie. They are intriguing, deep,
Feb 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
Witches and witch hunters against one another for generations.
The witch hunters have been protecting the people from the evil magic of the witches for centuries. Hunter is a 7th generation witch hunter. This brings him prestige among other witch hunters, but he is so much younger that it also brings with it jealousy, conflict and mistrust. As a 7th gen, Hunter has abilities that only come with his families longevity in the business, but they don’t know exactly what those abilities might be. A yo
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Lovers of Paranor...: The Shadow Rises by K.S. Marsden 15 65 Jul 21, 2016 06:51PM  
FREE YA BOOKS!: The Shadow Rises (Witch-Hunter #1) 6 20 May 15, 2015 11:38AM  
Shut Up & Read: FREE Witch-Hunter book 1 10 May 03, 2015 04:39PM  
Indie Authors Mon...: FREE Witch-Hunter book 1 10 Apr 28, 2015 03:13AM  
Goodreads Librari...: Claiming books 2 15 Jan 11, 2015 07:50AM  
GOOD REVIEWS: Witch-Hunter - free for reviewers 15 29 Oct 21, 2014 08:49AM  
The Perks Of Bein...: Now recruiting at the British MMC... 5 348 Jun 29, 2014 06:31AM  
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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-tim

Other books in the series

Witch-Hunter (3 books)
  • The Shadow Reigns (Witch-Hunter, #2)
  • The Shadow Falls (Witch-Hunter, #3)
“Finally she spoke with a forced scepticism, “So… if those girls are witches, and I was the sacrifice - what does that make you?”

“A witch-hunter.”

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

Hunter sighed, “You’re a very pleasant , friendly character, aren’t you?”
More quotes…