J. Kowallis, author
"The magic calls her. A prophecy binds her. The ancestors guide her. Dr. Taran Grim, a young professor of occult studies, knows the written history of witches better than anyone in her field. And she should. She’s one of them. After a mysterious stranger arrives at her office inquiring about the mythical staff of Woden, Taran’s curiosity reveals a millennia-old prophesy directly tied to her. The answers wait in Bryden, England and the only person who can help her gain access to the hidden valley is the descendant of Ruhmactir, and a member of the shape-shifting Geri clan: Collens “Coll” Donovan. But the Donovans have secrets of their own, and Taran’s underdeveloped magic is wreaking strange havoc on her life. If she can’t manage her magic and strike a truce with Coll, they’ll fail to prevent the prophesied event known as Deireanhexe: the end of the hexen race."
Kowallis’s first Hexen’s Cross novel is a cleverly articulated portrait of a modern witch. Driven by her Hexen lineage and her father’s murder, Dr. Taran Grim has dedicated her professional life to the study of European occult practices. Taran’s use of her own magic is perfunctory at best, but when a stranger presents her with a rune that bears an etching of two scarred hands, she recognizes the circular marking carved into her own palm. The rune spurs Taran’s discovery of an ancient prophecy, which in turn forces her into the company of Collens Donovan, the owner of the corresponding scar depicted on the rune. Together, they are tasked with finding and protecting the Craniarann, or staff, of Woden—Taran’s ancestor—in order to prevent the end of the Hexen race. Coll’s own family history, however, makes him a less than willing participant, much to Taran’s chagrin. Kowallis’s blend of mythologies is immersive and impressive, and the volatile chemistry between the two protagonists propels this dynamic narrative forward into the series’ next volume. (BookLife)
Tish Thawer, Bestselling Author of The Witches of Black Brook series
"Kowallis delivers an all-star performance in this tale of family, prophecies, betrayal, and discovery. Germanic folklore meets modern academia, and the results are simply magical!"