Friday, 23 March 2012

Completed: Witch Watch

The Witch Watch is a novel written by Shamus Young with illustrations by his wife Heather Young.

The initial concept of the book is that a shady cabal of magicians has violated every natural law in an attempt to raise their master from the dead. Unfortunately for them however, they had the wrong corpse and so they raise someone entirely different.

The story is set in an alternate late 19th century London where magic is an active force in the world, though it is banned by both the church and the state. The story has an interesting approach to spellcasting which is split between two types, Wizardry and Sorcery. Wizards are born, not taught, and being a wizard does not prevent one from learning sorcery which relies on magic circles and incantations.

During the book some details of both wizardry and sorcery are explained but only where relevant. I did appreciate the attention to detail in that the magic system is established and never clearly violated during the tale.

I have read Shamus' blog for some time now, I started reading when he was most of the way through DM of the Rings and I have particularly enjoyed his posts about the processes involved in the creation of the book, from the origins of the characters, through to the difficulties in hiring an editor and formatting the digital version of the book in order to have it work correctly in all the appropriate stores.

I enjoyed reading the book, I thought the characters were interesting and entertaining and the world was well built, the plot went in directions that surprised me and information was conveyed quite nicely.

The first chapter is freely available here and information on where you can obtain copies of the book can be found here.

Books list status: 45 unfinished titles

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