"Dazzling." Diana Peterfreund

"Fantastic." —Lesley Livingston

"A historical revelation." —Guadalupe Garcia McCall


A bookmaker’s apprentice living in 1492 Spain, fourteen-year-old Baltasar Infante knows how to weasel out of any problem with a good story. But when he wakes up one night to find yellow eyes glowing in his bedroom window, he knows he’s in trouble even he can’t talk his way out of.

So begins his quest to find the legendary Amir al-Katib, a sorcerer traveling west to prevent the destruction of the world as they know it. As Baltasar’s journey leads him into uncharted lands filled with genies, golems, glory, and gold, he soon realizes that stories are more powerful than he ever imagined—and more dangerous.

Shorter Summary

Magic. Monsters. Christopher Columbus. Oh yes.

Recommended for readers ages 12 and up. Buy it now on Barnes & Noble, Amazon, or Indie Bound. Hammer of Witches is available in hardcover, Kindle, Nook, and audiobook formats. EPUB version coming soon.


 “An engaging, magical adventure set against the historical backdrop of Columbus’ westward voyage. . . Mlawski’s central characters are imaginative and well-developed, and her swashbuckling pace and intriguing plotting keep readers at seat’s edge. . .Though set in the 1490s, this provocative blend of fantasy and history offers loads of contemporary appeal.” —Kirkus Reviews

Stories come alive in this rousing historical fantasy. . . Newcomer Mlawski delivers a fast-paced 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.” —Publishers Weekly

Mlawski is creative and daring in her YA debut, blending genres to craft an informative and literary historical fantasy. . . Baltasar is a combination of classic, bumbling coming-of-age protagonist and hero motif, making his character relatable and likable. The novel’s storyteller concept is fresh and innovative, making this a lively read for fantasy buffs.” —School Library Journal

 “When Baltasar is caught by the witch hunters of the Spanish Inquisition, he flees aboard one of Christopher Columbus’ ships and heads for the New World, where unimaginable adventures await. The story is at its best when focusing on its array of intriguing characters: Jinni, the almost genie; Catalina, a girl with powers of her own; the Taíno shamans and rulers; and Baltasar himself, whose boyish charm is perpetually winning. . . Fantasy lovers will relish the wide array of supernatural goings-on, and history buffs will enjoy reading the author’s notes, which explain where Mlawski has stuck to the script and where she takes wing.”Booklist

A dazzling, richly imagined tale about history, legend, and the fantastic power of story.” —Diana Peterfreund, author of For Darkness Shows the Stars

Click here to read more official reviews of Hammer of Witches .

Hammer of Witches
By Shana Mlawski

ISBN: 978-1-60060-982-4 E-ISBN: 978-1-60060-901-5