Hammer of Witches

Shana Mlawski. Lee & Low/Tu, $17.99 (400p) ISBN 978-1-60060-987-9
Stories come alive in this rousing historical fantasy, which is set against the backdrop of 15th-century Europe and Columbus’s famous first voyage to the New World. Baltasar Infante has grown up listening to the stories of his Uncle Diego, including those of the legendary Moorish hero, Amir al-Katib. However, the 14-year-old boy is still unprepared to learn that not only is he al-Katib’s son, but he’s also a Storyteller—a sorcerer capable of working magic through the old tales. With the sinister witch-hunting order of the Malleus Malificarum after him, Baltasar’s only recourse is to run, joining the crew of the Santa María as it heads west, while hoping to find his long-missing father. As Baltasar explores his abilities, he gets caught up in a conflict between the Old World and the New. Newcomer Mlawski delivers a fast-paced coming-of-age adventure, respectfully evoking the complexities and cultural landscape of the period. She draws from a variety of sources, including Jewish and Biblical myth, offering an accessible, attention-grabbing story that seamlessly inserts its magical elements into historical fact. Ages 12–up. Agent: Jessica Regel, Jean V. Naggar Literary Agency. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 03/04/2013
Release date: 04/01/2013
Portable Document Format (PDF) - 978-1-60060-988-6
MP3 CD - 978-1-5226-7923-3
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