Rating: 5 stars ot of 5
History isn’t dead when you’re living it.
Ash and Grant are about to learn why it was called the Dark Ages, when Merlin, in the guise of their teacher, once again sends them time traveling to reclaim one of the antiquities their prank destroyed: a book called the Malleus Maleficarum, or Hammer of the Witches, which was used to persecute and kill innocent people throughout medieval Europe.
They’ll need to keep their heads down and their wits about them in a Germany ruled by the iron fist of the Inquisition, where anyone who is different is dragged off to horrifying prisons, tortured to confession, and ultimately killed in the worst way imaginable. But it won’t be easy to navigate a frightening and brutal time, secure Merlin’s book, and make it home without attracting attention.
After having successfully procured the Eye of Ra from its source, the boy Pharaoh Tut, in ancient Egypt, it now time for their next retrieval. Something far more malevolent. And their experiences will be far different from the luxury and ease into society they had with Tut.
No, with Hammer of the Witch, Dakota Chase has Merlin sends our rambunctious duo back to medieval times and witch hunts. The item they seek for Merlin? The book a means for identifying and punishing witches. Instead of perfumed and painted people on the Nile, Chase gives us the harsh reality of the times in medieval Germany. The plague, the unsanitary conditions, the indentured poor whose servitude gets longer due to the dubious circumstances under which they work…its all there. Add to that the greed of the landowners combined with the religious fervor of Inquisition…and no one is safe from the cry of “witch”.
This is what Ash and Grant face as they travel back to Germany to search out and steal the Malleus Maleficarum, or Hammer of the Witches. Chase once again unforgettably brings these times alive for the boys and us. The reality of the clothes (a shock to them both) and the fear the strangers are met with. Worse yet, the burning bodies that greet them in the square once they get to the city. Yes, this a grittier story, the harsh reality of the witch hunts hits an emotional punch right to the heart with each victim (young and old) declared guilty of witchcraft.
Again the question arises, how much of history, if any, can they change?
The writing is so well done, the era so well researched, that I was one hundred percent emotionally invested in that question along with Ash and Grant. I felt for these people living under these heinous conditions, waiting for their loved ones to be hauled away at any moment to be burned alive at the stake.
Hammer of the Witch is an emotional, intelligent adventure. Thrilling, somber, and one hell of a story for Ash, Grant, and the reader. And it ends as it should with not all of our questions answered, just the big ones.
I love this series and can’t wait for Mammouth. What are the boys going to do with the I wonder? And yes, I highly recommend this and the first story as well. Read them in the order they are written.
Cover Artist: Tiferet Design. I love these covers for this story and the series. They have an old time design feel about them that you might have seen on the old boy adventure novels. Yet there’s movement in the art work, along with a chilling feel with the color tone. Marvelous.
ebook, 180 pages
Published January 9th 2018 by Harmony Ink Press
Original TitleHammer of the Witch