Cover image for Shadowmancer
Taylor, G. P.
Personal Author:
First American edition.
Publication Information:
New York : G .P. Putnam's Sons, 2004.

Physical Description:
ix, 275 pages : illustrations, map ; 24 cm
When Obadiah Demurral, the power-hungry Vicar of Thorpe, attempts to become a god by dabbling in magic, Raphah (who has come from Africa to get back the artifact stolen from his Temple and sold to Demurral) joins forces with Kate and Thomas to stop him.
Reading Level:
830 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR UG 5.8 15.0 78886.

Reading Counts RC High School 5 21 Quiz: 37603 Guided reading level: W.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
Y FICTION Young Adult Fiction Young Adult
Y FICTION Young Adult Fiction Central Closed Stacks
Y FICTION Young Adult Fiction Central Closed Stacks
Y FICTION Young Adult Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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#1 New York Times Bestseller!

Author Notes

G. P. Taylor has spent his life pursuing the secrets of the universe. He has had a multifaceted career spanning the music industry and law enforcement. Today, he is the vicar of Cloughton and lives near Whitby on the Yorkshire coast, a countryside of cliffs and moors, richly steeped in history and folklore

Reviews 4

Booklist Review

In a post-Potter world where Oscars accrue to films set in Middle Earth, publishers' "big" books (the ones that receive the lion's share of publicity) are often fantasies. Such is the case with this debut novel, which was purchased by Putnam in a $500,000 three-book deal after it made headlines in the UK, having given Harry Potter a run for its money. Expect requests for this novel, especially after the author appears on the Today show, but the real question is whether it will continue to circulate after the initial buzz fades. Originally self-published by a country vicar (a quaint fact that contributed mightily to the media cachet in the UK), Shadowmancer, set in an English village of the 1500s, pits two children against a corrupt vicar. We're not talking skimming from the collection plates; a lust for power has led the vicar to devil-worship, which is hastening the world to Armageddon. A visitor from Africa serves as the children's comrade and spiritual guide, proselytizing a religion with the maxims ("In our weakness we will find his strength, in our poverty we will find his riches") and symbols (healing of the sick, breaking of the bread) of Christianity, though Taylor substitutes the names Riathamus and Pyratheon for God and Satan (a device also employed by C. S. Lewis, although many readers may find such poetic license more difficult to accept in this less fantastical setting). But issues of doctrine aside, is this a good story? Not particularly. The characters are either ecstatic believers ("It's as if I was blind, and suddenly the blindness is gone"), candidates for conversion, or evil adversaries, and although Taylor introduces some deliciously scary demons and monsters, the moments of high drama are merely interruptions in what amounts to a rather ponderous sermon, suffering from characters too overshadowed by pyrotechnical plots and thematic enthusiasms to fully fire the imagination. -Jennifer Mattson --Jennifer Mattson Copyright 2004 Booklist

Publisher's Weekly Review

PW said of this debut novel set in 18th-century England about a black-hearted vicar with plans to overthrow God, "there are enough surprises to keep readers madly turning the pages." Ages 12-up. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

If he can get his hands on a missing artifact, the evil vicar Obadiah Demurral is convinced that he can usurp God himself and rule the world. Rapha, a shipwrecked traveler who has journeyed from Africa to reclaim this artifact for his homeland, enlists the aid of young, homeless Thomas Barrick and his friend, the spirited Kate Coglan, to prevent Demurral from triumphing. Steeped in English folklore, Vicar Taylor's debut fantasy novel features heroes who must battle the thulak, invisible beings that fill people's minds with horrible nightmares for the rest of their lives, and choirs of seloth, flowing creatures whose piercing cries come out of the sea to take men to their deaths. There are obvious similarities to the Harry Potter books here, but this title is good enough to garner its own following and will appeal to Tolkien fans as well. Although aimed at young adult readers, it is complex enough to hold the interest of adults. Conservative Christians who are uncomfortable with Harry Potter may find this tale of good and evil more palatable. With a 250,000-copy first printing and a strong publicity campaign in the works, this British best seller will surely find an American audience. Highly recommended for all collections. [The author will appear on the Today show during the second week of May.Ed.] (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

School Library Journal Review

Gr 7 Up-The atmospheric Yorkshire coast is the setting for this good versus evil fantasy. Local vicar Obadiah Demurral desires the power to command God. To do this, he needs an angelic figurine called the Keruvim and its human equivalent. As he uses his considerable powers to acquire the Keruvim, a young man named Raphah comes seeking an object stolen from his African kingdom. It is soon obvious that Demurral's angel and Raphah's stolen prize are one and the same. Once Demurral has it and Raphah under his control, he believes he will be master of the universe. Thomas and Kate, two local children, are inadvertently drawn into the struggle. Soon their lives are in jeopardy. The plot twists and turns, revealing that Demurral is not the ultimate evil but merely a tool in the hands of a fallen angel. The book is rich with detailed descriptions that sometimes threaten to overwhelm the story. There are a number of fantastic creatures warring on the side of evil, but at bottom this is a seriously religious story clothed in the trappings of high fantasy. Biblical allusions abound, sometimes bordering on direct quotes. The theme of the triumph of love and light over pure evil reflects the Christian gospel message, with overtones from Paradise Lost. Thomas has dreams or visions of someone who can only be Jesus. Raphah heals a deaf boy and casts out demons. He is also brought back from death. Whether teen readers will understand all this is a matter of conjecture.-Bruce Anne Shook, Mendenhall Middle School, Greensboro, NC (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

Forewordp. vii
1. The Dark Stormp. 1
2. The Poisoned Angelp. 12
3. The Triptychp. 21
4. The Oak Kingp. 35
5. The Golden Altarp. 45
6. Boggle Millp. 56
7. Dagda Sarapukp. 70
8. Brimstone and Cold Cabbagep. 81
9. The Hanged Manp. 91
10. The Dunamezp. 99
11. Bell, Book and Candlep. 109
12. The Azimuthp. 118
13. Tempora Mutanturp. 125
14. The Burning Manp. 137
15. The Miraclep. 147
16. The Witch of White Moorp. 159
17. The Keruvimp. 172
18. Latet Anguis in Herbap. 178
19. The Raven of Goldp. 187
20. Pyratheonp. 200
21. The Twisted Oakp. 213
22. Seirizzimp. 222
23. Lubbock's Drump. 235
24. Vitae Veritasp. 249
25. The Sword of Mayencep. 262