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    Review of SHADOW AND SALVATION by Vanessa Knipe

    COLLEGE OF ST. VAN HELSING #4, June 2014

    Shadow and Salvation cover For centuries, a tiny band of men (and they are all men) have held the monsters and forces of nature at bay. Without them, hungry elementals would swarm over Britain, consuming life for their fuel and demanding sacrifices to restore their powers. Operating out of a secret arm of the Church of England, these witch-finders protect ordinary people, allowing them to live their lives. And their center, the College of St. Van Helsing, attempts to bring new generations of witch-finders to the noble cause. Burnout and the toll of the job doesn’t make it easy and the College’s insistence that only men are qualified drives many who would best serve to become witches instead.

    A witch-finder considering abandoning the church and using magic to expand his family estate confronts an elemental who promises him sex and power. A drunk student finds his own power being used to bring forth a legendary ghost dog. An angry storm disguises the yearning of a mother for her child—and her willingness to destroy a city if witch-finder magic kills that child. A Neolithic dog seeks to protect its family, still confused about why it was abandoned. An angry elemental has found a loophole in the wards that bind it to the earth and plans its escape on the day that doesn’t exist.

    In Shadow and Salvation, Author Vanessa Knipe (see more reviews of fantasy by Knipe) deepens her exploration of the world of St. Van Helsing. The role of women, excluded from membership in the College, is explored more fully, as are the options available to them (many of which are not pleasant at all). The witch-finders themselves are shown as complex characters, often damaged by their conflicting needs to protect the innocent and to destroy those most like themselves.

    Fans of the witch-finder series will definitely want to grab this one. If you’re not familiar with Knipe’s work, Shadow and Salvation is a great starting point, introducing many of the characters whose lives, powers and flaws Knipe explores.

    Four Stars

    Reviewed 6/11/14

    SHADOW AND SALVATION is available in multiple eBook formats (HTML, Adobe PDF, ePub and Kindle/Mobipocket) at the low price of only $3.99. Click the 'Buy Now' button below to purchase it now.

    Want more? Read RED HAIR AND GOLD (from SHADOW AND SALVATION) free.

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