The Oath Breaker continues the story in The Witch Hunter General series. What were some new ideas you wanted to introduce in this book that were different from book one?
I really wanted to add some emotional depth to Victor’s character and make sure he didn’t come off as just some mindless, heartless killing machine. He may be an immortal half-witch, but he is also still half-human who is dealing with an immense amount of grief, sorrow, and loss. I’ve also always loved the idea of the hunter becoming the hunted and wanted to incorporate that element into his story. I think Victor being on the run really gave him a chance to face his metaphorical as well as literal demons head-on which gave him some extra depth for the rest of his team to try to navigate as well. I love watching their team dynamic unfold as the story progresses.
Victor Cain continues to be a riveting character. What were some challenges that you felt were important to his characters development in this book?
I tried to make Victor just as complex as any living person. He’s been struggling with so many things for so long; from the death of his wife and son, to his loss of faith and hatred of God, to the betrayal of the Inquisition. He is a man besieged by guilt and near-crippling depression, all while still trying to lead his team who don’t know if they can fully trust him anymore. Trying to convey all of those things and make it honest and believable was definitely challenging and the most important for his development.
What scene in the book did you have the most fun writing?
The scene that jumps out at me as the most fun to have written was the siege of Requiem Tower. The chaos and devastation the Thunderbird wreaks was a pure joy to write.
What can readers expect in the book in the series?
I think readers will be able to expect a thrilling and epic conclusion in the third book of the trilogy. There are many more battles to be fought and revelations to be had by the time it ends. I am also currently working on a series of short stories that tie into the novel series, each one focusing on an individual character before they joined Victor’s team. There just might be a spin off series in the works as well.
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The Witch Hunter General: The Oath Breaker, by Mace Berry, is about the two-thousand-year-old Inquisitor General Victor Cain. He’s a witch hunter who has been framed for murder by Gabriel/Mortifer. General Cain is confronted with Aka Manah, an enemy from his past, and learns who his friends really are. Mace Berry has written a great book that sucked me into the story. I truly enjoyed the read and the characters. I cared about what was going to happen to Victor Cain. Berry has created a unique and creative world with lots of depth to explore.
In the prologue, Aka Manah and Gabriel are introduced, but neither one of them were named right away. This makes the story feel lived in and like we are stepping into the story as it is already moving along, much like the beginning of A Game of Thrones where we enter a world with an established history and we are only catching up.
This is followed by getting into the first chapter and Victor knows that Aka Manah still lives, but I didn’t see any information as to why Victor would know this. This speaks to how invested I was with this intricate story. When the members of the High Council are introduced in chapter seven, it is so that they can choose a new Grand Inquisitor. I’m left wondering why they would be involved with this when it is explained a bit later that the High Council and the Inquisition are separate branches of the government. There are many layers to this novel that I sifted through because I was enthralled with the characters and the detailed nature of the story.
While I enjoyed the story I felt that the ending was a little abrupt. I will not give too much away here, as it is definitely worth the read, but it ends with an important change to one of the characters. Readers looking for a dark fantasy series that looks like it can easily run several novels will have plenty to enjoy here.
The Witch Hunter General: The Oath Breaker has excellent characters that I cared about, in a world that feels real (whether it’s a future Earth or a different planet all together), and a story that pulled me along. This is an enthralling fantasy adventure that is a wonderful addition to what is proving to be an epic fantasy saga.
Pages: 328 | ASIN: B09C6TX88B
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The Witch Hunter General follows a cursed man who’s dedicated his life to killing dark witches by any means. What was the inspiration for the setup to this exciting novel?
The initial inspiration for the story actually came from a song from the British heavy metal band, Saxon, about the Salem witch trials. In the original draft, the story took place in 1692, during the time of the Salem witch trials, but as the story progressed and grew, I realized it needed to be futuristic. From there, it sort of took on a life of its own and in fact became easier to write since I could make the future whatever I wanted it to be instead of having to adhere to being historically accurate the entire time.
