Hammer of Witches

Hammer of Witches

4.6 5
by Shana Mlawski
     
 

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Baltasar Infante, a bookmaker’s apprentice living in 1492 Spain, can weasel out of
any problem with a good story. But when he awakes one night to find a monster straight
out of the stories peering at him through his window, he’s in trouble that even he can’t
talk his way out of. Soon Baltasar is captured by a mysterious arm of the…  See more details below

Overview

Baltasar Infante, a bookmaker’s apprentice living in 1492 Spain, can weasel out of
any problem with a good story. But when he awakes one night to find a monster straight
out of the stories peering at him through his window, he’s in trouble that even he can’t
talk his way out of. Soon Baltasar is captured by a mysterious arm of the Spanish
Inquisition, the Malleus Maleficarum, that demands he reveal the whereabouts of Amir
al-Katib, a legendary Moorish sorcerer who can bring myths and the creatures within
them to life. Baltasar doesn’t know where the man is—or that he himself has the power to
summon genies and golems.

Baltasar must escape, find al-Katib, and defeat a dreadful power that may destroy the
world. As Baltasar’s journey takes him into uncharted lands on Columbus’s voyage
westward, he learns that stories are more powerful than he once believed them to be—
and much more dangerous.

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Editorial Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
An engaging, magical adventure set against the historical backdrop of Columbus’ westward voyage.
PW - Publishers Weekly
Newcomer Mlawski delivers a fastpaced coming-of-age adventure, respectfully evoking the complexities and cultural landscape of the period. She draws from a variety of sources, including Jewish and Biblical myth, offering an accessible, attention-grabbing story that seamlessly inserts its magical elements into historical fact.
Author - Diana Peterfreund
Mlawski's magical take on the exploration of the New World is a dazzling, richly imagined tale about history, legend, and the fantastic power of story.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
2940016489483
Publisher:
Lee & Low Books, Inc.
Publication date:
04/12/2013
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
400
File size:
2 MB

Meet the Author

SHANA MLAWSKI is a native New Yorker who writes educational materials and tutors
middle and high school students. She has written more than a hundred articles for the pop
culture website OverthinkingIt.com, some of which have been featured in The Atlantic
Monthly, The Guardian, The Huffington Post, and Ms. magazine. She graduated cum
laude from Yale with a B.A. in English with a concentration in creative writing, and
received a master’s in education from Columbia University Teachers College. Hammer of
Witches is her first novel.

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Hammer of Witches 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Terrific, exciting and original!! Great read.
Davnew More than 1 year ago
Religious texts, history, myth - they all tell the story of the mess that is the human family. Shana Mlawski puts these all together in a fast moving mystical fantasy for young adults that is at once informative and thought provoking. For, if we should ever pioneer into the round world of enlightenment we must understand the raw flatland of intolerance, greed and ignorance from which we come.
majibookshelf More than 1 year ago
To be honest with you, this book was the slightest bit confusing. From what I figured out, Baltasar Infante is an apprentice bookbinder who can always tell good stories. But the monsters from the stories aren't always made up in Baltasar's world. When a monster from one of Baltasar's stories is seen one night, Baltasar is in for trouble he can't smooth talk out of for the very first time. A witch hunting army called the Malleus Malificarum has captured him, and put him to question about Amir al-Katib, the infamous Moorish sorcerer who can take monsters from stories and make them appear in real life. Baltasar takes a dangerous journey to uncharted lands with Columbus, and learns some stories aren't just stories.  I couldn't connect to any characters, but I'm sure somebody can connect with them. I thought of this book as a historical-fantasy book that was more fantastical than historical. The book wasn't annoying, but I didn't adore reading it. It was an ok read. It was interesting in the beginning, but as I went on I got slightly bored. Maybe it's just me, because I get bored of historical fiction easily.  It ended with a story, and it was a good way to wrap up a book about Storytellers. I liked the ending. I might read other books from this author, maybe as an over the summer read. Hammer of Witches is written in first person, which I like, but the way it's written can be confusing at some points in the book. The flow was ok, but slightly confusing at some points in time. I might reread this when I'm a bit older, so I recommend this book to 7-9 graders.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Shana Mlawski's "Hammer of Witches" is a nicely conceived and well executed fantasy set in an historical context. With the Spanish Inquisition and Columbus's first voyage to the New World serving as the backdrop, we join young Baltasar Infante on his quest for his father and his destiny. Ms. Mlawski does a superb job of maintaining the dramatic tension throughout the entire story. You really do want to know what happens next. I particularly liked the end note inserted by the author informing the reader of what we know, as well as what we don't know, about the historical persons appearing in the book. This is Young Adult fiction at its best - both entertaining and informative.