In Shadowmancer, written by an Anglican vicar in the United Kingdom, God's power overcomes witchcraft
A Spirit-filled African teenager arrives in 18th century England--only to find the place overrun with witchcraft. And the source of the darkness is the local parish priest.

That's the setting for a new novel, Shadowmancer, that has been described as "hotter than Potter." United Kingdom publishers Faber and Faber have deliberately pitted it against J.K. Rowling's modern classic.

But the brains behind this latest blockbuster is a 43-year-old Anglican vicar, the Rev. Graham Taylor, whose inspiration is firmly rooted in his Christian faith.

While he has made wicked parson Obadiah Demurral the villain of the plot, he also brings Ethiopian teenager Raphah (from the Hebrew for "the Lord who heals") to join in the fight against him. Demurral is a sadistic sorcerer, whereas Raphah is filled with the spirit of Riathamus (from the Latin for "King of kings").

With two young comrades, Kate and Thomas, Raphah gets caught up in the war against evil. When Raphah calls on the Spirit of Riathamus, tongues of fire and a whirlwind are the result. When he prays for healing, everyone in the room is forced to the floor because of "the weight of the glory" upon them.

It sounds like a great plan that's come together. But on the surface at least, Shadowmancer looks more like a happy accident.

Taylor--a policeman-turned-priest who'd never written a book before--felt "moved by God" to write a children's fantasy novel. "I've been working with people involved in witchcraft for over 20 years," he said, "and wanted to write something for children that was as thrilling and fantastic as Potter."

While giving his characters a universal appeal, this father of three also made sure his story had a strong force for good. "Why can't people get excited about the power of the Spirit of God?" he said. "I wanted a book that contained that."

He prayed, and started writing on "a still October night" in his Yorkshire vicarage. So Shadowmancer was born--with its key references to a deity who heals, delivers from evil spirits and gives people peace and joy in their lives.

Taylor tried various publishers in England and the United States, but suffered from the common writer's condition of "the rejection slip." Determined to see his book appear in print, he sold his motorbike to fund its publication.

The move paid off. Last fall, 2,000 copies sold in just four weeks. Taylor started praying again­because he couldn't cope with the demand. Then he received a phone call from the person who'd signed Rowling to her publisher.

On the caller's advice, he hired a literary agent who signed him to "a very nice deal" with leading U.K. publisher Faber and Faber. "Then all heaven was let loose," he said. Taylor appeared on TV and radio shows and in newspaper columns across the United Kingdom. Mail arrived "by the bagload."

Some people involved in witchcraft asked for help. Other readers asked if the God of Shadowmancer could bring them peace. "It's had a deep spiritual effect," he said. This church minister ended up setting the literary world alight with his story of spiritual warfare. "It's been called the 'must-have book,'" he said.

Taylor later discovered the term "shadowmancing" is used by a group of American occultists to describe contacting the spirit world. The book contains stark warnings against such practices.

While the Harry Potter characters have "spells coming out of their ears," Shadowmancer promotes the power of prayer. It has caused such a stir, copies are being imported by entrepreneurial Americans who are reportedly reselling them for $50 to $100 a copy.

Ironically, Taylor has experienced opposition from other Christians, who have challenged him for writing about witchcraft. But the author knows where the battle lines are drawn--his previous parish was Whitby, the dramatic backdrop for Bram Stoker's Dracula.

Taylor feels that Christians should be writing works of fantasy fiction that can bring an influence in the marketplace--just like Shadowmancer. Penguin Putnam Books--one of the biggest U.S. publishers--plans to release the title in April, and talks are already under way regarding the film rights.

As U.K. bookstores geared up for their summer reading campaigns, Taylor had snatched the No. 3 position on the children's fiction chart. But at the end of the day, he confessed, "I'd rather talk to people about Jesus than my book."
Clive Price in England

Best Magazine Deal. Subscribe now and get 3 magazines for the price of 1. Get Charisma, SpiritLed Woman and Ministry Today, all for $24. YES - I want this deal!

3 Reasons Why you should read Life in the Spirit. 1) Get to know the Holy Spirit. 2) Learn to enter God's presence 3) Hear God's voice clearly! Click Here to draw closer to God!

Your Turn

Comment Guidelines
View/Add Comments
  • Pastor Jim Garlow in a file photo shown praying.

    Conservative Christian Leaders Gather in DC, Calling Trump's Election an Answer to Prayer

    "Although the news media is predicting protests, what I'm seeing is that everyone is abuzz ...

  • Donald Trump certainly needs your prayers.

    Why You Must Pray for Donald Trump

    Here are eight ways I plan to intercede for President Trump regularly.

  • Inner Healing Is the Fruit of the Spirit

    Inner Healing Is the Fruit of the Spirit

    I have been puzzled about the subject of inner healing for some time.

  • Here's a prophetic word for Washington, D.C.

    Prophecy: The Lord Is Raising Up Daniels in DC

    I believe we're on the precipice of a Third Great Awakening the Lord spoke to my heart about in ...

  • 2017 is the year that swords will clash.

    Prophetic Word: 2017 Will Bring a Clashing of Heaven and Hell

    "This is a time to cross over and not pull back."

  • Bishop Eddie Long died at 63.

    Bishop Eddie Long Dead at 63

    "Although his transition leaves a void for those of us who loved him dearly, we can celebrate ...

  • Roadblock

    6 Roadblocks That Will Stop Your Spiritual Growth

    God wants you to grow in your faith, but many of us get stuck along the way.

  • The devil will try to silence you in any way he can. Don't give him the satisfaction.

    Satan's 2 Most Potent Lies to Render You Ineffective

    There's something in you so powerful that Satan doesn't want it out. Kyle Winkler reveals ...

  • Watch for these danger signals for choosing poorly.

    4 Signs You're Making a Bad Decision

    Avoid distraction and disappointment by testing your choices with these 4 principles.

  • Continue Your Journey with the Holy Spirit

    Continue Your Journey with the Holy Spirit

    Follow God on the most fulfilling journey of your life with Encounter the Holy Spirit! Break away from past hurts and press into the One who wants a personal encounter with you.

  • Dream the Unimaginable In His Presence

    Dream the Unimaginable In His Presence

    Reach your full potential and be led by His Spirit. In His Presence takes you to a deeper understanding of who God is and how he communicates with us.

  • Set Your Spirit on Fire

    Set Your Spirit on Fire

    Receive the power and gifts that come through the Holy Spirit Baptism. Don’t go empty-handed; accept all that He has for you! His power is available to those who ask.

  • Put on the Full Armor of God

    Put on the Full Armor of God

    Break every stronghold with the power of the Holy Spirit. Use the power of your tongue to declare and decree the Word of God. Witness heaven move on your behalf.

Use Desktop Layout
Charisma Magazine — Empowering believers for life in the Spirit