I remember hearing about G.P. Taylor because he was one of the authors who got picked up in the Harry Potter hype a few years back. I seem to remember some fingers being pointed by Taylor, a vicar at the time, in J.K. Rowling’s direction about leading children astray. Taylor, if I remember rightly, wrote his book as a Christian fantasy story, self-published it by selling his motorbike, managed to land a publishing deal and has since released a series of books. Taylor is also one of the few vicars I’ve heard of who knows something of wicca (pagan practices and folklore).

Anyway, I figured he’d been successful because the Christian mob had got behind him, rallying against Harry Potter and his ‘dark arts,’ but the story intrigued me and, unlike my Christian brethren, I don’t tend to condemn books until I’ve actually read them. So I decided to give it a go when a second-hand copy of his first book, Shadowmancer, appeared on List Books.

There is an obvious religious tone to the book, churches, priests, angels, satan, God and a number of other things that many religions would recognise. I’m sure people smarter (or with more time) than me could find allegories with many of Christ’s teachings and stories from the bible. Having said that, it’s a dark and interesting yarn, the characters have enough depth to make them interesting and Taylor paints the scenery well enough to make it easy to imagine, and the religious tones don’t intrude heavily enough to get in the way of the story. All in all, worth a look.

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Reviewed: 25th March 2007

Recommended: Yes