Go to Homepage   M. R. Sellars: Never Burn a Witch


Crescent Blues Book ViewsImage: two moon gifWillow Tree Press (Hardcover), ISBN: 0-9678221-1-4
Categorized by its publisher as a suspense/thriller, the second book in the Rowan Gant Investigation series, Never Burn a Witch, actually met one of the definitions of the sub-genre. The novel definitely boasted Book: M R Sellars, Never Burn Aa Witchthrills and chills, but the suspense bogged down in definitions and explanations of Wicca. Rowan Gant, the protagonist, belongs to a coven and is a Witch (the capitalization derives from the author, who uses it repeatedly in the work).

The concept of using a witch to hunt down a killer who targets witches borders on wonderful. Fresh and innovative, it would have carried the book to greater heights if explanations weren't given, repeated and repeated again, using practically the same words every time. (I should add here that I reviewed an uncorrected/unedited galley and hope a good editor makes short work of the repetitions.)

An unknown person follows an old edict from the Inquisition. After doing a witch-finding, he or she determines the guilt of potential victims, puts them to the question and executes them. A friend on the local police force calls Gant in to help a special unit uncover the murderer. Using his vast store of historical Book: M R Sellars, Harm Doneknowledge, Wiccan magic and some help from supernatural sources, Gant sets out to do exactly that -- and jeopardizes his life in the bargain.

The character of Rowan Gant develops in a nice, credible fashion. The crimes do not lack historical counterparts, which adds to the story's chill factor, because history does tend to repeat itself, and witch hunts, in many forms, continue to the present day. The Wiccan information informed me too much. I would rather read my suspense straight and use non-fiction works to discover the joys of Wicca as an alternative religion (one I have no personal knowledge of or personal prejudice against).

Patricia Lucas White

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