Shadows walk the coast of 18th-century Yorkshire, England, in first-time novelist G.P. Taylor's macabre tale of good versus evil. Obadiah Demurral, the vicar of Thorpe, has long since ceased to worship God. Instead he worships power, and as absolute power corrupts absolutely, Demurral becomes absolutely corrupt. Driven by his thirst for more power, he immerses himself in the black arts and soon discovers a source of power beyond his wildest dreams the Keruvim. The Keruvim are twin icons of an ancient religion, one a small carved replica of an angelic being, the other flesh and blood. Individually they are powerful, but when used in tandem they are virtually invincible. Demurral already has one.

"When I have it in my grasp then the power of God will be mine," Demurral declares. "When I have the Keruvim then He will have to listen to me." With the village under his thrall, Demurral comes dangerously close to acquiring this awesome power source. But three young people stand in his way. Thirteen-year-old orphan Thomas Barrick has no love for the vicar or his appropriately named henchman, Beadle, but lacks the power to oppose them. Thomas' best friend, Kate Coglan, is an unwilling ally in the fight against evil. It is when these two meet Raphah, a young African from the ancient land of Cush who has been sent to retrieve the stolen Keruvim, that the real battle begins. Dark forbidding forests, dank secret passages, demonic rites and fallen angels battle to overthrow the king of heaven, while the fate of mankind rests with these three unlikely heroes.

In stark contrast to the benign witchery of J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter, Shadowmancer splits no hairs about its subject, declaring that witchcraft is evil, and those who practice it are deceived. The novel has created a major stir in Great Britain, where it has already achieved bestseller status, and the book's U.S. publisher is hoping for similar results in America. Mike Parker writes from his home near Nashville.

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