Victor is an intriguing and well developed character. What were some driving ideals behind his character development?
Victor is a very stern individual, and completely unrelenting in his pursuit of dark witches. After being manipulated by his best friend and ordering the death of his wife, Victor shut down emotionally. He dedicated himself totally to the eradication of witches and was very reluctant to work with them following the peace treaty between the Inquisition and the World Tree coven. When I was developing his character, I didn’t really worry too much about whether he was likable or not. I just needed him to be someone who had suffered such an unimaginable trauma that he became driven by rage, hatred, and vengeance; motivated by overwhelming grief and anger to kill witches in whatever way he could. To kill, period. But on a deeper level, he’s also driven by the unanswerable philosophical questions: Why would a benevolent god allow this to happen? And: Is there a god at all?
I enjoyed the depth of the world you’ve created in this novel. What were some themes you wanted to explore in your story?
The biggest themes I tried to explore in this story were the concept of good and evil, guilt, and redemption. Oftentimes, good and evil are a matter of perspective. Not everything that seems evil is evil, and not everything that seems good is good. The theme of guilt played a very large role in this story and was actually therapeutic for me to write because, as a veteran, I’ve grappled with a great deal of guilt from my time in the service. Victor is consumed by guilt and it’s part of what makes him who he is: on the surface, a hard, unflinching zealot of the Inquisition. But underneath, a bitter, broken man languishing in agony and heartache. Going hand-in-hand with guilt, is redemption. Redemption was also a big piece of the story, and of Victor as a character, and in the end, the story is really all about Victor chasing redemption and whether or not he attains it.
Do you plan to continue this story in future novels?
Yes, it is currently planned to be a trilogy, which I am working on finishing now. But there will also be a few short stories tied to the novels to flesh out the world and characters a little more. There might even be a spin-off series later on, but that is still very much in the development stage.
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The Witch Hunter General is a story of fear, manipulation, betrayal, and deceit. The book begins with a man named Victor who lets his wife die, alone and frightened because she was accused of being a witch. He is miserable, guilty, and angry at himself for what he has done. Over time, he has managed to avenge his sweet Elizabeth, but can’t stop hunting down dark forces and witches due to circumstances during his grief. Living another two thousand years, he hunts with a team of faithful sidekicks. A complex man, and an imposing one as well, Victor makes sure that you know who’s the boss and who is willing to take charge.
Mace Berry has delivered an exciting dark fantasy novel. From the beginning this book is an intense read. At times the scenes with brutality were a little hard to get through but I realize the events were meant to propel the story, and the book would not have the excellent tone that I looked forward to if the author had not done so. A great example is Elizabeth. When the story opens, she is wrongly accused, and her town turns against her because of their superstition and fear. As you continue reading the story, you begin to get drawn in by these deep characters that are marred by events brought about by fear, superstition or betrayal.
I enjoyed the energetic and tense fights to the death which were skillfully executed. I thought Victor was going to die and empathized with him throughout the story. In my opinion, the author’s measure is how they make you think and feel throughout the story. In the first few chapters, I went from being horrified, saddened, to angry all in the span of mere pages. Mace Berry is a great author skilled with language that is emotive and moving.
Each character in the book had such a strong presence that I didn’t have a favorite character because I enjoyed reading about them all. I have read other books where the main character has a team to help him because, in many aspects, the evil is too much for one person, and in this case, he has three. Magnus, Arten, and Scarlett. If you love supernatural stories with a twist, you would enjoy this epic fantasy novel.
Pages: 256 | ASIN: B088Q1RYD4
Tags: action, adventure, author, book, book review, bookblogger, ebook, fantasy, fiction, goodreads, kindle, kobo, literature, Mace Berry, nook, novel, paranormal, read, reader, reading, story, supernatural, suspense, The Witch Hunter General, thriller, writer, writing