Mark of the Witch by Maggie Shayne
Reading level: Adult
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Mass Market Paperback: 400 pages
Publisher: Harlequin MIRA
Release date: September 18, 2012
Series: The Portal #1
Reviewed by: Tynga
From New York Times bestselling author Maggie Shayne comes the first novel in her thrilling new trilogy, THE PORTAL She was born to save what he is sworn to destroy…
A lapsed Wiccan, Indira Simon doesn’t believe in magic anymore. But when strange dreams of being sacrificed to an ancient Babylonian god have her waking up with real rope burns on her wrists, she’s forced to acknowledge that she may have been too hasty in her rejection of the unknown. Then she meets mysterious and handsome Father Tomas. Emerging from the secrecy of an obscure Gnostic sect, he arrives with stories of a demon, a trio of warrior witches-and Indira’s sacred calling. Yet there’s something even Tomas doesn’t know, an inescapable truth that will force him to choose between saving the life of the woman he’s come to love-and saving the world.
Indira has been a magic user for quite some time, hoping beyond hope to attract her soul mate. Yet, after years of trying, she gives up, and that’s when magic bites her in the ass. On the days leading to Samhain, she becomes hunted by nightmares that feels more then real, and even though she does her very best to deny everything, she has to accept that something is wrong when physical evidence start appearing on her body. Launched on a quest to stop a demon from destroying the world by a sexy priest, Indira will learn to believe in magic once again, and more importantly, trust her instincts.
Mark of the Witch is Maggie Shayne’s first novel in this new trilogy and I have to admit I was hooked right from the first chapter. This compelling paranormal romance has everything a girl can ask for: a strong female character, a sexy male character, and good story line and an original plot! I particularly enjoyed the Lore. Indira is haunted in her dreams by her past self, a witch killed in ancient Babylonian for practicing magic. Her past self is trying to remind her of her mission and it’s of the upmost importance that she discovers the truth before it’s too late.
Indira is a particularly loveable character and her scepticism was completely on point. Tomas also stole my heart even though I wanted to smack him a couple of times for doubting his instincts. I guess being brainwash into priesthood from childhood has something to do with it, but still! I hated Tomas’ mentor from the beginning, and if I have one slight disappointment in this novel (and it’s a very small one), it’s that I thought he had a much bigger role than he actually did.
I am a romantic to the bones and I loved Maggie’s star-crossed lover story. To think the main characters loved each other centuries ago, loved each other over the course of many life times, to finally face each other again. Will their final story be as tragic as the first one? I really enjoyed the development of their feelings and thought their reactions were completely believable.
I have to confess I have mixed feelings about the conclusion. While I like the conclusion to the main plot, I felt like something was missing for the loop to be really closed. I’m pretty sure I’ll get answers to my questions regarding the demon in the next instalment, or I sure hope so, but I felt the answers were needed in this novel for the end to really feel right. Either way, I enjoyed this story and I already signed up to review the second novel in the trilogy!
Original and engrossing, this reincarnation-based witch story was as refreshing as it was exciting! I definitely recommend it to urban fantasy and paranormal romance fans. This story isn’t all about steamy sexy scenes, it’s more about soul mates and I liked it!