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The Shadow Rises

(Witch-Hunter #1)

3.87  ·  Rating details ·  282 ratings  ·  115 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
Paperback, 224 pages
Published January 7th 2013 by Createspace (first published January 3rd 2013)
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Average rating 3.87  · 
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 ·  282 ratings  ·  115 reviews

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Miranda Reads
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 ca
Dec 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

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

Feb 16, 2019 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
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 executio
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
Trey Stone
Sep 09, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Hunter Astely – witch hunter extraordinaire – is the best at what he does: hunting witches and keeping humanity safe. It’s not by choice however, it’s his heritage.

When he saves a young girl from a pack of witches in Italy, his life is turned upside down when she demands to be brought into the fray and trained to be a witch hunter herself – as his apprentice.

This book was surprisingly good. It’s fun, it’s easy, and it’s damn gripping. It reminds me a lot of Buffy and Angel, two shows that I both
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 75 of my Goodreads Challenge 2019 Was the Audio Book of The Shadow Rises 8th August 2019 The narration brings this story to life. I am not normally a fan of audiobooks, as I like to imagine in my mind what each character would sound and look like. However, being a big fan of this author especially 'The Witch-Hunter Series' (of which I have the full printed collection) I could not resist giving this audiobook a go, and I can tell you now this book blew me away. The narrator does an amazing j ...more
Rupali Rotti
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  ·  review of another edition
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
Oct 27, 2017 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: freebie
FREE on Amazon today (10/26/2017)!
Colleen Chesebro
The time has arrived! Persecuted witches are ready to take a stand against the witch hunters through the most powerful witch of all – The Shadow Witch. In an “unusual” twist, in this book, the witches are the bad guys and the witch hunters are the heroes. Pretty scary if you ask me!

To begin, George “Hunter” Astley finds himself on a reluctant holiday in Venice where he witnesses the attempted murder of Sophie Murphy, by a trio of witches.

Hunter is a seventh-generation witch hunter who works for
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
May 03, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, own-ebook
This is a great book! Hunter Astley is a 7th gen witch hunter. Most witch hunters are 1st to 3rd gen, so he’s pretty special. While he’s supposed to be on vacation he rescues Sophie from witches who were going to sacrifice her for their magic. She’s grateful but cold and aloof so he goes home and doesn’t think anything of it. But then she shows up at his door a couple months later and wants to become a witch hunter. In the meantime, a dark power is rising and it will take everything the witch hu ...more
Saundra Wright
Apr 15, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Laura Martinez
Sep 22, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Shadow Rises is a book about witches and hunters. Hunter Astley, is a 7th Generation witch and I thoroughly enjoyed listening to the audiobook. I actually found myself enjoying the other characters in this book.
It was a pretty good pace and it was filled with twists and turns. I know I had a couple of loud *gasps* moment while listening. I was caught aback.
The narrator did a great job and kept my attention while I listened. I really enjoyed the accent. 😍
Debbie Eyre
Jul 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love a good witchy read and this is a great one! Well written this war between witches and witch hunters is filled with twists and turns, action, adventure, mystery and intrigue , destruction and chaos, great characters and a storyline that will just grab you and I cannot wait to see where the story takes us!
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  ·  review of another edition
*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!
Nov 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a review. Thank you, K.S. Marsden for a delightful read.
I really enjoy this story take on the relationship between the witches and the witch-hunters. The Witch-Hunter’s protect society from evil magic over generations (eradicate witches no matter if good or bad). This book picks up with the life of the 7th Generation, Hunter Astley. Although he is wealthy, powerful (even more than he knows) and loyal, he is also humble and a little naïve. His f
Nia Markos
Aug 14, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
There’s a society of witch-hunters and Hunter (not his real name) is probably the best at what he does. He’s got money, the looks, and the skill. I mean, he’s almost like James Bond of the supernatural world. A girl he once saved from the clutches of the evil witch wants to join witch-hunters. A tragic turn of events makes him accept her as his apprentice. In the meantime, the evil raises and things get trickier than ever.

I liked the story and the concept. Everyone needs a good popcorn read fro
Aug 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Carol 27
Apr 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a very entertaining tale about a secret society of witch-hunters who work to eliminate black magic and prevent witches from gaining power over humans. We meet Hunter Astley, a 7th generation witch-hunter and his side-kick James Bennett, the researcher of their team. I enjoyed their interactions as they went about the day-to-day business of tracking down and capturing witches. When surprise attacks bring chaos and destruction, the witch-hunters realize they’re dealing with a powerful enti ...more
Suzanne Hare
Apr 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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  ·  review of another edition
(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 exch
Rose English
Dec 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019, all-time-fav-s
Book 52 of my Goodreads Challenge 2019

I absolutely adore this book series and re-read book 1 everytime a new book is coming out.

Because I've read this so many times it does not seem to want to let me review the print editions. However, I own all the books in print and most are signed by the author. To who I say a very big THANK YOU.
Apr 23, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Scarolet Ellis
May 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Shadow Rises (Witch-Hunter #1) by K.S. Marsden is a wonderful story that I have read.This is book number one in wonderful start to a brand new series that I loved reading. I highly recommend this to everyone who loves reading about fantasy in their stories.

I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review.
Mar 27, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Apr 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Anyone who enjoys stories involving witches…the real kind in fiction, not the silly or sweet and innocent…will like this series. The witches are finally tired of being chased down by witch hunters and being persecuted for being who they are, and the most powerful witch, “The Shadow”, rises again to free her people. The story has some unexpected twists and turns to it and finally reaches a big climax near the end regarding more than one thing. You sort of get a finality to the main build-up, but ...more
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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)

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“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…