“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.” (From Amazon.com)
Mark of the Witch is Maggie Shayne’s first book in the “The Portal” series. Indira is a witch. No, wait. Strike that- she was a witch. But the continued and loyal practice doesn’t pay out and Indira eventually loses her faith.
Until one night when she has a terrible nightmare. And it seems what’s more, something about the nightmare is real because she wakes up with rope burns on her wrists and a mysterious tattoo on her lower back which fades after just a few moments. Not to mention, she just quit smoking.
It’s just not Indy’s week, but that’s even before secretive and hunky priest Tomas shows up claiming that she is the world’s only hope. The one person that has the power to destroy the big bad demon…or the power to release it.
The choice is Indy’s and Tomas sure hopes she makes the right decision. An orphan taken in and raised by Gnostic priest Dominick, Tomas has only ever known one religion. He’s had his doubts about being in the priesthood and as the adventure progresses, his doubts only become more frequent. Especially now that he’s got Indy in his care. She’s beautiful and he can’t seem to take his eyes off of her–but is she a good witch…or a bad one?
What I Thought:
Maggie Shayne’s “Wings in the Night” series were some of the first paranormal books I’ve read. It’s this series that really started me on the “whole vampire thing” as some would call it! I did start to wean off the series, however and became interested in different vampire series. I came across Mark of the Witch I was excited to try another of Shayne’s series and not only that, but one that is a little outside my comfort zone as a reader.
I really enjoyed the book. Indira was a great character and I liked that she didn’t fit into a specific category. She is stressed, under paid, and struggling with her religion. She felt like a normal woman to me- which I really liked especially considering she had some extraordinary powers.
What drew me in at first after reading the synopsis was the taboo love story between Indira the witch and Tomas the priest. Tomas also struggled with his religion throughout the book which is completely different from the Wiccan religion Indy is struggling with. It really gave the romance an additional opposites attract feeling to it.
The only thing that I was disappointed in was the outcome. And this only because I knew the whole book what it would be. It was very clear from the get-go that Father Dom was a bad/not so sane guy and that what Indira was meant to release was not the Devil but in fact a man trapped inside the portal from ancient Babylonian times. You may have read that paragraph and thought to yourself: really? You knew that from the beginning? Trust me, you’ll have to read the book to understand. It was a very easy mystery to piece together.
Even though there weren’t any shocking surprises for me, I truly enjoyed the book and can’t wait for the next to come out in November.
Final Review: 4/5.
Next up: Legacy of the Witch, prequel to Mark of the Witch. And then for probably the last book of October I’ll be switching it up (but keeping it magical!) with Thirty Nights with a Highland Husband.